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In re Marriage of Finn

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division A

December 29, 2016

In re the Marriage of Kelleen Sullivan Finn, Petitioner-Appellee, and Stephen A. Finn, Respondent-Appellant.

         City and County of Denver District Court No. 15DR30434 Honorable R. Thomas Moorhead, Judge

         MOTION FOR STAY DENIED.

          Holland & Hart LLP, Marcy G. Glenn, Denver, Colorado; Lass Moses & Ramp LLC, Steven C. Lass, Marie Avery Moses, Jeremy H. Ramp, Denver, Colorado, for Appellee.

          Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C., Diane Carlton, Ronald D. Litvak, Paula Smith, Denver, Colorado, for Appellant.

         Division A

          OPINION

          TAUBMAN JUDGE.

         ¶ 1 In this post-dissolution of marriage proceeding, Stephen A. Finn (husband) requests a stay of the trial court's orders requiring him to pay Kelleen Sullivan Finn (wife) certain sums of money and return her artwork and other personal property. We deny the motion.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 Husband and wife married on June 8, 2011, and entered into a marital agreement. Wife filed for dissolution in 2015.

         ¶ 3 In March 2016, the trial court issued a lengthy, detailed written order that directed husband to make certain payments to wife within twenty days. In addition to the husband's obligation to pay wife $20, 000 per month in maintenance for the number of months the two were married, these payments included: (1) the prorated sum of $451, 923 for a partial year of marriage, as established in the marital agreement; (2) $37, 878 for the pre-petition joint living expenses paid by wife that should have been paid by husband under the marital agreement; (3) $36, 000 for wife's post-petition living expenses; and (4) obligations under the health insurance policy requested by wife and maintained by husband. In addition, wife received a vehicle and all of her artwork and art supplies, with the exception of eight paintings identified by the court as husband's property.

         ¶ 4 Husband filed a motion for post-trial relief pursuant to C.R.C.P. 59 and 60. The trial court denied the motion, with the exception of correcting a clerical error. Husband then appealed. He also filed a motion with the trial court to stay the court's orders pursuant to C.R.C.P. 62(b) and (d), and requested approval of his supersedeas bond, both of which the court denied without explanation.

         ¶ 5 Husband now seeks a stay from this court pursuant to C.A.R. 8. Specifically, he seeks to stay the trial court's order requiring him (1) to pay wife $451, 923 as required by article 4.2 of the marital agreement; (2) to return wife's artwork; (3) to return all items of wife's personal property, except wedding gifts, and those items wife agreed were husband's separate property; (4) to pay $37, 878 in pre-petition expenses; and (5) to pay $531, 429.81 of wife's attorney fees.

         ¶ 6 The total amount of the judgment that husband seeks to stay is $1, 021, 230.81. When multiplied by 125%, as required by C.R.C.P. 121, section 1-23(3)(a), the supersedeas bond amount necessary for a stay is $1, 276, 538.51. Husband presented a redacted copy of a cashier's check in that amount and represented that his counsel will deposit the check with the court if his motion for stay is granted.

         ¶ 7 Upon consideration of both parties' pleadings concerning the motion for stay, we ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing: (1) whether the factors articulated in Romero v. City of Fountain, 307 P.3d 120, 122 (Colo.App. 2011), apply to motions seeking to stay a judgment and, in particular, a judgment that contains a nonmonetary component; (2) the precise scope of the stay sought;[1] and (3) the apparent failure in the motion for stay to assign any monetary value to the artwork and items of personal property.

         ¶ 8 Husband contends that the Romero factors do not apply to monetary judgments. Rather, he argues that he should receive a stay automatically upon posting a bond in our court. Wife, on the other hand, contends that Romero applies to the two nonmonetary orders and that Romero should apply to monetary judgments as well. Husband contends that the objects subject to the nonmonetary order must be valued, whereas wife contends that they are invaluable and thus cannot be valued.

         ¶ 9 We conclude that only three of the four Romero factors apply in this case. However, for the reasons stated below, we further conclude that husband has failed to demonstrate ...


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