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Hall v. Hall

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

August 30, 2013

MARY JANE HALL Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
TERRY HALL Defendant-Appellant

Civil appeal from Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations, T.C. NO. 09DR134

APRIL H. MOORE, Atty. Reg. No. 0084711, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

JENNIFER MARIETTA, Atty. Reg. No. 0089642, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

OPINION

DONOVAN, J.

(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Terry Hall appeals from a decision of the Greene County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, adopting in part and modifying in part the decision of the magistrate regarding the equitable division of marital property between himself and plaintiff-appellee Mary Jane Hall. The magistrate's decision was filed on February 17, 2011. The judgment entry adopting in part and modifying in part the decision of the magistrate was filed by the trial court on February 27, 2013. On March 25, 2013, Terry filed a timely notice of appeal with this Court.

(¶ 2} Terry and Mary Jane were married on August 17, 1970. Three children were born during the marriage, to wit: Brian M. Hall, Jamie L. Vaouva, and Tracy D. Hall, all of whom were emancipated at the time of this action. On May 6, 2009, Mary Jane filed a complaint for divorce, alleging gross neglect and adultery. Both Mary Jane and Terry were represented by private counsel throughout the pendency of their divorce. A temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued by the magistrate which ordered Terry to pay as spousal support the following debts and obligations with respect to the marital residence: mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, cable, trash, and phone service.

(¶ 3} The divorce action proceeded to a hearing before the magistrate on March 18, 2010. Based on new evidence of undisclosed bank accounts purportedly held by Terry, Mary Jane filed a motion to reopen the evidence on June 10, 2010. On September 1, 2010, the magistrate held a supplemental hearing. Following the hearing, the magistrate issued a decision on February 17, 2011. In her decision, the magistrate adopted the date of the filing of the complaint for divorce, May 7, 2009, as the marriage termination date. Regarding distribution of the parties' marital assets, the magistrate awarded Mary Jane sole interest in the only real property owned jointly by the parties which had both positive equity and which would provide a rental income stream for Mary Jane since the evidence established that Terry was unemployed and, therefore, unable to provide spousal support. That property is located at 1300 Cobblestone Street The magistrate also awarded Mary Jane title to a 1997 Chevy Cavalier owned by the parties.

(¶ 4} The magistrate awarded Terry the remainder of the marital assets, including two motor vehicles of minimal value, and three parcels of real property. One of the parcels, which was the parties' marital residence, had negative equity. The marital property was located at 1395 Betty Drive in Xenia, Ohio. The second property was located at 2054 Kylemore Drive in Xenia, Ohio, where Terry resided with his girlfriend. The third property was located at 2321 and 2323 Knoll Drive and is owned in equal shares by Terry, Willard Hall, and Pauline Hall. The magistrate found that Terry's interest in this third parcel "is one of a separate property nature" because the property belongs to his parents. We note that the magistrate also found that Terry had committed financial misconduct in his handling of the parties' marital property and funds.

(¶ 5} The final decree of divorce was filed on March 8, 2011. On the same day, Mary Jane filed her objections to the magistrate's decision. On March 11, 2011, Terry's filed his response to Mary Jane's objections. After the hearing transcripts were filed, Mary Jane filed supplemental objections with the trial court. Terry filed his response to Mary Jane's supplemental objections on June 16, 2011. On July 6, 2011, the magistrate issued an interim order requiring Terry to pay temporary spousal support to Mary Jane, in addition to her car insurance and cell phone bill during the pendency of the objections. The magistrate also permitted Mary Jane to continue receiving rental income from the property located at Cobblestone Street.

(¶ 6} On February 27, 2013, the trial court issued its decision adopting in part and modifying in part the magistrate's decision. Specifically, the trial court agreed with the magistrate and found that Mary Jane was entitled to 1300 Cobblestone Street and all the marital equity in the property in its entirety. The trial court modified the decision of the magistrate, however, finding that Mary Jane was entitled to half of the marital equity in both the Knoll Drive property and the Kylemore property. The trial court also awarded Mary Jane half of the marital equity in Terry's Roth IRA account (#214564942) that he admitted to "cashing in" during the divorce proceedings without informing Mary Jane. Lastly, the trial court found that Mary Jane was entitled to half of the proceeds from Terry's sale of a 2000 Chevrolet Tracker to his father during the pendency of the divorce action. In total, the trial court found that Mary Jane was entitled to a monetary award from Terry in the amount of $84, 182.41.

(¶ 7} It is from this judgment that Terry now appeals.

(¶ 8} Because they are interrelated, Terry's first and second assignments of error will be discussed together:

(¶ 9} "THE COURT IMPROPERLY DETERMINED THAT THE KNOLL DRIVE REAL ESTATE WAS MARITAL ASSETS."

(¶ 10} "THE COURT INCORRECTLY CALCULATED THE AMOUNT OF MARITAL EQUITY IN THE KNOLL DRIVE REAL ...


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