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Holm v. Holm

Supreme Court of North Dakota

April 25, 2017

Dianna L. Holm, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Thomas J. Holm, Defendant and Appellee

         Appeal from the District Court of Cass County, East Central Judicial District, the Honorable Steven L. Marquart, Judge.

         AFFIRMED.

          Rachel Gehrig (argued) and Jessica L. Busse (appeared), P.O. for plaintiff and appellant.

          Leslie J. Aldrich, for defendant and appellee.

          OPINION

          VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

         [¶ 1] Dianna Holm appealed from a judgment granting her a divorce from Thomas Holm and dividing their marital property. We conclude the district court's treatment as compensation of dividends received from stock purchased from Thomas Holm's employer, and the court's valuation and award of the stock, are not clearly erroneous. We affirm the judgment.

         I

         [¶ 2] The parties were divorced in June 2016 after a 24-year marriage. One of the parties' major assets was stock they purchased from Thomas Holm's employer which amounted to a ten percent ownership interest in the closely-held company. The district court found the annual stock dividends were part of Thomas Holm's compensation from the business. The court valued the stock at $25, 000, the amount the parties had paid for it, and awarded the stock to Thomas Holm. This resulted in a net property distribution to Thomas Holm of $76, 240.07 and a net property distribution to Dianna Holm of $77, 440.07. The court denied Dianna Holm's subsequent motion for amended findings and for a new trial.

         II

         [¶ 3] The issues raised by Dianna Holm in this appeal concern the district court's treatment, valuation, and award of the stock purchased from Thomas Holm's employer.

         [¶ 4] In Adams v. Adams, 2015 ND 112, ¶ 13, 863 N.W.2d 232, we said:

When a divorce is granted, the district court makes an equitable distribution of the parties' property and debts. N.D.C.C. § 14-05-24(1). This Court reviews a district court's distribution of marital property as a finding of fact, and will not reverse unless the findings are clearly erroneous. McCarthy v. McCarthy, 2014 ND 234, ¶ 8, 856 N.W.2d 762. "A finding of fact is clearly erroneous if it is induced by an erroneous view of the law, if there is no evidence to support it, or if, after reviewing all the evidence, we are left with a definite and firm conviction a mistake has been made." Id. (quoting Hoverson v. Hoverson, 2013 ND 48, ¶ 8, 828 N.W.2d 510). We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the findings, and the district court's factual findings are presumptively correct. McCarthy, at ¶ 8. Valuations of marital property within the range of the evidence presented are not clearly erroneous. Dvorak v. Dvorak, 2005 ND 66, ¶ 20, 693 N.W.2d 646. A choice between two permissible views of the evidence is not clearly erroneous if the district court's findings are based either on physical or documentary evidence, or inferences from other facts, or on credibility determinations. Fox v. Fox, 2001 ND 88, ¶ 14, 626 N.W.2d 660.

         A

         [¶ 5] Dianna Holm argues the district court erred in finding that the annual dividends received from the stock constituted ...


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