FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04DR-15-48]
HONORABLE DOUG SCHRANTZ, JUDGE.
Hobson, pro se appellant.
Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, McClure & Thompson, P.A., by:
Sara L. Waddoups, for appellee.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, JUDGE.
Montie Hobson appeals the Benton County Circuit Court's
denial of her motion for a new trial. She argues on appeal
that the court erred by: (1) failing to rule on her breach of
contract action against appellee, (2) failing to make a
finding that appellee breached the contract and that
appellant suffered damages,  and (3) ruling that
appellee's AEP System Retirement Savings Plan was not
included in Paragraph 9 of the parties' mediation
agreement. We must dismiss this appeal for lack of a final
parties were divorced on September 17, 2015. A Memorandum of
Understanding was incorporated into the divorce decree. It
stated that George would "refinance the indebtedness on
the [martial home] and hold Montie harmless from any
liability owed thereon within 60 days of the Divorce."
filed a counterclaim against appellee on November 28, 2016,
for contempt-custody and visitation, breach of contract and
contempt-refinance debt on home, and child support. Appellee
filed an answer on December 2, 2016, denying the material
allegations of the counterclaim. Appellant filed an amended
counterclaim on May 26, 2017, incorporating the allegations
in the original counterclaim and adding a breach of
contract-retirement action. Appellee filed an answer to the
amended counterclaim on May 31, 2017. A hearing took place on
July 13, 2017. The court entered an order on August 3, 2017,
finding that appellee was not in contempt. The court also
found that appellee's AEP System Retirement Savings Plan
was not included in Paragraph 9 of the mediation agreement of
the parties for which appellant was entitled to 53 percent.
filed a motion for new trial on August 13, 2017, and it was
deemed denied by operation of law after thirty days.
Appellant filed a notice of appeal and designation of record
on October 9, 2017. Paragraph 4 stated the following:
Defendant is not abandoning her right to file an independent
action for Relief from the Orders entered August 3, 2017 on
the basis of misrepresentation and/or fraud; Defendant is not
abandoning any matter related to the AEP retirement; and
Defendant is not abandoning any matter related to the
refinance of the debt on the marital home. Defendant is
abandoning unresolved pending claims made in the Counterclaim
that are not mentioned in this Notice of Appeal.
filed an objection to appellant's notice of appeal and
designation of record on November 1, 2017, contending that
appellant attempted to appeal a non-final order and to
preserve a right to independent actions on issues that were
either litigated in this case or should have been litigated.
Appellee filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of
finality on February 28, 2018, which was denied on March 7,
Rule of Appellate Procedure-Civil 2(a)(1) provides that an
appeal may be taken only from a final judgment or decree
entered by the circuit court. Arkansas Rule of Civil
Procedure 54(b) provides that when more than one claim for
relief is presented in an action or when multiple parties are
involved, an order that adjudicates fewer than all the claims
or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties
is not a final, appealable order. Rule 54(b) allows a trial
court, when it finds no just reason for delaying an appeal,
to direct entry of a final judgment as to fewer than all the
claims or parties by executing a certification of final
judgment as it appears in Rule 54(b)(1). However, absent this
required certification, any judgment, order, or other form of
decision that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the
rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall
not terminate the action.
attempts to appeal from the court's denial of her motion
for a new trial in which she contends that the court failed
to address a specific complaint she made against appellee.
Although Rule 2(a)(3) provides that appeals may be taken from
orders refusing a new trial, the rule contemplates an appeal
from an order granting or refusing a new trial in cases in
which all issues have been presented and decided. It can have
no application in cases involving multiple issues or claims
in which some, but not all, are decided. This finality
issue could have been resolved if appellant had sought a Rule
54(b) certification or had not tried to preserve a right to
bring further actions in her notice of appeal. We dismiss due
to lack of a final order.
has moved this court to award him attorney's fees and
costs for having to prepare a supplemental abstract and
addendum. The supplemental material was not needed to
determine whether we ...