from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable James S. Hill, Judge.
K. Keller, Bismarck, N.D., for statutory real party in
interest and appellee.
A. Rath, Bismarck, N.D., defendant and appellant.
1] Mark Rath appeals from orders denying his demands for a
change of judge, an order denying his motion for an order to
show cause, and an order modifying his child support
obligation. We affirm, concluding Mark Rath did not meet the
statutory requirements for a change of judge, the district
court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion for
an order to show cause, and the court did not err in
modifying the child support obligation.
2] In January 2013, Mark Rath and Kayla Rath were divorced.
The divorce judgment awarded Kayla Rath primary residential
responsibility for the parties' two children, and Mark
Rath received supervised parenting time. Mark Rath was
ordered to pay $243 per month in child support. Since entry
of the divorce judgment, Mark Rath has filed numerous
post-judgment motions in the district court, some of which
have been addressed by this Court in prior cases. See
Rath v. Rath, 2017 ND 128; Rath v. Rath, 2016
ND 105, 879 N.W.2d 735; Rath v. Rath, 2016 ND 83,
878 N.W.2d 85; Rath v. Rath, 2016 ND 46, 876 N.W.2d
474; Rath v. Rath, 2015 ND 22, 861 N.W.2d 172;
Rath v. Rath, 2014 ND 171, 852 N.W.2d 377; Rath
v. Rath, 2013 ND 243, 840 N.W.2d 656.
3] On April 25, 2016, the Child Support Enforcement Unit
moved to modify Mark Rath's child support obligation,
requesting the amount be increased to $475 per month. The
Enforcement Unit explained it calculated the requested child
support amount after obtaining Mark Rath's 2015 tax
return and wage information from his employer and considering
Mark Rath's duty to support other children. Mark Rath
responded to the motion to modify, arguing his health
insurance expenses should be deducted from his income because
he is required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty
under federal law.
4] On May 1, 2016, Mark Rath moved for joinder of claims,
requesting the district court join the child support
modification proceedings in this case with child support
proceedings in another case. On May 13, 2016, Judge Hill
denied the motion for joinder, finding joinder was not
appropriate because the two cases were different situations
involving different parties and were assigned to different
5] On May 17, 2016, Mark Rath filed a demand for change of
judge under N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21(3) against Judge Hill
for purposes of the child support modification. The demand
was denied on May 18, 2016. The district court explained the
demand was untimely because the parties had ten days from the
time the judge was assigned to the case to demand a change of
judge and Judge Hill was assigned to the matter in October
6] On May 18, 2016, Mark Rath filed a second demand for
change of judge, arguing the first demand was incorrectly
denied because the motion to modify child support is
considered a separate proceeding from the original action. On
May 20, 2016, the district court denied the demand,
concluding it was untimely.
7] On May 23, 2016, Mark Rath filed a third demand for change
of judge for the child support proceedings. On May 23, 2016,
the district court denied the third demand for change of
judge, finding it was filed in an untimely manner.
8] On August 3, 2016, Mark Rath moved for an order to show
cause, arguing Kayla Rath should be held in contempt for
failing to comply with the judgment. He claimed Kayla Rath
violated the terms of the judgment by failing to inform him
of the children's medical expenses and failing to give
him copies of unpaid medical bills so he could pay half of
the children's medical expenses.
9] On August 30, 2016, the district court denied the motion
for an order to show cause. The court found Kayla Rath's
failure to provide copies of the unpaid medical bills was not
a violation of the judgment because she did not request
reimbursement. The court concluded the motion was meritless.
The court noted this was the thirteenth motion of this type
and stated it was another pleading that harasses Kayla Rath
and appeared to be offered for an improper ...