In re Marriage of Hardman and Moore, DA 18-0429

Docket NºDA 18-0429
Citation443 P.3d 1108, 2019 MT 152, 396 Mont. 238
Case DateJuly 02, 2019
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Montana

396 Mont. 238
443 P.3d 1108
2019 MT 152


Kayle Jo HARDMAN, f/k/a Kayle Jo Moore, Petitioner, Appellant, and Cross-Appellee,
Shannon M. MOORE, Respondent, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant.

DA 18-0429

Supreme Court of Montana.

Submitted on Briefs: May 29, 2019
Decided: July 2, 2019

For Appellant: Marybeth Sampsel, Measure Law, P.C., Kalispell, Montana

For Appellee: Peter F. Carroll, Attorney at Law, Kalispell, Montana

Justice Ingrid Gustafson delivered the Opinion of the Court.

443 P.3d 1110
396 Mont. 239

¶1Petitioner/Appellant/Cross-Appellee Kayle Jo Hardman, f/k/a Kayle Jo Moore (Kayle) and Respondent/Appellee/Cross-Appellant Shannon Moore (Shannon) cross-appeal the Combined Order on Motion for Lien and Counter Motion to Vacate the Decree of Dissolution issued

396 Mont. 240

by the Montana Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, on July 2, 2018.

¶2 We restate the issues on appeal as follows:

1. Did the District Court have jurisdiction to divide any portion of the proceeds from Shannon's California personal injury lawsuit?

2. Did the District Court err when it denied Kayle's request for half of the proceeds from Shannon's California personal injury lawsuit?

¶3 We affirm.


¶4 In 2005, Kayle and Shannon married in California. In 2011, Shannon and a co-worker were injured while working alongside a road in Humboldt County, California, at a jobsite supervised by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). After the accident, Shannon and his co-worker filed a lawsuit against Caltrans. In 2013, the parties separated and Kayle moved to Montana. After living in Montana for 100 days, Kayle filed a Petition for Dissolution (Petition) on September 25, 2013. Attached to the Petition, as Exhibit A, is a document which states, in full:

A lawsuit is pending in the State of California, due to an on the job accident involving the Respondent in August 2011. The accident left the Respondent with a disability of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D). A settlement is expected in favor of the Respondent.

The Petitioner request all debts of the parties will be paid off with the proceeds of the settlement. This includes personal loans from Patti Hardman, Quita Moore, Judy Moore, Ed and Carolyn Gellner and the American Express credit card. All of which were used to help with living expenses after the [Respondent’s] disability took place. Petitioner requests the residual proceeds are to be split 50/50 between the Respondent and Petitioner.

¶5 On March 10, 2014, Kayle filed an Amended Petition for Dissolution (Amended Petition). The Amended Petition contains an identical Exhibit A to that found attached to the Petition. Both the Petition and Amended Petition were served on Shannon in California. Shannon did not appear or otherwise respond to either the Petition or Amended Petition, and the Clerk of Court issued an Entry of Default on May 5, 2014. The District Court held a hearing on the Amended Petition on May 20, 2014, noted that Shannon's default had previously been entered, and determined Kayle's proposed distribution of property and debts to be fair and equitable. The District Court issued its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Decree of Dissolution

396 Mont. 241

(Decree) on May 20, 2014. The District Court's Decree includes an identical Exhibit A as those found on both the Petition and Amended Petition. Kayle sent the Shannon a Notice of Entry of Decree on May 20, 2014.

¶6 On February 1, 2017, Shannon received a jury verdict for medical expenses, lost earnings, and noneconomic damages in the amount of $2,727,587.11 in his personal injury lawsuit against Caltrans. After Kayle learned of the verdict, she filed a Motion for Contempt, to Enforce Decree, and for Order to Show Cause on March 28, 2017. Kayle sought to be awarded half of the proceeds of Shannon's California personal injury lawsuit under the Decree. On May 8, 2017, attorney Peter F. Carroll filed a Notice of Special Appearance and Motion to Dismiss on behalf of Shannon. On May 9, 2017, the District Court held a hearing on the motion for contempt and denied it as premature. On July 6,

443 P.3d 1111

2017, attorney Carroll filed a Notice of Withdrawal and Notice of Change of Address, in which he withdrew from representing Shannon and informed the parties that Shannon had moved to Tennessee.

¶7 On July 13, 2017, counsel for Kayle filed a Uniform District Court Rule 10 Notice, informing Shannon that he had 21 days to appoint new counsel or appear in person, as well as informing Shannon that Kayle had, simultaneously with filing the Rule 10 notice, filed a Motion for Lien and Brief in Support. On August 9, 2017, the District Court issued an Order Establishing Lien, which, in relevant part, granted Kayle 50% of the proceeds from Shannon's personal injury lawsuit.

¶8 On November 14, 2017, attorney Carroll again appeared on behalf of Shannon and filed a Motion to Vacate Judgment. After the parties briefed this motion, the District Court held a hearing on April 25, 2018. Following the hearing, the District Court issued an Order which vacated its August 9, 2017 Order Establishing Lien because it was prematurely issued and ordering Shannon to respond to the July 13, 2017 Motion for Lien. After an extension, Shannon filed his Response in Opposition to Motion for Order Establishing Judgment Lien and Counter Motion to Vacate the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage in Whole or Part on May 15, 2018. After the parties briefed both motions, the District Court issued its Combined Order on Motion for Lien and Counter Motion to Vacate the Decree of Dissolution on July 2, 2018. The parties cross-appeal.


¶9 Whether a court has jurisdiction is a legal conclusion, which we review de novo.

396 Mont. 242

Capital One, NA v. Guthrie , 2017 MT 75, ¶ 10, 387 Mont. 147, 392 P.3d 158 (citing Pinnow v. Mont. State Fund , 2007 MT 332, ¶ 13, 340 Mont. 217, 172 P.3d 1273 ).

¶10 Review of a district court's interpretation of a judgment presents an issue of law, and we review the district court's interpretation to determine whether it is correct. Levens v. Ballard , 2011 MT 153, ¶ 10, 361 Mont. 108, 255 P.3d 195 (citing Harland v. Anderson Ranch Co. , 2004 MT 132, ¶ 20, 321 Mont. 338, 92 P.3d 1160 ).

¶11 A district court is vested with broad discretion to apportion the marital estate...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • In re Marriage of Grigg, DA 21-0195
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • August 16, 2022
    ...broad discretion to apportion the marital estate in a manner equitable to each party under the circumstances." In re Marriage of Hardman, 2019 MT 152, ¶ 11, 396 Mont. 238, 443 P.3d 1108 (citing In re Marriage of Funk, 2012 MT 14, ¶ 6, 363 Mont. 352, 270 P.3d 39). We review a district court'......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT