An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No. CT-000776-01 Jerry Stokes, Judge.
This is the second appeal of a divorce case. In the first appeal, this Court determined that the trial court erred in the valuation and distribution of the parties' marital residence, and concluded that the equity in the marital residence should be divided equally between the parties. The cause was remanded to the trial court to consider a method of payment. Before the matter was considered by the trial court on remand, the parties agreed to sell the property. After the property was sold, they divided the proceeds equally. The wife then filed a petition in the trial court disputing the amount she received. She also sought post-judgment interest from the date of the final divorce decree. The trial court denied the wife's petition. The wife now appeals for a second time. We affirm.
Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court is Affirmed.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holly M. Kirby, Judge
Holly M. Kirby, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Alan E. Highers, J., and David R. Farmer, J., joined.
This is the second appeal of a divorce case between Plaintiff/Appellee Duke Bowers Clement ("Mr. Clement") and Defendant/Appellant Janet Leigh Traylor Clement ("Ms. Clement"). The underlying procedural history and underlying facts of this dispute are set forth in detail in our prior Opinion. See Clement v. Clement, No. W2003-02388-COA-R3-CV, 2004 WL 3396472 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2004). The issues presented in this second appeal are narrow, concerning only the interpretation of this Court's Opinion in the first appeal as to the valuation and division of the equity in the parties' marital residence located on River Tide Cove in Memphis, Tennessee ("River Tide Cove property").
At the trial of the divorce proceedings, the parties disagreed on the fair market value of the River Tide Cove property. They introduced into evidence competing appraisals prepared by two licensed and certified appraisers. Mr. Clement's appraiser estimated the value of the house and lot to be $1,453,076. Ms. Clement's appraiser estimated the value of the house and lot to be $2,421,678. In the final divorce decree entered on September 2, 2003, the trial court made no explicit findings on the credibility of the appraisers, but appeared to rely on the values provided in Mr. Clement's Rule 14(c) affidavit, and to adopt Mr. Clement's arguments on valuation. The trial court ultimately awarded Ms. Clement approximately $450,000 in marital assets and a second residence purchased by her during the initial divorce proceedings. Mr. Clement was awarded the marital residence on River Tide Cove, and the remaining assets listed in his Rule 14(c) affidavit.
In the first appeal, Ms. Clement contended that the trial court erred in several respects, including its division of the marital property and its valuation of the River Tide Cove property. Clement, 2004 WL 3396472, at *4. After considering the factors set forth in section 36-4-121(c) of the Tennessee Code Annotated, the appellate court concluded that, overall, Ms. Clement should have received a greater share of the marital estate than was awarded to her by the trial court. Id. at *6-7. Regarding the valuation of the home and lot, it held that the trial court erred in implicitly adopting the appraisal by Mr. Clement's appraiser, in light of the appraiser's erroneous calculation of the size of the lot and problems with the "comparable properties" he utilized. Id. at *9-10. The appellate court found that the evidence preponderated in favor of the appraisal value offered by Ms. Clement's appraiser, $2,421,678. Id. at *10. In light of the factors set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-4-121(c), the appellate court concluded "that the equity in the marital residence should be distributed equally between the parties." Id. at *10. Accordingly, the cause was remanded to the trial court to, among other things, "consider a method of payment, such as installment payments or the sale of the house and division of the proceeds." Id.
The conclusion of the original appellate Opinion, Part VI, included a table outlining the division of marital property. The table reflected a near-equal distribution of the parties' overall marital estate. Id. at *22. A portion of the table entitled "Properties at issue in this appeal, to be divided equally between the parties" indicated that, as to the River Tide Cove property, each party would receive $927,839; this figure represented half of the equity in the house and lot, based on the outstanding mortgage at the time of the divorce trial and the appraisal value offered by Ms. Clement's appraiser. Id. The instructions to the trial court on remand were then reiterated:
We modify, as reflected in the above table, the trial court's order concerning the division of property, to give Ms. Clement and Mr. Clement equal interests in the equity in the River Tide Cove house in the amount of $927,839 each. . . . In view of the fact that this division of property entails the expenditure of a large amount of cash by Mr. Clement, we remand this case to the trial court for the ...