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Banjoko v. Banjoko

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

June 21, 2013

VALERIE E. BANJOKO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
SAMUEL O. BANJOKO Defendant-Appellant

Civil appeal from Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations T.C. NO. 10DR995

STEPHEN E. KLEIN, Atty. Reg. No. 0014351, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

KATHY L. ELLISON, Atty. Reg. No. 0033808, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

OPINION

FROELICH, J.

{¶ 1} Samuel O. Banjoko appeals from a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce entered by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. Mr. Banjoko objects to the portion of the trial court's judgment that disposed of his retirement accounts by awarding all or part of these accounts to Valerie E. Banjoko.

{¶ 2} The Banjokos were married in January 2000; they had no children together. Mrs. Banjoko filed a complaint for divorce in September 2010.

{¶ 3} Mr. Banjoko began his career at UPS in 1978, working part-time on the loading docks. After eleven years in that position, he became a driver and a member of the Teamsters union. He worked full-time as a driver for approxiamtely ten years. He became a management supervisor with UPS in late 2000 or early 2001, "just prior to [his] marriage." Mr. Banjoko lost his job with UPS in August 2002. During the parties' divorce proceedings, the trial court heard evidence about Mr. Banjoko's retirement accounts with UPS and subsequent transfers from those accounts. Mrs. Banjoko worked at a department store during the marriage, but she did not have a pension or other retirement accounts.

{¶ 4} Mr. Banjoko testified that he contributed to his retirement accounts during his employment with UPS until he became a manager; at that time, his eligibility for the plan changed, in part because he was no longer a member of the Teamsters' Union. After he became a manager and after his separation from employment with UPS, he no longer added money to the accounts, but he transferred his retirement funds among various similar accounts and management companies as part of his efforts to manage funds. Mr. Banjoko testified that "after [his] separation from UPS, * * * that account was just sitting down there. Nobody [was] managing it, " so he transferred the funds among retirement accounts with several companies. He testified, however, that all of the funds in the accounts were contributed prior to his promotion to management, which was also prior to his marriage.

{¶ 5} The parties presented several statements from retirement plans, about which Mr. Banjoko testified. The statements supported Mr. Banjoko's assertions that he had not contributed money to the retirement accounts, except for the reinvestment of income generated by the accounts themselves, with one $75 exception. Mr. Banjoko was questioned about one retirement plan statement which indicated a $75 "IRA Contribution" to the Allianz Life Insurance Annuity; he explained that it was either a "fee" or made up a shortfall "of the $10, 000 that was supposed to be there" when the account was opened. The parties disagreed about whether Mr. Banjoko had provided copies of all the monthly statements that had been requested by Mrs. Banjoko's attorney.

{¶ 6} Mrs. Banjoko's testimony at the hearing did not address, in any way, Mr. Banjoko's retirement accounts. She did not claim that contributions had been made to those accounts from marital funds or at any time during the marriage.

{¶ 7} In its Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce, which was filed in February 2012, the trial court made the following findings with respect to Mr. Banjoko's retirement accounts:

Allianz: The court found that the Allianz Life Insurance Company account, which had a balance of $12, 732.94 as of December 30, 2010, was marital property and that half of the balance as of the date of the decree should be awarded to Mrs. Banjoko.
Citicorp: The court found that $19, 951.07 of the Citicorp Investment Services Account was marital property, and that half of this amount, or $9, 975.54, should be awarded to Mrs. Banjoko.
CitiGroup: The court found that the entire value of Mr. Banjoko's CitiGroup Global Market IRA, $35, 622.11, was marital property and awarded ...

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