Plucar v. Grafton, 22-0441

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtVAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge
PartiesSHAWN MICHAEL PLUCAR, Petitioner-Appellant, v. TIFFANY GRAFTON, Respondent-Appellee.
Docket Number22-0441
Decision Date17 November 2022

SHAWN MICHAEL PLUCAR, Petitioner-Appellant,

TIFFANY GRAFTON, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 22-0441

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 17, 2022

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Andrew B. Chappell, Judge.

Shawn Plucar appeals the district court's order denying his application for rule to show cause requesting that Tiffany Grafton be held in contempt.

Katelyn Simon of Cordell Law, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.

Tiffany Grafton, Cedar Rapids, self-represented appellee.

Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.


VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge

Shawn Plucar and Tiffany Grafton divorced. Under the dissolution decree, Grafton was awarded "sole right, title and possession of" a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado with the associated debt and was to "hold [Plucar] harmless from this debt." Plucar was to receive a cell phone and the associated debt.

Less than one month after the dissolution decree was finalized, Plucar filed an application for rule to show cause, alleging in part that Grafton "failed to transfer title of the Silverado in her name or refinance the vehicle in her own name" and "stopped making payments on the vehicle." He also alleged Grafton "failed to give [him] the cell phone that he was awarded." The district court denied the application following an evidentiary hearing. While the court found that Grafton "fail[ed] to comply with the" decree in not removing Plucar's name from title and loan documents for the Silverado, the court determined Plucar's evidence on whether the omission was willful fell "far short of the mark." The court concluded:

[Plucar] has not proven by even a preponderance of the evidence, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt, that between the times the Decree was entered and the date of the contempt proceedings [Grafton] had the financial wherewithal to cover the amount of the loan
[Plucar] provides no actual evidence to demonstrate that [Grafton] has the ability to pay the debt on the Silverado or that she had that ability sometime after the Decree was entered but failed to do so. Absent this, [Grafton's] failure to comply with the Decree cannot be found to be willful. If [Grafton] has not acted willfully, she cannot be found to be in contempt of court

On appeal,[1] Plucar contends the district court "gross[ly] abused its discretion in finding that [Grafton's] actions were not a willful violation of the court's decree." See In re...

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