MARSHA P. NELSON APPELLANT
JAMES A. NELSON APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 11/22/2016
HARRISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON.
SANFORD R. STECKLER TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: SHANNON MICHELLE JONES ASHLEY D.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: NITA LOUISE CHASE
IRVING, P.J., WESTBROOKS AND TINDELL, JJ.
Marsha P. Nelson appeals the November 22, 2016 judgment and
the December 9, 2016 "qualifying court
order" of the Chancery Court of Harrison County.
Finding no error in the chancery court's ruling after a
review of the record, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
James A. Nelson and Marsha married on August 4, 1991. During
their marriage, they had two daughters-Jasha and
Jada. Around November 2008, the parties
separated, and on April 6, 2010, their divorce was granted on
the ground of irreconcilable differences. The court also
approved a property settlement agreement for both James and
Marsha. Less than a year later, the parties began filing
motions, petitions, and complaints against each other for
various reasons due to monetary issues arising from the
property settlement agreement.
On February 25, 2011, Marsha filed a motion for modification
or clarification of judgment of the divorce and property
settlement agreement. Marsha alleged that she filed her
motion because James refused to cooperate in establishing the
correct percentage of the retirement funds that she was to
receive. After various attempts to obtain service on James,
Marsha succeeded in obtaining a Rule 81 summons on him in
August 2011. This motion is what seemingly triggered the
litigation battle between James and Marsha that lasted from
2011 through 2016.
On November 4, 2011, James responded with an answer and
affirmative defenses. He also filed a counterclaim alleging
that Marsha had failed and refused to comply with the
court's April 6, 2010 judgment. James averred that Marsha
should be held in willful, wanton, and contumacious contempt
for her refusal to provide him with one of the Lladros
figurines and a stereo stand; failure to pay any of the
expenses associated with the parties' business; failure
to return the approximate sum of four thousand dollars ($4,
000) from the business account she used for her own personal
use; failure to disclose the status of the parties' joint
2009 federal and state tax refund; failure to pay the
outstanding 2009 tax liability, plus penalties, if any;
failure to equally share any tax refund for 2009, plus
interest; and failure to compensate him two thousand five
hundred fifty dollars ($2, 550) representing his equity in
the sale of one of their rental homes, as well as one-half
(1/2) of the amount he would have received if the Martin
Luther King Blvd. property were sold at the time of an offer.
In an attempt to resolve the issues filed by the parties,
several conferences and hearings were held in November 2011,
August 2012, November 2012, March 2013, August 2013, November
2013, April 2014, April 2015, and September 2016. During
these proceedings, several of the issues from both parties
were resolved-including what percentage of James's
retirement was to be paid to Marsha. A bifurcated trial was
held to adjudicate the remaining unresolved issues-the first
part in December 2014 and the second part in October 2015.
On November 22, 2016, the chancery court entered a judgment
of modification and contempt. The following applicable excerpts
are from the chancellor's findings:
During the trial, Marsha withdrew $5, 150 from the business
account for personal use. Because of the withdrawals, James
was awarded $2, 575-half of the money Marsha withdrew. James
also paid a total of $12, 150.86 in expenses for Nelson's
Philly Cheese Steak, and the chancellor ordered Marsha to pay
$6, 075.43 for her half of those expenses. The chancellor
ordered that both Thrift Savings Plans should be equally
split. As a result, James was awarded $13, 073.54. James ...