Hrachovec v. Kaarup, No. 18082

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtMILLER; ANDERSON, LEE, Circuit Judge, for AMUNDSON
Citation516 N.W.2d 309
PartiesErma K. HRACHOVEC, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Darrell KAARUP and Carol Kaarup, Defendants and Appellants. . Considered on briefs
Decision Date04 October 1993
Docket NumberNo. 18082

Page 309

516 N.W.2d 309
Erma K. HRACHOVEC, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Darrell KAARUP and Carol Kaarup, Defendants and Appellants.
No. 18082.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on briefs Oct. 4, 1993.
Decided May 18, 1994.
Rehearing Denied June 17, 1994.

Todd D. Hauge of Bakewell, Hauge & Vander Heide, Custer, for plaintiff and appellee.

David P. Russell of Russell and Russell, Edgemont, for defendant and appellant.

LEE D. ANDERSON, Circuit Court Judge.

Following an extended history of litigation, the trial court dismissed Darrell and Carol Kaarup's (hereinafter collectively referred to as Kaarups) motion to set aside a previous judgment of rescission. They appeal. We affirm.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Erma Hrachovec (Hrachovec) is the long-time owner of a motel known as the Evans Heights Motel and Lodge in Hot Springs, South Dakota. On March 17, 1986, Hrachovec sold the motel to Ed and Dorothy Jones (Jones) on a contract for deed, but Dorothy Jones had difficulty making the payments after her husband's death. Jones then offered the property for sale and on June 25, 1990 she entered into a purchase agreement (Jones Agreement) with Kaarups. In order to facilitate the sale, Jones agreed to quit claim her interest in the property to Hrachovec, who still retained legal title. The next day, June 26, 1990, Hrachovec entered into a purchase agreement (Hrachovec Agreement) with Kaarups, which incorporated the purchase price and terms of the Jones Agreement.

Under the Hrachovec Agreement Kaarups took possession of the motel premises on July 1, 1990 and accepted the property "as is." Kaarups paid $1,000 as earnest money into an escrow account held jointly with Hrachovec. The Hrachovec Agreement stipulated that the parties would mutually agree upon the allocation of the purchase price on or before the date of closing, which was to be September 14, 1990. Later the closing date was extended to October 10, 1990 by agreement of the parties.

Kaarups were unable to tender performance at the time of the October 10th closing date, but remained in possession of the property. Also, by the closing date a dispute had developed over the allocation of the purchase price. Hrachovec commenced a civil action against Kaarups for rescission of the contract. Kaarups filed an answer and counterclaim, asserting that Hrachovec had induced them to purchase the property by fraud and material misrepresentation.

On April 24, 1991, the trial court granted summary judgment to Hrachovec, ordering rescission of the contract and granting Hrachovec possession of the premises. Thereafter, the trial court held a hearing to equitably adjust the parties' interests. Subsequently, on September 11, 1991, the court entered judgment against Kaarups and in favor of Hrachovec in the sum of $28,201.76. No appeal was taken in a timely manner from the judgment of the trial court.

Seven months later, Kaarups moved to set aside the judgment of rescission. After reviewing the motion, pleadings, and the voluminous exhibits of evidence, the trial court issued its memorandum decision, findings of fact and conclusions of law, and an order denying Kaarup's motion.

DECISION

The authority for a motion to set aside a judgment or order arises under SDCL 15-6-60(b). 1 This court has stated that a Rule 60(b) motion is equitable in nature, where a party seeks extraordinary relief.

Page 311

Tri-State Refining v. Appaloosa Co., 452 N.W.2d 104 (S.D.1990). Extraordinary relief under SDCL 15-6-60(b) is granted only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances. Haggar v. Olfert, 387 N.W.2d 45 (S.D.1986).

The purpose of Rule 60(b) is "to preserve the delicate balance between the sanctity of final judgments and the incessant command of a court's conscience that justice be done in light of all the facts." Peterson v. La Croix, 420 N.W.2d 18, 19 (S.D.1988), (citing Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. A & P Steel, Inc., 733 F.2d 509, 515 (8th Cir.1984)). The decision to grant or deny a Rule 60(b) motion rests within the sound discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed on appeal except for abuse. Gold Pan Partners, Inc. v. Madsen, 469 N.W.2d 387 (S.D.1991); Tingle v. Parkston Grain Co., 442 N.W.2d 252 (S.D.1989); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818 (S.D.1988); Haggar, 387 N.W.2d at 51; Peterson, 420 N.W.2d at 19; Matter of T.M.B., 416 N.W.2d 260 (S.D.1987).

"The term 'abuse of discretion' refers to 'a discretion exercised to an end or purpose not justified by, and clearly against, reason and evidence.' " Herndon v. Herndon, 305 N.W.2d 917, 918 (S.D.1981). The test when reviewing matters involving judicial discretion is " 'whether we believe a judicial mind, in view of the law and the circumstances, could reasonably have reached the conclusion.' " Dacy v. Gors, 471 N.W.2d 576 (S.D.1991), (citing Myron v. Coil, 82 S.D. 180, 185, 143 N.W.2d 738, 740 (1966)).

Kaarups' contentions arise primarily out of the condition of the sewer system on the property at the time they signed the purchase agreements. The Hrachovec Agreement...

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30 practice notes
  • Porter v. Porter, No. 19074
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 19, 1995
    ...discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed on appeal unless there has been an abuse of discretion. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820 ANALYSIS AND DECISION ¶5 I. "McCarty Window" ¶6 On June 26, 1981, the United States Supr......
  • Pietrzak v. Schroeder, No. 24729.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • January 7, 2009
    ...decision was not one exercised to "`an end or purpose not justified by, and clearly against, reason and evidence.'" Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994) (quoting Herndon v. Herndon, 305 N.W.2d 917, 918 (S.D. 1981)). I cannot, as does the majority, justify a continuation of th......
  • Smith v. Hermsen, No. 19815
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • September 10, 1997
    ...default judgment if the court finds they both (1) acted with excusable neglect and (2) had a meritorious defense. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820-21 (S.D.1988). "Excusable neglect must be neglect of a nature that would cause a reaso......
  • Roso v. Henning, No. 19934
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 4, 1997
    ...defendants, to obtain relief from the judgment, (1) acted with excusable neglect, and (2) had a meritorious defense. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820-21 (S.D.1988). In the first prong of this test, excusable must be neglect of a natu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Porter v. Porter, No. 19074
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 19, 1995
    ...discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed on appeal unless there has been an abuse of discretion. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820 ANALYSIS AND DECISION ¶5 I. "McCarty Window" ¶6 On June 26, 1981, the United States Supr......
  • Pietrzak v. Schroeder, No. 24729.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • January 7, 2009
    ...decision was not one exercised to "`an end or purpose not justified by, and clearly against, reason and evidence.'" Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994) (quoting Herndon v. Herndon, 305 N.W.2d 917, 918 (S.D. 1981)). I cannot, as does the majority, justify a continuation of th......
  • Smith v. Hermsen, No. 19815
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • September 10, 1997
    ...default judgment if the court finds they both (1) acted with excusable neglect and (2) had a meritorious defense. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820-21 (S.D.1988). "Excusable neglect must be neglect of a nature that would cause a reaso......
  • Roso v. Henning, No. 19934
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 4, 1997
    ...defendants, to obtain relief from the judgment, (1) acted with excusable neglect, and (2) had a meritorious defense. Hrachovec v. Kaarup, 516 N.W.2d 309, 311 (S.D.1994); Clarke v. Clarke, 423 N.W.2d 818, 820-21 (S.D.1988). In the first prong of this test, excusable must be neglect of a natu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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