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Stevens v. Grissom

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 21, 2017

MARY E. STEVENS APPELLANT
v.
GINGER GRISSOM APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/28/2016

         LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. JUSTIN MILLER COBB, TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: GLENN S. SWARTZFAGER

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ROBERT D. JONES

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         ¶1. In this appeal, we must determine whether the circuit court properly dismissed Mary E. Stevens's complaint for replevin. Finding no error, we affirm.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Mary's son, Michael Stevens, was married to Ginger Grissom for fifteen years. The couple's divorce was finalized in March 2014. On July 18, 2014, Mary filed a complaint for replevin in the Lauderdale County County Court against Ginger, claiming that Ginger was in wrongful possession of Mary's personal property. Ginger filed an answer and then a motion to dismiss. After a hearing, the county court, finding that Mary failed to meet her burden of proof, dismissed Mary's complaint with prejudice.

         ¶3. Mary then appealed to the Lauderdale County Circuit Court. The circuit court affirmed the county court's decision. Mary now appeals, asserting that the circuit court erred in affirming the dismissal of her replevin action.

         FACTS

         ¶4. The property at issue included two rings, one cameo necklace, and one carved wooden dog figurine. In her complaint, Mary listed the value of the items as follows: a 1.31 carat diamond ring valued at $9, 097.11; a .75 carat diamond ring valued at $6, 013.04; a large cameo valued at $450; and the dog figurine valued at $200. Mary had both rings appraised, and the appraisals were attached to the complaint. The appraisals were both dated April 21, 2004.

         ¶5. Mary contended she gave Michael the two rings and the cameo for safekeeping. Ginger contended Mary gave her the rings and the cameo as a Christmas present early in the couple's marriage. And that Mary included appraisals for both rings and the cameo. Ginger testified that the figurine had belonged to Michael, and they displayed it in the marital home. Ginger also testified that Michael and Mary removed these items, among others, from the marital home after Ginger and Michael separated. The chancellor presiding over Michael and Ginger's divorce found Michael in contempt for various reasons, one of which was removing the rings, the cameo, and the figurine from the marital home.[1] The chancellor ordered those items returned to Ginger.[2] And Ginger was awarded these items in the final judgment of divorce. Both the order finding Michael in contempt and the final judgment of divorce were entered into evidence during the hearing.[3]

         STANDARD ...


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