Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hoverson v. Hoverson

Supreme Court of North Dakota

February 16, 2017

Carl Michael Hoverson, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Sandra Morten Hoverson, Defendant and Appellant

         Appeal from the District Court of Grand Forks County, Northeast Central Judicial District, the Honorable Jon J. Jensen, Judge. AFFIRMED.

          Scott D. Jensen, for plaintiff and appellee.

          Robert J. Schultz, for defendant and appellant.

          Kapsner, Justice.

         [¶ 1] Sandra Hoverson appeals from a district court order resolving a parenting time dispute. Sandra Hoverson argues the district court improperly modified parenting time without a formal motion filed by either party. We conclude the district court's order did not modify the amended judgment. We affirm the order.

         I

         [¶ 2] Carl and Sandra Hoverson were married in 2004 and have one child together born in 2005. The parties were divorced May 1, 2012. The divorce judgment awarded Sandra Hoverson primary residential responsibility and awarded parenting time to Carl Hoverson. Sandra Hoverson appealed, and Carl Hoverson cross-appealed the divorce judgment. Specifically, the parties raised issues about the property distribution, spousal support, child support, and an award of attorney fees to Sandra Hoverson. The divorce judgment was affirmed in Hoverson v. Hoverson, 2013 ND 48, 828 N.W.2d 510. The case was initially assigned to Judge Clapp, who authored the divorce judgment and the subsequent amended judgment, but was ultimately assigned to Judge Jensen after two district court judges retired.

         [¶ 3] The parties struggled with disagreements regarding Carl Hoverson's parenting time. Carl Hoverson moved the district court for enforcement of parenting time on June 11, 2013. He argued alternatively for appointment of a parenting coordinator to establish an appropriate parenting time schedule consistent with the judgment. Sandra Hoverson moved to limit Carl Hoverson's parenting time. The district court held a hearing on both motions April 3rd and 4th, 2014. The district court found Sandra Hoverson engaged in behavior that directly and intentionally interfered with Carl Hoverson's parenting time. The district court appointed a parenting coordinator and ordered a modification of the judgment to include the following language:

7. Disruption of Parenting Time. Unless requested by the other party or in an emergency, neither party shall assert themselves into a parental role during the other party's parenting time.

         The amended judgment also stated, "In the event of a dispute regarding a major decision, the Parenting Coordinator shall make the decision." The district court ordered the judgment to reflect that the parenting coordinator shall be utilized to resolve any disputes regarding parenting time. The amended judgment provided a structure for the creation of a parenting time schedule and stated, "[r]eview and confirmation of a schedule by the Parenting Coordinator shall be completed without input from Sandra." Sandra Hoverson appealed, and this Court affirmed the amended judgment in Hoverson v. Hoverson, 2015 ND 38, 859 N.W.2d 390.

         [¶ 4] On February 5, 2016, the parties' parenting coordinator contacted the district court and requested clarification of some terms of the judgment regarding parenting time. The district court held a telephonic hearing on March 17, 2016. At the close of the hearing, the district court told the parties its intent to issue an order and stated, "[i]f anybody believes that I've gone beyond simply interpreting [the judgment], let me know, and we'll discuss it[.]" After the hearing, the district court issued an order entitled "Order Resolving Parenting Time Dispute." The order identified the issues as follows:

Whether or not the term "vacation" as used in paragraph 3-5 requires the parties to demonstrate that they are traveling outside the immediate area or precludes the parties from participating in work activities during the "vacation, " and what role the Parenting Coordinator has in making sure the parties are in compliance with... being on "vacation"; and In selecting the three weeks of uninterrupted "vacation" parenting time provided in paragraph [3]-5 whether or not Carl can select weeks during the summer and whether or not Sandra can select periods of time that would eliminate parenting time identified by Carl in his parenting time schedules.

         In its order, the district court interpreted the term "vacation" to have no restrictions. Specifically, the order stated, "[i]n the absence of any limiting language within paragraph 3-5 a reasonable interpretation is to not require any specific criteria for exercising the 'vacation' time provided to the parties in paragraph 3-5." The district court noted, "Judge Clapp did not put any restrictions on what time of year the parties could exercise the three weeks of uninterrupted parenting time provided in paragraph 3-5[.]" The district court concluded that, "[r]eading additional restrictions into paragraph 3-5 would be an impermissible modification of the parenting time schedule. Therefore, no restrictions shall be placed on Carl's selection of the three weeks of uninterrupted parenting time[.]" The district court also ordered Sandra Hoverson "shall not override or eliminate any parenting time identified as Carl's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.