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Matheny v. Matheny

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 8, 2013

JULIE MATHENY Appellant
v.
RUSSELL B. MATHENY, JR. Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 08-DR-0081

DAVID E. BUTZ, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

JOHN E. JOHNSON, JR., Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION

MOORE, Presiding Judge.

{¶1} Plaintiff, Julie Matheny, appeals from the judgment of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. We reverse and remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

{¶2}In 2008, Julie Matheny ("Wife") filed a complaint for divorce from Russell Matheny, Jr. ("Husband"). Thereafter, on the motion of Wife, the trial court converted the action to one for dissolution. The parties then submitted, pro se, a proposed separation agreement, consisting of a pre-printed form, which Wife indicated that she received from legal aid, on which the parties handwrote case-specific information upon blank lines and within charts. In one relevant hand-written portion, the agreement provided that Wife would receive "half $ if home is ever sold[.]" However, the child support provision was left blank on this separation agreement. The magistrate advised the parties that figures regarding child support needed to be supplied. The parties then filed, again pro se, a second separation agreement, again using the pre-printed form, which provided that Wife would receive "half of profit if home is ever sold[.]" The trial court incorporated the second separation agreement within its decree of dissolution, which it issued on June 17, 2008.

{¶3} In February of 2012, the parties' house was sold. On April 5, 2012, Wife filed a motion in which she argued that she was entitled to one-half of the net proceeds from the sale of the house.[1] After a hearing, the magistrate issued a decision on March 21, 2012, finding that, pursuant to the parties' separation agreement, Wife was entitled to one-half of the "profit" realized from the sale. The magistrate determined that "profit" refers to "the amount received for a commodity or service in excess of the original cost." The parties did not dispute that the original construction price of the house was approximately $190, 000 and the 2012 sale price of the house was approximately $188, 000. Because the construction price of the house exceeded the sale price, the magistrate determined that there was no "profit" realized from the sale of the house, and, accordingly, Wife was not entitled to any proceeds from the sale. On the same date, the trial court issued a journal entry in which, on consideration of the magistrate's decision, it determined that Husband was to receive all of the proceeds from the sale of the marital residence.

{¶4}Wife filed objections to the Magistrate's Decision. On July 19, 2012, the trial court issued a judgment entry overruling the objections and adhering to its March 21, 2012 judgment entry.

{¶5} Wife timely filed an appeal from the July 19, 2012 judgment entry, and she now presents one assignment of error for our review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO AWARD [WIFE] HER SHARE OF THE NET PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE HOME.

{¶6} In her sole assignment of error, Wife maintains that the trial court erred by failing to award her one-half of the net proceeds from ...


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