CHARLES H. GRINER JR. APPELLANT
MELANIE GRINER APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 04/02/2018
COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON. JOHNNY LEE WILLIAMSJUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: S. CHRISTOPHER FARRIS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: RICHARD ANTHONY FILCE ERIK M. LOWREY
J. WILSON, P.J., McDONALD AND McCARTY, JJ.
Melanie and Charles "Chip" Griner Jr. were granted
an irreconcilable-differences divorce in Marion County.
During their marriage the couple had one daughter and one
son. There was a mutual decision by Melanie and Chip that
Melanie would stay home and devote her full time and energy
to taking care of the children while Chip would work and
provide for the family financially.
During the divorce proceedings the couple provided written
consent to the chancery court to decide alimony, equitable
distribution of the marital estate, and equitable division of
the parties' debts.
In light of Chip's substantial separate estate-valued at
over $7, 000, 000-the chancery court awarded Melanie $3, 000
a month in periodic alimony, $480, 000 in lump-sum alimony
with the option to pay in monthly installments of $4, 800
over ten years, and seventy percent of the marital estate.
Chip was assigned one-hundred percent of the marital debts
and ordered to maintain health insurance for Melanie.
Upon Melanie's and Chip's separate motions, the
chancery court amended its prior order to detail the marital
estate as including:
(1) The marital home and its surrounding land valued at $762,
(2) Chip's twenty-five percent interest in the Florida
condominium valued at $231, 250;
(3) the AG Edwards IRA, Griner Drilling Services 401(k), AG
Edwards Investment account;
(4) forty-four shares of the Citizens Bank Corporation valued
at $2, 860; and
(5) 6, 505 shares of the First Federal Bank Corporation
valued at $227, 675.
Chip subsequently filed a notice of appeal. On appeal this
Court found a calculation error by the chancery court in its
valuation of the real property. Griner v. Griner, 235
So.3d 177, 186 (¶16) (Miss. Ct. App. 2017).
Additionally, we held that while the chancery court was
within its authority to order Chip to maintain a
life-insurance policy with Melanie as the beneficiary, we
found the amount-$1, 000, 000-to be unreasonable and
excessive. Id. at 188 (¶29). We also found that
the final judgment contained a scrivener's error making
it unclear as to how long Chip was to maintain Melanie's
health insurance. Id. at (¶27). In one part of
the order Chip was to maintain the insurance for eighteen
years, and another part of the order required Chip to
maintain the insurance for eighteen months, so we remanded
for clarification. Id.
When we remanded this case back to the chancery court we
assessed all costs of the appeal to Melanie. Chip filed a
motion for recovery of the appellate costs, which was denied
by the chancery court.
On remand, the chancery court revised the equitable division
and awarded Melanie seventy percent of the corrected value of
the marital estate. To compensate for the decrease in the
equitable division award, the chancery court increased
Melanie's lump-sum alimony award to $700, 000. The court
also clarified that Chip was to provide health-insurance
coverage for Melanie until she reaches sixty-five years of
age. The chancery court further ordered Chip to maintain a
life-insurance policy in the amount of $700, 000, naming
Melanie as the beneficiary.
Great deference is given to a chancery court's decree of
divorce. Ferguson v. Ferguson, 639 So.2d
921, 930 (Miss. 1994). This Court will not reverse such a
decree unless it is manifestly wrong as to law or fact.
Appellate costs must be paid from the first
For his first assignment of error, Chip argues that the
chancery court should have executed this Court's mandate
assessing all appellate costs to Melanie. As a matter of law
this is correct.
In our 2017 opinion we ordered Melanie to pay all costs of
the appeal, and the mandate echoed this language.
Griner, 235 So.3d at 190 (¶35) ("All costs
of this appeal are assessed to the appellee."). A party
who disagrees with an assessment of costs issued in an
opinion may seek relief through a motion for rehearing under
Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 40. See
M.R.A.P. 36(d) ("a party seeking relief may file a
motion for rehearing under Rule 40"). If the mandate
issues with a requirement to pay costs, ...