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HARTSFIELD v. LESCHER

September 20, 1989

LARRY HARTSFIELD, Trustee of the GEORGE WRIGHT LESCHER TRUST, PLAINTIFF
v.
ANN MADISON JEFFORDS LESCHER, a/k/a ANN JEFFORDS LESCHER, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WOODS

HENRY WOODS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 On September 2, 1988, Larry Hartsfield ("Trustee"), Trustee of the George Wright Lescher Trust ("Trust"), filed a pro se complaint in the Cross County, Arkansas Chancery Court seeking a declaration that Ann Madison Jeffords Lescher ("Ms. Lescher"), a/k/a Ann Jeffords Lescher, had no interest in real property located in Cross County, Arkansas and held in trust by the Trustee for the benefit of Ms. Lescher's ex-husband, George Hamilton Lescher, *fn1" and his twin brother, John Perry Lescher. *fn2" Ms. Lescher later removed the case to federal court.

 On January 19, 1989, the Trustee filed the pending motion for summary judgment. His rather short motion, pared to its essence, was predicated upon two grounds. First, he maintained that on August 18, 1988, Mr. Lescher disclaimed any interest in the Trust. Alternatively, he alleged that the Trust contained a spendthrift provision which precluded a creditor, who he alleged Ms. Lescher was, from obtaining any part of Mr. Lescher's interest in the Trust.

 On February 15, 1989, Ms. Lescher filed a response to the Trustee's motion. She maintained in her response that the reasons advanced by the Trustee were without merit:

 
First, [Mr. Lescher's] attempted "disclaimer" of his interest in the trust is void in that it constitutes a fraudulent transfer under Arkansas law. Second, the spendthrift provision of the trust is no longer effective as to the creditors of [Mr. Lescher]. It was voided when he extended his interest in the trust and essentially created a new trust for his own benefit.

 Ms. Lescher's Memorandum ("Memorandum") at 9. In connection with her response, Ms. Lescher also submitted the pending cross-motion for summary judgment. She argued that given certain allegedly undisputed facts, her ex-husband's interest in the Trust is subject to the judgment she obtained against him in a Tennessee state court.

 The Court has thoroughly reviewed the motions submitted by the parties. That review persuades the Court to make the following disposition of these motions.

 SUMMARY JUDGMENT

 "A motion for summary judgment should be granted if, in viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, 'there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and if the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" Nelson v. City of McGehee, 876 F.2d 56, 57 (8th Cir. 1989) (citation omitted). See also Fed.R.Civ. P. 56. The non-moving party, in opposing the motion, must be given the benefit of all favorable factual inferences. See Holloway v. Lockhart, 813 F.2d 874, 878 (8th Cir. 1987). When a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided for by Rule 56, the non-moving party may not "'rest upon the mere allegations or denials of [its] pleadings, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Nelson v. City of McGehee, 876 F.2d at 57 (citation omitted). "Only disputes over facts that may affect the outcome of the lawsuit under the governing substantive law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Id. (citation omitted).

 FACTS

 Both parties have submitted statements of material facts as required by Local Rule 29. They acknowledge in these submissions that the material facts are not in dispute. Consequently, the Court takes the following facts from their submissions:

 1. On November 5, 1973, Mr. and Ms. Lescher were granted an absolute divorce by the Davidson County, Tennessee Circuit Court. See Memorandum at 3. The decree granting their divorce directed Mr. Lescher to pay child support to his ex-wife for the benefit of their four children, all of whom have now reached the age of majority. See Memorandum at 3. In addition, the decree contained the following provision:

 
It is further ORDERED by the Court that 40% of any and all sums of money coming into [Mr. Lescher's] hands from any source whatsoever as far as any type of inheritance expectancy to certain real and personal property shall be for the use ...

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