AUTUMN RIDGE HOMEOWNERS ASS'N v. OCCHIPINTO, No. WD 71122.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtLISA WHITE HARDWICK, P.J., JAMES M. SMART, JR., and ALOK AHUJA, JJ
Citation311 S.W.3d 415
PartiesAUTUMN RIDGE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., Appellant, v. Frank Joseph OCCHIPINTO, Jr., et al., Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. WD 71122.
Decision Date08 June 2010

311 S.W.3d 415

AUTUMN RIDGE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., Appellant,
v.
Frank Joseph OCCHIPINTO, Jr., et al., Respondents.

No. WD 71122.

Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.

June 8, 2010.


311 S.W.3d 416

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

311 S.W.3d 417

Rod Hoffman, Kansas City, MO, for appellant.

Jeffrey S. Eastman, Gladstone, MO, for respondent.

Before LISA WHITE HARDWICK, P.J., JAMES M. SMART, JR., and ALOK AHUJA, JJ.

JAMES M. SMART, JR., Judge.

The Autumn Ridge Homeowners Association appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of Frank and Carmeline Occhipinto on its claim for past-due homeowner's dues, interest, and attorneys' fees. The Association contests the trial court's denial of its "motion to amend" to correct the language of the judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the appeal is dismissed because the issue raised is moot.

Background

On August 5, 2008, Autumn Ridge Homeowners Association, Inc., ("the Association") filed its petition seeking a money judgment against Frank and Carmeline Occhipinto. The Association averred that it was authorized under the "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions" of the homeowners' association for Autumn Ridge Subdivision to implement and collect assessments and fees from homeowners in that subdivision. The Association alleged that the Occhipintos were the owners of Lot 149, Autumn Ridge — Fourth Plat, located within the subdivision, and were liable for their share of the assessments and fees due. It further alleged that as of April 17, 2008, the Occhipintos owed $2,179.30 in past-due homeowners' dues, interest, and attorneys' fees. The petition stated that the Association was "entitled to" a lien against the property. The Association prayed for judgment against the Occhipintos for the amount owed. Because the petition was filed in the Associate Division, the Occhipintos did not file an answer.1

On May 5, 2009, at a bench trial, the Association presented testimony from the property manager for the Autumn Ridge subdivision and introduced several exhibits into evidence. Those exhibits showed that the Occhipintos' property was situated within the Fourth Plat. The Occhipintos' attorney pointed out, however, that the exhibits did not show that the Fourth Plat was encumbered by the Association's Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions.

After conferring with his witness, counsel for the Association moved for permission to dismiss the case without prejudice. The court denied the request to allow a dismissal without prejudice. Counsel proceeded. The Occhipintos again objected that "there's nothing to establish that this property is encumbered by the declarations, covenants and any assessments that may be levied as a consequence thereof." Upon inquiry by the court, counsel for the Association conceded that he could not establish that the Occhipintos' property was encumbered by the Declaration's restrictions.

The Occhipintos did not present any evidence. The court ruled in favor of the Occhipintos at the conclusion of trial. Neither party requested findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court's Judgment of May 7, 2009, included the following findings:

311 S.W.3d 418
1. Plaintiff Autumn Ridge Homeowners Association, Inc., is a Missouri non-for-profit corporation in good standing.
2. Pursuant to Plaintiff's Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions it performs various duties including implementing and assessing and collecting fees and other obligations from homeowners within its jurisdiction.
3. Defendant Frank and Carmeline Occhipinto are owners of real property legally described as all of Lot 149, Autumn Ridge — Fourth Plat, a subdivision in Kansas City, Platte County, Missouri.
4. Defendant's real property, Lot 149, Autumn Ridge — Fourth Plat, is situate beyond the authority and jurisdiction of Plaintiff and its Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and is thus not encumbered by the same.
5. Any assessment of fees, dues, costs or other obligations by Plaintiff against the real property legally described as Lot 149, Autumn Ridge — Fourth Plat is void and of no effect.
6. Defendants Frank and Carmeline Occhipinto have no personal obligation for any fees, dues, costs or other obligations sought by Plaintiff.

