FROM THE CROSS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 19-DR-12-81-4]
HONORABLE KATHLEEN BELL, JUDGE
IN PART; REVERSED IN PART; AND REMANDED IN PART
& Cook, PLC, by: Paul N. Ford, for appellant.
D. Bridgforth, P.A., by: John D. Bridgforth, for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge
case is a companion case to Sherman v. Boeckmann,
2016 Ark.App. 567, also handed down today. These two appeals
arise out of contentious and protracted divorce litigation
between appellant Jeannie Sherman and appellee Raymond
Boeckmann. In this appeal, Sherman argues that the circuit
court erred in its rulings concerning her postdecree use of
money awarded to her in the decree. We affirm in part,
reverse in part, and remand in part.
circuit court entered its decree granting a divorce and
dividing the marital property on 30 September 2013. Each
party was awarded one-half of the stock in four family
business corporations the parties agreed are marital
property: B and L Properties, Inc. (B&L); L and K
Properties, Inc. (L&K); Boeckmann and Sons, Inc. (Sons
Inc.); and Logan Centers, Inc. (Logan or Logan Center). Prior
to the litigation, Boeckmann owned 100 percent of the stock
in Sons Inc; Sherman owned 100 percent of the stock in Logan
Center; and each party owned 50 percent of the stock in
L&K and B&L. The court also equally divided
approximately sixteen banking accounts, including some owned
by the parties' corporations. The court's decree was
later amended to incorporate exhibits showing the total
account balances of approximately $3.6 million as of the
first day of trial. The two Logan Center accounts had a
combined balance of $1.6 million.
October 2013, Boeckmann filed a verified petition for
contempt citation alleging Sherman had violated the mutual
restraining order and the temporary order by withdrawing
approximately $1.1 million from the Logan Center account for
her personal use. Among the withdrawals was one for
approximately $560, 000 paid to the Internal Revenue Service,
a withdrawal of $126, 000 for payment of state taxes, and
another withdrawal of $350, 000 to Sherman herself. Boeckmann
sought a distribution of a like amount to himself, as well as
one-half of the increase in value of an investment account
solely in Sherman's name and valued at over $1 million.
Sherman responded to the petition, asserting that the circuit
court was without jurisdiction to control the actions of
Logan Center because it was a separate entity and not a party
to the action.
November 2013, Boeckmann filed another petition for contempt
citation contending that Sherman had failed to comply with
the court's order amending the decree that required her
to account for certain funds withdrawn from the Logan Center
accounts and to pay Boeckmann approximately $94, 000 from the
Logan Center accounts and her personal funds.
court held a hearing on November 25 addressing predecree
petitions. The court also addressed some issues raised in
Boeckmann's postdecree petitions.
filed yet another petition for contempt on December 31,
contending that Sherman had removed another $490, 000 from
Logan Center accounts in Wynne banks and used the funds to
purchase a certificate of deposit. Sherman was also alleged
to have opened other accounts on behalf of Logan Center at a
Batesville bank to which Boeckmann did not have access. It
was also claimed that Sherman withdrew an additional $633,
000 from the Logan Center accounts for her own personal use
or to place in another account. Boeckmann sought an
accounting and access to any new Logan Center accounts.
responded to this petition, again asserting that the court
lacked jurisdiction to control Logan Center's activities,
including limiting her salary from the corporation; that the
court did not divide Logan Center's cash or other assets;
and that Boeckmann's remedy was to bring a shareholder
action instead of a contempt action in the divorce case.
January 2014, Boeckmann filed still another contempt petition
that overlapped with some of the allegations contained in the
December 31 petition. There was an allegation that Sherman
had removed approximately $638, 000 from a marital investment
account and transferred it to a checking account in her sole
name on 10 December 2013. Another allegation was that Sherman
had increased her salary to $18, 000 per month, instead of
the $12, 000 amount that the court had set in a temporary
order during the pendency of the divorce.
motion to dismiss the January 2014 petition, Sherman argued
that the temporary order and the ex parte restraining order
prohibiting either party from disposing of any property were
superseded by entry of the divorce decree, which did not
contain such an injunction. She further argued that she
should not be held in contempt for transferring money from
one Logan Center account at one bank to a new Logan Center
account at a different bank. Responding to Boeckmann's
allegations concerning her payment of salary to herself,
Sherman argued that the court lacked authority to control the
day-to-day activities of Logan Center and that, upon entry of
the decree, there was no further order limiting expenses to
the ordinary ...