from the District Court of Dickey County, Southeast Judicial
District, the Honorable Cherie L. Clark, Judge.
Gregory W. Liebl (argued) and Lee M. Grossman (on brief),
Fargo, ND, for plaintiff, appellee, and third-party defendant
Steven Mark Orwig.
K. Champ (argued) and Michael T. Andrews (appeared), Fargo,
ND, for plaintiffs and appellees Orwig Livestock Supplements,
Inc., Orwig's Tubs International Inc., and MVP Transport,
Jonathan T. Garaas, Fargo, ND, for defendant, appellant, and
Mary Orwig appeals from three district court orders finding
her in contempt of court and from an order denying her motion
to vacate the contempt orders. We conclude Mary Orwig failed
to timely appeal two of the contempt orders, and we dismiss
her appeal of those orders. We reverse and remand the
remaining contempt order. We affirm the order denying the
motion to vacate.
In September 2016, Steven Orwig sued Mary Orwig for divorce.
The Orwigs co-own Orwig's Livestock Supplements, Inc.;
Orwigs Tubs International, Inc.; and MVP Transport, Inc.
("Corporations"). Before the divorce lawsuit, the
Corporations sued Mary Orwig, alleging she made unauthorized
transactions on the Corporations' behalf, including
opening credit card accounts in the Corporations' names
and using them for personal use. The Corporations also
alleged Mary Orwig wrongfully detained and controlled their
property. The Corporations requested the district court to
enjoin Mary Orwig from transacting business on behalf of the
Corporations and to remove her as an officer and director of
The district court consolidated both lawsuits and granted a
preliminary injunction against Mary Orwig in October 2016,
prohibiting her from transacting business on behalf of the
Corporations and taking other actions adverse to the
Corporations. In December 2016, the court ordered her to
return corporate property in her possession.
In February 2017, the Corporations moved for contempt against
Mary Orwig, alleging she violated the preliminary injunction
and order to return corporate property and continued taking
actions adverse to the Corporations. In May 2017, Steven
Orwig moved for an order to sell the parties' Arizona
real property, claiming its sale would resolve the
parties' financial problems. Mary Orwig opposed the sale,
claiming that since 2014 she spent a majority of her time
residing on the property.
After a June 2017 hearing on the parties' motions, the
district court issued a July 31, 2017, order finding Mary
Orwig in contempt of the December 2016 order to return
corporate property. The court ordered her to return certain
corporate property, including credit card and tax
information. The court also ordered the sale of Steven and
Mary Orwig's Arizona property.
At a September 28, 2017, hearing, the district court found
Mary Orwig in contempt for impeding the sale of the Arizona
property. The October 9, 2017, order required Mary Orwig to
allow the parties' realtor on the property within two
weeks. The order also stated another hearing would be
scheduled within three weeks to address Mary Orwig's
compliance with the court's earlier orders.
The district court found Mary Orwig in contempt of the
October 9, 2017, order at a October 19, 2017, hearing. Steven
Orwig's attorney informed the court Mary Orwig continued
to deny access to the Arizona realtor. The court issued its c
o n te mpt order on November 13, 2017. The order required
Mary Orwig to pay the other parties' attorney's fees
and stated Mary Orwig "shall be imprisoned for a period
of six (6) months, or until compliance with the
aforementioned Order is achieved, whichever is shorter."
Mary Orwig moved to vacate the July 31, October 9, and
November 13, 2017 contempt orders, arguing the district court
violated her due process rights and did not have jurisdiction
to order the sale of the Arizona property. The court denied
her motion. On December 20, 2017, Mary Orwig filed a notice
of appeal challenging the July 31, ...