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In re Marriage of Hardman

Supreme Court of Montana

July 2, 2019

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF: KAYLE JO HARDMAN, f/k/a KAYLE JO MOORE, Petitioner, Appellant, and Cross-Appellee, and SHANNON M. MOORE, Respondent, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: May 29, 2019

          APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County of Flathead, Cause No. DR-13-672(A) Honorable Amy Eddy, Presiding Judge

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

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

          INGRID GUSTAFSON, JUSTICE

         ¶1 Petitioner/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 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.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶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 ...

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