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In re Marriage of Gram

Court of Appeals of Oregon

June 3, 2015

In the Matter of the Marriage of John M. GRAM, Trustee of the Gram Family Trust, Petitioner-Appellant, and Linda GRAM, nka Linda Rhyme, Trustee of the Gram Family Trust, Respondent-Respondent

Argued and Submitted August 13, 2014.

05DR0552. Josephine County Circuit Court. Michael Newman, Judge.

Clayton C. Patrick argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.

Michael C. Petersen argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Heltzel, Williams, Yandell, Roth, Smith, Petersen & Lush, P.C.

Before Garrett, Presiding Judge, and Ortega, Judge, and DeVore, Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 772

[271 Or.App. 530] GARRETT, P. J.

This case involves a dispute over the meaning of a judgment that terminated the parties' marriage and divided the marital assets. Several years after the trial court entered that judgment, wife filed a motion to clarify the judgment. After conducting a hearing, the trial court entered a supplemental judgment. Husband now appeals, arguing that the supplemental judgment modified the property division in the original judgment, which the trial court lacked the authority to do. Husband also argues that the court erred when it (1) refused to admit certain exhibits offered by husband and (2) made findings that were unsupported by any facts on the record. As explained below, we agree that the supplemental judgment impermissibly modified the property division in the original judgment. That conclusion obviates our need to address husband's other arguments. We, therefore, reverse.

The relevant facts are undisputed. The parties' marriage was terminated in 2007. A principal issue at the termination trial was the amount and duration of compensatory and maintenance support to be paid by husband to wife. The trial court entered a judgment that addressed those issues, as

Page 773

well as the division of the marital assets. The only aspects of that judgment that are relevant to this case are those that address the parties' marital residence. The judgment stipulates that that residence " shall be sold as soon as possible, and the funds shall be distributed in a manner consistent with the terms of this paragraph." The judgment also provides that " [t]he court shall retain jurisdiction over the residence and the funds received from the sale until the terms of the judgment relating to the sale and distribution of funds have been performed as indicated."

The 2007 judgment also specified the manner in which the marital residence was to be prepared for sale and how the proceeds were to be distributed. As those provisions are important to our discussion, we quote them here:

" 2.4.1 The parties will select a real estate sales agent and will immediately list the property for sale. Each party will sign the listing agreement. The property will remain continuously listed for sale until it sells. The parties are obligated only to sell the property for cash and may not, [271 Or.App. 531] unless by mutual agreement, be required to accept a land sale contract, second mortgage or some other non cash purchase offer.
" 2.4.2 Husband will have, beginning sixty (60) days after the date this judgment is entered, exclusive right to use and occupy the property ...

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