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Kimble v. Kimble

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 18, 2019

RODNEY KIMBLE SR. APPELLANT
v.
STEPIDY McGHEE KIMBLE APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/27/2017

          TATE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PERCY L. LYNCHARD JR.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: TERRENCE LADWAYNE HIGH

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: STEPIDY McGHEE KIMBLE (PRO SE)

          BEFORE BARNES, C.J., TINDELL AND McCARTY, JJ.

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. On July 27, 2017, the Tate County Chancery Court granted Stepidy Kimble a divorce from Rodney Kimble Sr. on the ground of adultery. On appeal, Rodney challenges the chancellor's valuation of three marital assets during the equitable distribution of the marital estate. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. The parties married on August 1, 2003, and separated around January 11, 2016. On January 20, 2016, Stepidy filed a complaint for divorce and other relief. On July 27, 2017, the chancellor entered a decree granting Stepidy a divorce on the ground of adultery. The chancellor awarded Stepidy sole legal and physical custody of the parties' two minor children and granted Rodney visitation. The chancellor ordered Rodney to pay $541 a month in child support and one-half of the children's medical expenses. The chancellor also held Rodney in contempt for his failure to make child-support payments pursuant to a prior court order. The chancellor awarded Stepidy $6, 920 for past-due child support and for attorney's fees related to the contempt claim.

         ¶3. Both parties provided the chancellor with their Uniform Chancery Court Rule 8.05 financial statements and testified at the hearing. At the time of the hearing, Stepidy worked at the Tate County Sheriff's Department, and Rodney was self-employed as a truck driver and operated his own trucking business. In his bench ruling at the conclusion of the hearing, the chancellor stated that he found Rodney's testimony "to be so fraught with misstatements, untruths, and statements made in an effort to conceal his assets and income that I give little credibility to any of his [Rodney's] testimony." After considering the testimony and evidence, the chancellor classified and valued the parties' marital assets as follows: (1) a 2005 Suzuki motorcycle valued at $5, 250; (2) a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette valued at $6, 375; (3) a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe valued at $500; (4) a 2006 Volvo truck (Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ending in 7121) valued at $20, 000; (5) a 2006 Volvo truck (VIN ending in 3635) valued at $10, 000; (6) a 2000 Freightliner conventional trailer valued at $8, 500; (7) a 2007 Transcraft trailer valued at $12, 000; (8) a 2012 specialized trailer valued at $35, 000; (9) the portion of Stepidy's Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) account accumulated during the marriage valued at $32, 568.47; (10) the marital home with a net value of $22, 303; and (11) household items valued at $2, 500. Based on these findings, the chancellor concluded the total value of the marital estate amounted to $154, 996.47.

         ¶4. After analyzing the Ferguson[1] factors, the chancellor determined that each party was entitled to fifty percent (or $77, 498.24) of the marital assets. The chancellor awarded Stepidy the following marital assets: (1) her PERS account; (2) the marital home and all equity in the marital home; (3) the household items; (4) the 2005 Suzuki; and (5) the 2002 Corvette. The chancellor awarded Rodney all other marital assets. This distribution amounted to an award of $68, 996.47 in marital assets to Stepidy and $86, 000 in marital assets to Rodney. To achieve an even split of the marital assets, the chancellor ordered Rodney to pay Stepidy $8, 501.76. Aggrieved by the chancellor's judgment, Rodney appeals. The sole issue he raises on appeal is whether the chancellor erroneously valued three of the parties' marital assets.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. Rodney challenges the chancellor's valuation of the 2006 Volvo truck (VIN ending in 3635) at $10, 000; the 2000 Freightliner conventional trailer at $8, 500; and the 2007 Transcraft trailer at $12, 000. During the hearing, Rodney testified that the truck and two trailers at issue lacked monetary value because they either had not been driven or had not been operable for the past three to five years. Rodney contends that the chancellor erred by failing to take into account his testimony regarding the lack of monetary value of these marital assets and that this alleged error resulted in an inequitable distribution of the marital estate.

         ¶6. "This Court applies a limited standard of review to a chancellor's division and distribution of marital property. We will affirm the chancellor's distribution of marital assets as long as it is supported by substantial credible evidence." Baker v. Baker, 250 So.3d 502, 505 (ΒΆ6) (Miss. Ct. App. 2018) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, when supported by substantial evidence, appellate courts will not disturb a chancellor's judgment unless the chancellor abused his discretion, was manifestly wrong or clearly erroneous, or applied an erroneous ...


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