This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of:
Randi Conner, petitioner,
Filed June 13, 2006
Stevens County District Court
File No. F1-02-121
David M. Van Sickle,
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from the district court’s denial of appellant’s motion to reopen a dissolution judgment, appellant argues that (a) the district court misread and misapplied Doering v. Doering, 629 N.W.2d 124 (Minn. App. 2001), review denied (Minn. Sept. 11, 2001); and (b) the spousal-maintenance award was improperly based on injuries allegedly suffered by respondent as a result of appellant’s conduct when appellant was precluded from entering evidence on the question. Because the district court did not err, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Thomas Conner argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to
reopen the dissolution judgment based on respondent Randi Conner’s
misrepresentations of the nature and extent of her alleged injuries from an
assault on her by appellant. A
district court’s decision whether to reopen a judgment will be upheld unless
the court abused its discretion. Harding v. Harding, 620 N.W.2d 920, 922
(Minn. App. 2001), review denied (
A district court may reopen the
record and relieve a party from an order or grant other relief when it finds
“fraud, whether denominated intrinsic or extrinsic, misrepresentation, or other
misconduct of an adverse party[.]” Minn.
Stat. § 518.145, subd. 2(3) (2004). When
a motion to reopen a dissolution judgment is made within one year after the
entry of the judgment, the legal standard to be applied is ordinary fraud, not
fraud on the court. Doering v. Doering, 629 N.W.2d 124, 130 (Minn. App. 2001), review denied (
January 2005, this court affirmed the district court’s denial of appellant’s motion
to modify or terminate spousal maintenance.
See Conner v. Conner, No.
A04-1065, 2005 WL 89487 (
In denying appellant’s motion, the district court determined that appellant “failed to articulate how [respondent’s] alleged fraud (whether intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other alleged misconduct rendered the existing order unjust or unfair.” The district court concluded that:
There is no evidence that [respondent] intentionally misrepresented the nature of the assault or her injuries to [appellant], to this court, or to the Court of Appeals. In short, the record simply does not support [appellant’s] assertion that this court or the Court of Appeals were fraudulently influenced by evidence of [appellant’s] assault on [respondent] as it relates to the award of maintenance.
The decree was based on a marital termination agreement reached by the parties. Therefore, there was no reliance by the district court on the representations made by respondent regarding her injuries. Further, the district court denied appellant’s motion to modify or terminate spousal maintenance, concluding:
It is clear in this case that [respondent’s] monthly expenses have increased and continue to exceed her income, that there continues to be a gap in the parties’ respective earning capacities, and [respondent] still requires permanent maintenance. Therefore, [respondent’s] increase in income does not render the original maintenance order unreasonable or unfair.
There was no reference to respondent’s injuries in denying the motion. Finally, while this court did refer to respondent’s injuries in its decision, the district court’s decision was affirmed based on the fact that the findings were sufficient, the correct legal standard was applied, and there was no abuse of discretion in balancing the income and expenses of the parties in the district court’s findings. See Conner, 2005 WL 89487, at *2-*3. There is nothing in the record to support appellant’s claims of fraud by respondent. The district court’s finding of a lack of fraud on the part of respondent was not clearly erroneous. The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s motion to reopen the record.