ALEXANDRA MEINERS, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Theodore Meiners, Appellant (Plaintiff),
COLLEEN M. MEINERS, Appellee (Defendant).
from the District Court of Teton County The Honorable Timothy
C. Day, Judge
Representing Appellant: Matthew E. Turner of Mullikin, Larson
& Swift LLC, Jackson, WY.
Representing Appellee: James K. Lubing and Nathan D. Rectanus
of Lubing Law Group, LLC, Jackson, WY. Argument by Mr.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
This appeal arises out of an action by Alexandra Meiners, as
personal representative of the Estate of Theodore Meiners, to
enforce a divorce settlement agreement entered into between
Theodore Meiners and his former wife Colleen Meiners. The
district court granted summary judgment to Alexandra Meiners
on some claims and to Colleen Meiners on other claims. After
the district court certified its ruling as final pursuant to
W.R.C.P. 54(b), Alexandra Meiners appealed the summary
judgment ruling to this Court. We find the district
court's summary judgment order was not properly certified
as a final appealable order pursuant to W.R.C.P. 54(b) and
dismiss Alexandra Meiners' appeal with directions on
We restate the dispositive issue on appeal as:
Whether the district court erred in certifying its summary
judgment ruling as a final order pursuant to Rule 54(b) of
the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
Theodore (Theo) Meiners and Colleen Meiners (collectively
"the Meiners") married in 1989. They each had one
child from prior relationships, and they had one child
together who was born in 1989. In 2001, the Meiners
separated, and in 2002 they executed a Child Custody and
Property Settlement Agreement (Divorce Agreement). The
Divorce Agreement gave Colleen Meiners primary custody of the
couple's child and Theo Meiners reasonable visitation.
Theo Meiners was to pay child support in the amount of
$375.00 per month until the child reached the age of majority
in April 2007. The agreement specified that Theo Meiners
would be entitled to all his personal property being stored
in the garage of the couple's residence and that he would
remove that property by January 23, 2002. With respect to the
couple's real property, which consisted only of their
residence, the Divorce Agreement provided:
The parties real property located at 25 Aspen Drive will be
sold to Wife under the following terms and conditions:
a. The purchase price shall be one half the fair market value
as determined by an independent appraiser agreed to by the
parties, which has been determined to be $285, 000.00, less
six percent (6%) sales commission, and less all outstanding
taxes, mortgages and liens on the property;
b. Wife shall pay to Husband one half the net equity in the
property as of August 30, 2001. Payment shall be due and
payable when the property is sold or upon the emancipation of
the parties' minor son, [AM].
c. There shall be no monthly payments, however the purchase
price shall accrue interest at the rate of six percent (6%)
simple interest per annum.
d. Wife shall receive as a credit toward the purchase price
the sum of $2, 460.00 which represents back child support
owed by Husband as of August 30, 2001.
e. Husband shall execute all documents necessary to effect a
transfer of title and ownership to Wife, as her sole and
separate property, as may be required by any governmental
entity, financial institution, or lender;
f. Wife shall execute all documents necessary to protect
Husband's security interest in the real property located
at 25 Aspen Drive.
After executing the Divorce Agreement, the Meiners had second
thoughts about divorcing and did not file the Divorce
Agreement in district court, though a divorce complaint had
already been filed with the court. Between 2001 and 2007,
Theo Meiners resided part of the year in Alaska, where he had
a heli-skiing business, and part of the year in Jackson with
Colleen Meiners. In 2007, the district court notified the
Meiners that their divorce complaint would be dismissed for
lack of prosecution if no action was taken on the matter, and
the Meiners then decided to proceed with their divorce. On
July 20, 2007, the Divorce Agreement was filed with the
court, and on that same day, the district court entered a
Decree of Divorce.
After the divorce decree was entered in 2007, the Meiners
continued to have a good relationship and live as they had
prior to their divorce, with Theo Meiners residing part of
the year in Alaska and part of the year in Jackson with
Colleen Meiners. In 2010, the Meiners refinanced the
residence at 25 Aspen Drive, executing the necessary
documents as husband and wife. Neither ...