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COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: Judges Benton, Willis and Clements
DOMINIC R. MEDURE
MEMORANDUM OPINION* BY
v. Record No. 1597-01-3 JUDGE JERE M. H. WILLIS, JR.
FEBRUARY 19, 2002
CLAUDIA C. MEDURE
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF LYNCHBURG
Richard S. Miller, Judge Designate
(Frank West Morrison; Leslie S. Phillips;
Phillips, Morrison & Johnson, on briefs), for
appellant. Appellant submitting on briefs.
(John P. Grove; Frank K. Friedman; R. Lucas
Hobbs; Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove, P.L.C., on
brief), for appellee. Appellee submitting on
On appeal, Dominic Medure initially contended that the trial
court erred: (1) in allowing Claudia Medure to litigate the issue
of a $10,000 loan repayment because under the principle of res
judicata, neither party to a final decree of divorce that divides
the marital assets is entitled to have the court revisit that
issue; and (2) in ordering Mr. Medure to remove Mrs. Medure's name
from the marital credit card accounts. He has withdrawn the
second issue. For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment
of the trial court.
By a letter dated January 13, 1998, Mr. Medure requested that
Mrs. Medure authorize a $10,000 loan to him from a marital account
held at Wheat First Securities to enable him to cover the payroll
at his company, Power Products. Mr. Medure's attorney assured
Mrs. Medure's attorney that the loan would be repaid. Mrs. Medure
approved the loan. The parties' divorce suit was then pending.
On June 11, 1998, the trial court granted the parties a final
decree of divorce. The final decree set forth a partial equitable
division of the parties' marital assets and debts and referred
division of other marital assets and any liens thereon to
arbitration. The decree provided:
[Dominic R. Medure] is awarded $151,914.12
or two-thirds and [Claudia C. Medure]
$75,843.13 or one-third of the Wheat Money
Market Account . . . and any increase in
value of said account shall be shared by the
parties on the same two-thirds/one-third
Three years later, Mr. Medure had not repaid the $10,000
loan to the Wheat First Securities account. Mrs. Medure
contended before the trial court that the loan balance was an
asset that should be divided between her and Mr. Medure on the
basis of the Wheat First Securities account division. The trial
court agreed and ordered Mr. Medure to pay Mrs. Medure
$3,333.33. That ruling was error.
Rule 1:1, a mandatory rule, states "[a]ll
final judgments, orders, and decrees,
irrespective of terms of court, shall remain
under the control of the trial court and
subject to be modified, vacated, or
suspended for twenty-one days after the date
of entry, and no longer." (Emphasis added).
"At the expiration of that 21-day period,
the trial court loses jurisdiction to
disturb a final judgment, order, or decree
except for the limited authority conferred
by Code 8.01-428."
Bogart v. Bogart, 21 Va. App. 280, 290, 464 S.E.2d 157, 161-62
(1995) (citations omitted).
Mr. Medure's indebtedness was to the Wheat First Securities
account. It was an asset of the account when the value of the
account was determined. That value was divided by the June 11,
1998 final decree of divorce. That determination and
distribution became final between the parties.
Mrs. Medure argues that Mr. Medure's indebtedness to the
account constituted an "increase in value" of the account. We
disagree. The term "increase in value" contemplated an increase
subsequent to the $227,757.31 appraisal set forth in the decree.
Whatever value Mr. Medure's indebtedness may have represented
was not a future increase, but was a value in existence and thus
an element taken into account at the time the account was
appraised and divided. That appraisal, having become final,
could not be reopened and recalculated. The record does not
establish that an error covered by Code 8.01-428 exists.
The judgment of the trial court is reversed.
* Pursuant to Code 17.1-413, this opinion is not
designated for publication.
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