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Harmon v. Harmon

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 3, 2014

COURTNEY HARMON, APPELLANT
v.
LINDA RANDLE HARMON, APPELLEE

Page 38

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/21/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DOROTHY WINSTON COLOM. TRIAL COURT DIVORCE GRANTED ON THE GROUND OF CRUELTY.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: CHUCK EASLEY, MATTHEW DANIEL WILSON.

FOR APPELLEE: LINDA RANDLE HARMON (Pro se).

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 39

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

MAXWELL, J.

¶1. Courtney Harmon appeals the grant of divorce to his former wife, Linda Harmon, insisting there were no grounds for a cruelty-based divorce. After review, we find his continuous name calling, baseless adultery accusations, habitual gambling, and stalking made the marriage revolting to Linda, destroying the basis for the marriage. We thus affirm the grant of divorce.

¶2. We also find no merit to Courtney's claims that the chancellor wrongly awarded Linda the Starkville home and failed to decide who got the West Point home. Our review shows the chancellor properly applied the Ferguson [1] factors when dividing the assets and awarding Linda the Starkville house. And from the final judgment of divorce, it is clear the chancellor deemed the West

Page 40

Point home was Courtney's separate property. We affirm.[2]

Facts and Procedural History

¶3. Courtney and Linda married on June 10, 2006. After marrying, they moved into Courtney's West Point, Mississippi home.[3] They lived in that house for nine months, then moved into Linda's father's house in Starkville, Mississippi. In May 2009, they moved into a newly constructed home in Starkville.

¶4. The next year, the couple separated on October 25, 2010. And on November 4, 2010, Linda filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery, habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, and alternatively, irreconcilable differences. After a temporary hearing, the chancellor awarded Courtney the West Point home and Linda the Starkville home. A three-day trial started on September 8, 2011.

¶5. According to Linda, early in the marriage, Courtney often accused her of cheating. And he often called Linda derogatory names like " whore" and " bitch." Linda also testified that Courtney made degrading sexual comments about her anatomy and terrible false claims about her.

¶6. Linda's fourteen-year-old daughter from an earlier relationship, Taylar Randle, lived with Linda and Courtney. She recalled many arguments between the two. She told the chancellor that Courtney was " very cruel" to her mother. And " he said very ugly things," --words " a husband should not say to his wife." Courtney also frequently accused Linda of cheating. The situation was so bad Taylar had thoughts of suicide and killing Courtney because of how he treated her mother.

¶7. Linda explained that Courtney called and followed her nonstop. Almost daily, he came to the bank where she worked as a branch manager. Two of Linda's coworkers testified that Courtney was constantly at the bank. And after visits, Linda tended to get upset and was agitated, sad, and hurt. According to Linda, whenever she had a male customer in her office, Courtney accused her of infidelity. This interference with Linda's work made it difficult for her to function.

¶8. Courtney was also obsessed with Linda's whereabouts. He often followed her when she left work for lunch. One time, Linda was at a movie when Courtney appeared unexpectedly, frightening her. Another time, after watching a movie with a friend, she found Courtney lurking in the movie theater ...


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