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Ball v. Ball

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

August 27, 2014

TIMOTHY BALL, APPELLANT
v.
SHELIA BALL, APPELLEE

Counsel Amended September 12, 2014.

APPEAL FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT. NO. DR-11-665. HONORABLE ANNIE POWELL, HENDRICKS, JUDGE.

For Appellant: Megan Chronister Prewitt.

For Appellee: Rinda Pack Baker.

WYNNE and Brown, JJ., agree.

OPINION

KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge.

This is a domestic proceeding between appellant Timothy Ball and appellee Shelia Ball, who married in 1988 and divorced on October 23, 2012. Subsequent to their divorce, Timothy filed a motion to cite Shelia for contempt, alleging that Shelia had violated the trial court's orders. After a hearing, the trial court entered an order on October 1, 2013, finding that Shelia did not willfully violate the court's orders and was not in contempt. Timothy now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to find Shelia in contempt. We affirm.

The parties separated and Shelia filed for divorce in August 2011. After that, Shelia continued to reside in the marital home with the parties' adult daughter, Shawna. In January 2012, Shelia was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Page 93

On June 28, 2012, the trial court entered an agreed temporary order. In that order, the parties agreed that Timothy would continue to pay the mortgage on the marital home, as well as the costs of the utilities and yard work. Timothy also agreed to make Shelia's car payment and pay temporary alimony of $1600 per month. The temporary order directed Timothy not to visit the marital home except by appointment and as agreed between the parties and their respective counsel.

The October 23, 2012 divorce decree awarded Timothy the marital home and held him responsible for the mortgage. The decree ordered Timothy to pay Shelia $10,000 for her equitable interest in the home. Timothy was also ordered to pay $2500 in monthly alimony. The parties' personal property was divided in accordance with an attached exhibit. Shelia was given until November 30, 2012, to move out of the marital home, and she was ordered to leave any of Timothy's personal items in the house. The divorce decree further provided that each party was enjoined from injuring or harassing the other party.

Timothy filed a motion to cite Shelia for contempt on January 18, 2013. In Timothy's motion, he alleged that upon repossession of the home he discovered that it had been left in disarray and in disrepair. Timothy further alleged that Shelia had failed to leave many of his items of personal property awarded to him by the divorce decree. Timothy asked that Shelia be held responsible for his costs to repair the home, and also that she be ordered to replace or pay for the replacement value of his missing personal items.

At the hearing on Timothy's contempt motion, Timothy presented numerous photographs showing the condition of the house both before the parties' separation and after he reassumed possession. According to Timothy, the house was in good condition during the parties' marriage, but had been left by Shelia in a state of filth and disrepair.

Timothy gave various examples of the problems he allegedly encountered when he took possession of the house after the parties' divorce. Timothy testified that there were dog feces and urine throughout the house, some of which had been covered up by rugs. Timothy further testified that the swimming pool had not been maintained and had a tom liner. According to Timothy, the yard had not been maintained and was overgrown. He stated that the carpets were severely stained and that there was trash strewn about the house. Timothy further testified that the two refrigerators were in disrepair and that one of them had been ...


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