Dispositions Other Than By Published Opinion | Feb. 23, 2022

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Division I

119,334        –    In Re the Marriage of Aileen Marie Habben, Petitioner/Appellant, v. Darrell Joe Habben, Respondent/Appellee.  Appeal from the District Court of Noble County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Jennifer A. Brock, Trial Judge.  In this action for dissolution of marriage, the trial court found certain property the separate property of Husband, valued and divided marital property between the parties, denied support alimony to Wife, denied attorney fees in favor of Wife, and declined to find Husband in indirect contempt of court.  We affirm.  Opinion by GOREE, J.; BELL, P.J., and SWINTON, J., (sitting by designation) concur. Feb. 22, 2022

Division II

Division III

118,887                 –        In Re the Marriage of: Jayden Harshad Patel, Petitioner/Appellant, v. Nicole Marie Patel, Respondent/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Jefferson Sellers, Trial Judge. This appeal stems from a non‑jury trial where the trial court heard evidence concerning the modification of the divorce decree where the main issues involved property division, including the valuation and division of certain business assets.  Petitoner/Appellant, Jayed Harshad Patel (“Husband”), appeals the Order from the trial court that modified the parties’ Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.  The Decree was presented to the trial court by Husband and approved during May, 2016.  Respondent/Appellee, Nicole Marie Patel, now Castellese (“Wife”), filed a Motion to Vacate the Decree, pursuant to 12 O.S. § 1031.1, that was subsequently sustained, in part, by agreement.  After a protracted trial, Husband asserts three propositions of error in this appeal: i.e., (a) that the trial court erred in its order to divide a portion of certain income received by Husband after the valuation date that was chosen by the parties for the division of marital assets, up to the post‑trial date of May, 2020 ‑ the date on which the trial court entered its Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law; (b) that the trial court erred in finding Husband guilty of contempt for contributing funds to a charity in violation of a court order; and (c) that the trial court erred in failing to reduce the value of the marital estate in light of expected expenses and potential recoveries stemming from various lawsuits.  We find that the award of a portion of income to Wife up to the time of trial did not constitute error.  On the other hand, we find that the award of a portion of income to Wife after trial until May, 2020, did constitute error.  We also find that the contempt arguments are moot and, therefore, express no opinion regarding the trial court’s orders concerning the contempt action.  We further find that the trial court’s orders regarding any prospective proceeds from any judgments or liabilities stemming from various lawsuits did not constitute an abuse of discretion.  Consequently, we AFFIRM IN PART, REVERSE IN PART AND REMAND the case to the trial court for the sole and limited purpose of modifying the amount of the overall judgment in favor of Wife that is stated on page 30,  1, of the trial court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (stated to be in the amount of $6,900,611.36), based on the holdings herein. Opinion by PRINCE, P.J.; MITCHELL, V.C.J., and Swinton, J., concur. Feb. 17, 2022

Division IV

119,579 – In the Matter of the Guardianship of S.S., a minor child:  Tatyana Sturdy, Appellant, v. Jerry Sturdy and Mary Katherine Sturdy, Appellees.  Appeal from the District Court of Haskell County, Hon. Brian Henderson, Trial Judge.  Tatyana Sturdy (Mother) appeals from the trial court’s order awarding grandparental visitation over her objection to Jerry Sturdy and Mary Katherine Sturdy (Grandparents).  We reverse because the potential harm found by the court pursuant to 43 O.S. Supp. 2016 § 109.4(A)(1)(b) is not harm that results from Mother’s denial of visitation to Grandparents.  Because harm or potential harm to the child has not been shown in the first instance, we conclude the trial court abused its discretion in granting visitation rights to Grandparents over Mother’s objection.  REVERSED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by BARNES, P.J.; HIXON, J., concurs, and FISCHER, C.J., dissents. Feb. 18, 2022

118980 – Jean Norris a/k/a Jeannie Norris, Carol Mikles and Kenneth Hopcus, Plaintiffs/Appellees, vs. Steven Pool, Defendant/Appellant, and Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Defendant.  Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Hon. Rebecca B. Nightingale, Trial Judge.  Plaintiffs, Jean Norris, Carol Mikles and Kenneth Hopcus, are surviving cousins of Sandra J. Pool, deceased (Sandra).  Plaintiffs filed this declaratory judgment action against Sandra’s son, Defendant Steven Pool (Pool), and Stifel Nicolaus & Company, seeking a determination that Plaintiffs were the designated beneficiaries of Sandra’s individual retirement account (IRA).  Plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment, and Pool filed a counter-motion.  The district court determined that Plaintiffs were the sole beneficiaries of the IRA.  Pool argued that Sandra timely and effectively revoked the original designation of her three cousins as IRA beneficiaries and named him sole beneficiary.  It was undisputed that Sandra signed a change of beneficiary form on November 24, 2017, prior to her death.  It was undisputed that Stifel received the change form on December 5, 2017, three days after Sandra’s death.  Pool cited no authority to support the argument that the act of mailing the change form must be considered the equivalent of filing the form.  The record does not support the claim that Sandra filed the form with Stifel during her lifetime as required by the terms of the Stifel IRA agreement.  Nor does it support a claim that Pool was a beneficiary “as of the date of [Sandra’s] death” as required by the applicable federal law.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV by FISCHER, C.J.; BARNES, P.J., and HIXON, J., concur. – Feb. 16, 2022