This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).

 

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

A03-54

 

In re Karen Katherine Arndt,

f/k/a Karen Katherine Supri, petitioner,

Respondent,

 

vs.

 

Thomas John Supri,

Appellant.

 

Filed November 4, 2003

Affirmed

Hudson, Judge

 

Anoka County District Court

File No. F39413783

 

Karen K. Arndt, 1319 Ė 28th Street, Sioux City, Iowa 51104 (pro se respondent)

 

Pamela L. Green, 5801 Duluth Street, Suite 360, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55422 (for appellant)

 

Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Halbrooks, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N

HUDSON, Judge

††††††††††† Appellant challenges the district courtís computation of his income, alleging that it incorrectly and unfairly imputed income to him and assigned him an income not supported by the record.† On the record before us, we will not disturb the district courtís credibility determinations, and we affirm.

F A C T S

††††††††††† Appellant Thomas Supri and respondent Karen Arndt dissolved their marriage in 1994.† Respondent received physical custody of the coupleís three minor children and moved to Iowa with them.† Over the next several years, the parties had ongoing disputes over the childrenís health-care expenses and child support.† In March 2002, the partiesí youngest child moved back to Minnesota to live with appellant.† Respondent agreed to a change in custody, but the parties were unable to agree on child support and parenting time.† The district court resolved the custody and parenting-time issues, but referred child support to the expedited child support process.†

††††††††††† A hearing was held before a child support magistrate on October 3, 2002.† The record on appeal does not contain a transcript of this hearing, but it is clear that the record was held open for the submission of further documentary evidence and affidavits.† The parties stipulated that respondentís net monthly income was $1,609.† After the hearing, respondent submitted a statement of her monthly expenses, and appellant, who is self-employed, submitted an updated profit/loss statement and an affidavit declaring his gross monthly income to be $1,492.12, and his net monthly income to be $1,305.†

††††††††††† On November 22, 2002, the child support magistrate issued its findings of fact and order.† The magistrate found that appellantís claimed net monthly income of $1,305 was ďnot credible.Ē† The magistrate then calculated appellantís income by subtracting his current wifeís monthly income from appellantís claimed monthly expenses, then subtracting statutory deductions for appellantís contribution toward the minor childrenís medical and dental insurance premiums, and applying the balance, $2,314.26, as appellantís income.† The magistrate determined appellantís child support obligation for two children, and reduced it by respondentís obligation for the child now living with appellant.† Appellant was ordered to pay respondent $292 per month in child support.

††††††††††† Appellant sought review in the district court.† The district court affirmed the magistrateís conclusions and decision, and this appeal follows.†

D E C I S I O N

Under Minn. R. Civ. App. 110.02, it is the appellantís responsibility to provide this court with any necessary transcripts.† Appellant did not request that a transcript of the October 3, 2002, hearing be prepared for this court.† When an appellant fails to provide a transcript, our review is limited to whether the findings of fact support the conclusions of law and the conclusions of law support the judgment.† Duluth Herald & News Tribune v. Plymouth Optical Co., 286 Minn. 495, 498, 176 N.W.2d 552, 555 (1970).† After a review of the record, we conclude that it is minimally adequate and that we may decide this matter without a transcript of the hearing.

††††††††††† This court reviews a district courtís confirmation of a child support magistrateís order under an abuse-of-discretion standard.† Davis v. Davis, 631 N.W.2d 822, 826 (Minn. App. 2001).† The determination of the amount of an obligorís income in a child support matter is a finding of fact and will not be altered on appeal unless it is clearly erroneous.† Ludwigson v. Ludwigson, 642 N.W.2d 441, 446 (Minn. App. 2002).†

††††††††††† Appellant argues that the district court erroneously imputed income to him, rather than accepting his claimed net monthly income of† $1,305.[1]† Appellant presented numerous tax records and his profit/loss statements, as well as his affidavit.† These documents support appellantís claimed income.†

But these documents do not constitute the only evidence presented to the court.† The record shows that both parties testified at the October 3, 2002, hearing and that the magistrate made inquiries of both.† Because the record does not contain a transcript, this court cannot know exactly what questions or answers were presented during that hearing.† What we do know is that the magistrate specifically found that appellantís testimony regarding his income was ďnot credible,Ē given the expenses that he claimed were attributable to his household and that the district court affirmed this determination.† This court gives due regard to the district courtís credibility determinations, because the district court is in the best position to judge each witness.† Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01; Sefkow v. Sefkow, 427 N.W.2d 203, 210 (Minn. 1988) (appellate courts defer to district courtís credibility determinations).† This is particularly true here, where we are not privy to what happened at the October 3 hearing.[2]† On the record presented to us and in light of the limited scope of review occasioned by the lack of a transcript, we cannot review the district courtís findings of fact.† We do conclude, however, that those findings of fact support the district courtís conclusions of law, and that it was not an abuse of the district courtís discretion to impute income to appellant.

Affirmed.



[1] Appellant also argues that the district court unfairly imputed income to him, while accepting respondentís statement of her income.† But the parties stipulated to respondentís income, while respondent challenged appellantís claimed monthly income, requiring the district court to evaluate the evidence.

 

[2] We do note, however, that the district courtís methodology for imputing income to appellant is somewhat puzzling, in part because it applies appellantís spouseís income against the total household expenses.† But without a transcript, we are unable to adequately review and analyze the district courtís rationale for using this particular formula/methodology, and therefore we defer to the district courtís credibility determinations.