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Marter v. Marter

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 12, 2015

GARY C. MARTER, APPELLANT
v.
CELESTE G. MARTER, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: GRENADA COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/13/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PERCY L. LYNCHARD JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: VALUED 120 ACRES AT $110,000.

FOR APPELLANT: HELEN BAGWELL KELLY, LORI MICHELLE SOLINGER.

FOR APPELLEE: JAMES H. POWELL III, MARK KEVIN HORAN.

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

OPINION

Page 512

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

EN BANC.

FAIR, J.

[¶1] This is the second appeal arising from the Grenada County Chancery Court's valuation of 120 acres of land in a divorce proceeding. We conclude that the chancellor did the best he could with the evidence presented to him and that the value assigned to the property fits squarely within the range of estimates available. We affirm.

FACTS

[¶2] Gary and Celeste Marter were granted an irreconcilable-differences divorce in 2010. They could not agree on a division of the marital estate, so they submitted that issue to the chancery court for resolution. Unhappy with the result, Gary appealed.

[¶3] This Court, in Marter v. Marter, 95 So.3d 733 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012), largely affirmed the chancellor's decision, but we remanded the case for a valuation of 120 acres of land owned by Gary and Celeste. The chancellor had assigned a value of $110,000 to the 120 acres, but this Court was concerned because the chancellor did not explain how he had arrived at that value. It was unclear whether that value was intended to include the value of trees and a workshop located on the property. Id. at 738 (¶ 19).

[¶4] In Marter I, we explained the history of the 120 acres as follows:

Gary and Celeste owned 120 acres of land in Grenada, Mississippi. Celeste had inherited an undivided one-half interest in the 120 acres from her grandfather sometime between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Celeste's sister held the remaining one-half interest. During the marriage, [in 1998,] the Marters purchased the sister's one-half interest using marital funds. Gary testified that Celeste's inherited interest and the interest purchased during the marriage were titled in Celeste's name alone. However, in 2007, the Marters executed a deed conveying the 120 acres to themselves as " ...

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