Sandra A. Glass, Plaintiff and Appellant
James K. Glass, Defendant and Appellee
from the District Court of Cass County, East Central Judicial
District, the Honorable Steven E. McCullough, Judge.
A. Garaas, Fargo, North Dakota, for plaintiff and appellant.
J. Jensen, East Grand Forks, Minnesota, for defendant and
1] Sandra Glass Lenertz ("Lenertz") appeals the
district court's order granting James Glass's Motion
for Deposit of Funds With Court and for Satisfaction of
Judgment. We affirm under the law of the case doctrine.
2] In 1996, James Glass ("Glass") and Lenertz
divorced. The divorce judgment required Glass to pay spousal
support. Lenertz remarried in 2002. In 2015, Glass filed a
motion to terminate his spousal support obligation. The
district court granted Glass's motion and terminated
spousal support at the time of Lenertz's remarriage. The
district court also granted Lenertz a judgment for $26,
903.37 because this was the amount that the court determined
Glass owed on unpaid spousal support. Glass only started
paying spousal support in 2001; thus he was behind on
payments and interest. On the basis of the order granting the
motion to terminate spousal support ("Termination
Order"), the district court issued an Amended Judgment
and Decree ("Amended Judgment"), which granted
Lenertz the money judgment of $26, 903.37. Lenertz appealed
the Amended Judgment to this Court, arguing that spousal
support should not have been terminated. We affirmed the
Amended Judgment. See Glass v. Glass, 2017 ND 17,
889 N.W.2d 885.
3] Glass attempted to satisfy the money judgment by paying
Lenertz and obtaining a final satisfaction of judgment.
Lenertz refused to accept the $26, 903.37 payment because 1)
it was conditioned on her signing a final satisfaction of
judgment, which she claimed would preclude her from
appealing, and 2) the amount did not include post-judgment
interest. Glass moved the district court to deposit the $26,
903.37 payment with the clerk of court. At the motion
hearing, the district court concluded that the amount owed
was interest, not principal, and thus post-judgment interest
did not accrue. Further, the district court ordered that
Glass be allowed to deposit the funds into the court and that
a full satisfaction be provided. The district court issued a
written order to the same effect ("Deposit Order").
Glass deposited the funds with the clerk of court. Lenertz
appeals the Deposit Order.
4] Lenertz argues that the judgment of $26, 903.37 awarded to
her in the Termination Order is principal and thus she is
owed post-judgment interest on that amount. Glass argues that
because Lenertz did not raise this issue in her appeal of the
Amended Judgment, this argument is barred by the law of the
5] "Under the doctrine of res judicata, a valid,
existing final judgment from a court of competent
jurisdiction is conclusive on the parties... in all other
actions with regard to the issues raised, or those that could
have been raised, and determined therein." Jundt v.
Jurassic Res. Dev., N. Am., L.L.C., 2004 ND 65, ¶
6, 677 N.W.2d 209. "The law of the case doctrine is
based upon the theory of res judicata, and is grounded on
judicial economy to prevent piecemeal and unnecessary
appeals." Id. (citations and quotations
omitted). In general, the law of the case doctrine applies
"when an appellate court has decided a legal question
and remanded to the district court for further
proceedings." Frisk v. Frisk, 2006 ND 165,
¶ 14, 719 N.W.2d 332. We have previously stated that we
view the doctrine more broadly: "the law of the case
encompasses not only those issues decided on the first
appeal, but also those issues decided by the trial court
prior to the first appeal which were not presented for review
at the first appeal." Tom Beuchler Constr., Inc. v.
City of Williston, 413 N.W.2d 336, 339 (N.D. 1987).
Therefore, "we will not hear on a second appeal what
could have been presented in the prior appeal."
6] Lenertz argues that the Termination Order awarded her
principal and that the district court was incorrect in
classifying the money judgment as interest in the motion
hearing. For support, Lenertz relies on the table in
paragraph eleven of the Termination Order, which shows that
the unpaid interest is reduced before the unpaid principal.
This is supported by the sentence under the table, which
states, "As displayed by the table, all payments were
first applied to interest, and the remainder applied to the
principal." The table indicates the following for the
last payment period of 2015: unpaid principal was $25,
786.80, unpaid interest was $1, 116.57, and the unpaid total
was $26, 903.37.
7] The Amended Judgment states, "In accordance with the
Court's Order Terminating Spousal Support, [Lenertz] is
entitled to interest on any spousal support arrearages
beginning September 1, 2005, and ending August 31, 2015. As
and for that interest, [Lenertz] is awarded a money judgment
from [Glass] in the sum of $26, 903.37." To the extent
that there is conflict between the Amended Judgment and the
Termination Order, the Amended Judgment controls. See
Serr v. Serr, 2008 ND 56, ¶ 12, 746 N.W.2d 416
(stating that "if there is a conflict between a judgment
and an order for judgment, the judgment controls").
8] Lenertz appealed the Amended Judgment to this Court,
arguing that spousal support should not have been terminated.
See Glass v. Glass, 2017 ND 17, 889 N.W.2d 885.
Lenertz, however, did not argue that in the event the spousal
support is terminated, the $26, 903.37 money judgment was
erroneously awarded "[a]s and for that interest"
rather than as outstanding principal subject to further
accrual of post-judgment interest. Because Lenertz could have