This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of:
Andrea Dore Trimble Hart,
f/k/a Andrea Dore Trimble,
Andrea Dore Clark, petitioner,
Darrell Bradford Hart,
Filed March 13, 2007
Hennepin County District Court
File No. DC 294329
Jill A. Poppe MacKenzie, Jill A. Poppe Mackenzie, P.A., 7767 Elm Creek Boulevard, Suite 300, Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369 (for respondent)
Jane Binder, Christine Howard, Becky Rooney, Binder Law Offices, P.A., 700 Rand Tower, 527 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Minge, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
In this marriage-dissolution proceeding, appellant challenges the district court’s property distribution arguing that the district court abused its discretion because it (1) made no specific finding that appellant inappropriately transferred or encumbered marital assets under Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1a (2004); (2) incorrectly valued the parties’ 2004 income-tax refund; and (3) improperly double-counted certain assets. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion by distributing the marital estate as it did, but clearly erred in computing the value of the parties’ 2004 income-tax refund, we affirm as modified. Further, we grant appellant’s motion to strike portions of respondent’s brief and appendix.
Appellant challenges the district
court’s property distribution ordering appellant to pay respondent the parties’
2003 state and federal income-tax refunds. The district court is vested with broad discretion
in its determination of the appropriate property division, and the district
court’s determination will not be disturbed absent an abuse of that
discretion. Lund v. Lund, 615 N.W.2d 860, 861 (Minn. App. 2000) (citing Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (
Upon dissolution of a marriage, the
district court “shall make a just and equitable division of the marital
property.” Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1
(2004). But when the court finds that a
party to a dissolution proceeding has “transferred, encumbered, concealed, or
disposed of marital assets except in the usual course of business or for the
necessities of life, the court shall compensate the other party.” Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1a (2004). In compensating the other party, the court
may “impute the entire value of an asset . . . to the party who transferred,
encumbered, concealed, or disposed of it.”
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in its property distribution because (1) respondent failed to meet her burden of proving that appellant improperly used the funds; (2) the district court failed to make a finding that respondent improperly used the funds; and (3) the income-tax refunds were used to pay family necessities. Appellant’s arguments are unpersuasive.
the district court found that appellant had taken the 2003 and 2004 income-tax
refunds as advances on the marital estate.
In addition, the totality of the evidence showed that the district court
believed appellant had been secreting funds.
Thus, the district court found that appellant “purposefully concealed
the disposition” of $40,000, and that respondent was entitled to an inference
that appellant had “secreted the funds.”
See Solon v. Solon, 255 N.W.2d
395, 396 (
Second, we concur with the district court’s determination that any deficiency in respondent’s production of evidence is the product of appellant’s obstructionist conduct, which the district court found hindered “[respondent’s] ability to track [appellant’s] management of marital funds.” This finding is amply supported by the record, which shows that appellant repeatedly refused to cooperate with respondent’s discovery requests and disobeyed a district court order directing him to sign releases of financial information.
this court has held that on appeal “a party cannot complain about a district
court’s failure to rule in [its] favor when one of the reasons it did not do so
is because that party failed to provide the district court with the evidence
that would allow the district court to fully address the question.” Eisenschenk
v. Eisenschenk, 668 N.W.2d 235, 243 (
All of the district court’s findings have ample support in fact and law. The record shows that appellant deposited the 2003 income-tax refunds into the parties’ joint account, subsequently made numerous transfers between the joint account and son’s account, and withdrew $40,000 from son’s account, which he has never accounted for. Based on these facts, the district court could have concluded that the $40,000 included the 2003 income-tax refunds. As such, it was within the district court’s discretion to impute the benefit of the entire $40,000 withdrawal to him and order appellant to pay respondent an amount equal to the 2003 income-tax refund in order to effectuate a just and equitable property distribution.
Appellant argues that the district
court erred by valuing the 2004 state and federal income-tax refunds at $13,900
instead of $11,049. The valuation of an
asset is a question of fact that will not be reversed unless clearly
Here the record shows that $11,049 is the correct value for the 2004 state and federal income-tax refunds. Respondent admits that a clerical error was made and that $11,049 is the proper amount. Based on the record and respondent’s concession, the district court’s valuation is clearly erroneous and is hereby modified to $11,049.
also challenges the district court’s property distribution awarding him the
$60,000 loan repayment and the value of son’s bank account ($83,336). The district court’s property distribution
will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion. Chamberlain
v. Chamberlain, 615 N.W.2d 405, 412 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (
argues that the district court awarded him the same asset twice because on the
date of valuation, the funds in son’s account included the $60,000 loan repayment. But appellant did not present this argument
to the district court. Instead, at
trial, appellant argued that the funds in son’s account represented short-term,
zero-percent-interest cash advances on appellant’s credit cards, in addition to
inheritance deposits and checks from friends and birthday and Christmas gifts. Generally, appellate courts will consider
“only those issues that the record shows were presented and considered by the
trial court in deciding the matter before it.”
Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d
580, 582 (
Here, the record shows that appellant litigated the general issue of the source of the funds in son’s account under a different theory than he now proffers; thus, the district court did not consider appellant’s new “double counting” theory. Accordingly, we will not consider it here on appeal.
Affirmed as modified; motion granted.