Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Trac Thanh Le, petitioner,
Thuy Thi Bui,
Anoka County District Court
File No. F6927116
James C. Skoog, 2599 Mississippi Street, New Brighton, MN 55112 (for respondent)
Elizabeth A. Schading, William F. Huefner, Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., 400 Northtown Financial Plaza, 200 Coon Rapids Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55433 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
The trial court denied the motion of appellant, Thuy Thi Bui, to vacate a 1992 divorce decree, and appellant contends that she was entitled to a hearing on her motion. We affirm.
In April 1996, appellant brought a motion to vacate the 1992 decree, contending: that (1) respondent had represented in 1992 that "all of our stock market investments had been lost," (2) she later discovered respondent's 1992 tax return showing the receipt of $238,546 from the sale of stock during 1992, and (3) she was intimidated by the course of dealing with the respondent over many years.
The trial court found that there was no evidence of hidden assets and that the tax return did not show that any significant stock holdings were concealed. Thus, the trial court held that appellant failed to establish a prima facie case of fraud on the court.
Ultimately, appellant's claim rests on her current reading of respondent's 1992 tax return. Appellant pointed out in oral arguments that the 1992 decree was determined late in July 1992 and that the tax return shows sales of stock as late as August 1992.
The trial court's assessment of the tax return is correct. The return is evidence that respondent was still liquidating stock in the month following issuance of the decree, but it does not show that respondent misstated the facts if, as appellant states in her affidavit, respondent said "at the time of the divorce that all of our stock market investments had been lost due to the failure of Endotronics." Without a more probative disclosure of respondent's total financial circumstances in July 1992, it is not evident that there was any remaining net value to be achieved through final stock sales. Thus, for example, it is not evident whether or not August 1992 stock sale proceeds were needed to satisfy debts. The trial court properly found that appellant failed to establish a prima facie case.
The trial court also properly denied appellant's request for attorney's fees. Appellant has failed to establish bad faith or need. Because the record does not permit a finding that respondent's needs are greater than appellant's, his request for attorney fees on appeal is denied.