IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF: MARK DUANE SHEEHAN, Petitioner and Appellant,
SHELLI R. FRAZIER, f/k/a SHELLI R. SHEEHAN, Respondent and Appellee.
Submitted on Briefs: February 6, 2019
FROM: District Court of the Twentieth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Sanders, Cause No. DR-16-31 Honorable
James A. Manley, Presiding Judge
Appellant Howard Toole, Howard Toole Law Offices, Missoula,
Appellee Jane E. Cowley, Reep, Bell, Laird & Jasper,
P.C., Missoula, Montana
Jeremiah Shea Justice.
Pursuant to Section 1, Paragraph 3(c), Montana Supreme Court
Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum
opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as
precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition
shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of
noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and
Mark Duane Sheehan appeals the Order of the Twentieth
Judicial District Court, Sanders County, denying his M. R.
Civ. P. 60(b) Motion to Set Aside his Marital Settlement
Agreement. We affirm.
Shelli Frazier (formerly Sheehan) and Sheehan began
cohabitating in 1999. In 2003, they had a daughter together.
Frazier and Sheehan lived with their daughter in a log cabin
built by Sheehan on property purchased decades earlier by
Sheehan's parents, Rose and Richard Sheehan.
In 2004, Rose and Richard Sheehan executed a quitclaim deed
transferring a one-half ownership interest of the family
property (Property) to Frazier and to Frazier and
Sheehan's minor daughter. On November 21, 2011, Frazier
and Sheehan married.
In 2015, following Sheehan's incarceration, Sheehan and
Frazier separated. In May 2016, Sheehan filed for dissolution
of the marriage. On March 7, 2016, Sheehan executed a durable
power of attorney (POA) in favor of his sister, Holly
Sanders. The POA expressly granted Sanders the power to act
on Sheehan's behalf to "settle any claim by
compromise, arbitration or otherwise, whether relating to
real property or not" and to "execute, deliver, and
acknowledge any and all documents or instruments of whatever
kind of character that will accomplish or facilitate the
exercise of any of the foregoing powers." In August
2016, after the District Court issued its pre-trial order in
the dissolution action and set a final hearing date, Sanders
filed a Notice of Appearance on behalf of Sheehan and advised
the District Court that she spoke regularly with Sheehan
about his dissolution action.
On October 23, 2017,  in the presence of the District Court,
Frazier and Sanders executed the Settlement Agreement;
Sheehan did not personally appear. The Settlement Agreement
stated in relevant part:
19. [Frazier] acquired a titled interest in real property and
[Sheehan] has a marital interest in [Frazier's] property.
The disposition of said interests is addressed herein.
20. [T]his Marital Settlement Agreement is intended to
resolve the property rights of the parties and resolve all
claims by either party for the payment of maintenance.
21. [T]his Marital Settlement Agreement is voluntary and each
of the parties has read and approved this Marital Settlement
Agreement after fully considering all of its provisions.
22. The parties acknowledge that this Agreement was
negotiated at arm's length. This arrangement for
settlement is fair, not unconscionable and both parties
request that the court approve this Agreement and incorporate
the same, fully, into ...