(Emphasis added.) The judgment also denied the Association any lien against the property.2

The Association filed a "motion to amend the judgment," in which it sought to strike paragraphs 4 and 5. The Association attached a copy of the "Declaration of Annexation" that it failed to present at trial, purportedly showing that the Fourth Plat was subject to encumbrance by the Association's Declarations.

At a hearing on the motion, the Association first argued that paragraphs 4 and 5 should be stricken because they contradict the public record. The Association attempted to present a copy of the Fourth Plat annexation document (evidently to show that the Fourth Plat was encumbered by the Association's Declaration of Restrictions). The Occhipintos objected on the basis that it was not admitted at trial. The trial court declined to admit the document. The Association also argued that the paragraphs went beyond the pleadings because the Occhipintos sought no affirmative relief at trial, such as an action to quiet title or to remove a lien. The Association's final argument was that the language had the effect of "excluding Lot 149 from the operations of the homes association," to the disadvantage to a successor purchaser, in that it

creates a potential cloud on their title, because those owners want, most likely, the benefits of the homes association, the amenities ... as well as the benefits of the restrictive
...

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6 practice notes
  • Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Crown Power & Equip. Co., Nos. WD 73586
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • July 31, 2012
    ...it abused its discretion, and the same is true with respect to a motion for additur. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo.App. W.D.2010) (motion to amend the judgment); Calarosa v. Stowell, 32 S.W.3d 138, 147 (Mo.App. W.D.2000) (motion for additur). Fur......
  • Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. v. Crown Power & Equip. Co., WD73586
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 26, 2012
    ...abused its discretion, and the same is true with respect toPage 7a motion for additur. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010) (motion to amend the judgment); Calarosa v. Stowell, 32 S.W.3d 138, 147 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000) (motion for additur......
  • Lynch v. Hurley, WD 81790
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 13, 2019
    ...to dispose of a claim [so that the conclusion] is considered gratuitous surplusage.’ " Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n v. Occhipinto , 311 S.W.3d 415, 420 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010) (quoting Craft v. Philip Morris Cos. , 190 S.W.3d 368, 377 (Mo. App. E.D. 2005) ). Stated another way, gratuitous con......
  • Coyle v. City of St. Louis, No. ED 97509.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 10, 2013
    ...a trial court's ruling on a motion to amend judgment for an abuse of discretion. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo.App.W.D.2010). For ease of analysis, we consider Plaintiff's points on cross-appeal out of order. In his second point on cross-appeal, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Crown Power & Equip. Co., Nos. WD 73586
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • July 31, 2012
    ...it abused its discretion, and the same is true with respect to a motion for additur. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo.App. W.D.2010) (motion to amend the judgment); Calarosa v. Stowell, 32 S.W.3d 138, 147 (Mo.App. W.D.2000) (motion for additur). Fur......
  • Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. v. Crown Power & Equip. Co., WD73586
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 26, 2012
    ...abused its discretion, and the same is true with respect toPage 7a motion for additur. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010) (motion to amend the judgment); Calarosa v. Stowell, 32 S.W.3d 138, 147 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000) (motion for additur......
  • Lynch v. Hurley, WD 81790
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 13, 2019
    ...to dispose of a claim [so that the conclusion] is considered gratuitous surplusage.’ " Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n v. Occhipinto , 311 S.W.3d 415, 420 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010) (quoting Craft v. Philip Morris Cos. , 190 S.W.3d 368, 377 (Mo. App. E.D. 2005) ). Stated another way, gratuitous con......
  • Coyle v. City of St. Louis, No. ED 97509.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 10, 2013
    ...a trial court's ruling on a motion to amend judgment for an abuse of discretion. Autumn Ridge Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Occhipinto, 311 S.W.3d 415, 419 (Mo.App.W.D.2010). For ease of analysis, we consider Plaintiff's points on cross-appeal out of order. In his second point on cross-appeal, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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