Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Gregory J. Hill,
Filed February 10, 1998
File No. F694954
JoEllen Doebbert, P.O. Box 1175, Alexandria, MN 56308 (for respondent)
George Gaffaney, Gaffaney & Velde Law Firm, Ltd., 1118 Broadway, Alexandria, MN 56308 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
Appellant Gregory J. Hill claims an administrative law judge erred by denying his motion to terminate his maintenance obligation. We affirm.
Appellant assumes that the ALJ considered his part-time job when deciding not to terminate maintenance and claims that the ALJ erred in doing so. He claims he no longer has the part-time job. But it is not clear that the ALJ considered appellant's part-time job in refusing to terminate maintenance. Further, appellant's income from his present full-time job exceeds the income he had when the ALJ denied his prior motion to reduce maintenance. Therefore, any error regarding appellant's part-time job is harmless. See Minn. R. Civ. P. 61 (harmless error to be ignored).
The ALJ found appellant "currently has reasonable monthly expenses of $1211" (expenses he shares with another person). Prior orders lack a finding of appellant's monthly expenses. The current order's correction of that omission does not entitle appellant to a finding of changed circumstances. See Dieseth v. Calder Mfg. Co., 275 Minn. 365, 370, 147 N.W.2d 100, 103 (1966) (trial court decision, even if wrong, is "final after the time for appeal has expired").
Appellant also claims his current tax debt, which he says exceeds $20,000, shows changed circumstances. It is unclear what part of the current tax debt the judgment ordered him to pay and what part he has accrued since the judgment. Because the judgment apportioned more than half the parties' tax debt to appellant, much of the current tax debt was apparently contemplated when his maintenance obligation was set. Appellant's tax debt was asserted as a basis for an earlier unsuccessful motion to reduce maintenance and support. The record suggests appellant's debt may have been greater a year ago than it is now. Thus, his current tax situation may be better than it was when his prior motion was denied.
Appellant claims the closing of the business is a changed circumstance, citing Gorz v. Gorz, 552 N.W.2d 566 (Minn. App. 1996). But here, appellant's income has increased since his business closed, whereas in Gorz the obligor's income decreased by $1,000 per month. Id. Further, the demise of appellant's business is not a changed circumstance because the 1996 order noted the business was already "essentially defunct."
Because the changed circumstances alleged by appellant do not individually or collectively support a modification of maintenance, the ALJ's denial of appellant's motion was not an abuse of discretion. See Tuthill v. Tuthill, 399 N.W.2d 230, 232 (Minn.
App. 1987) (failure to show changed circumstances fatal to motion to modify maintenance).