ALEXANDER SHCHARANSKY and TATIANA SHCHARANSKY, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
ALEX KOMM, ILYA MARKEVICH, BORIS G. PUSIN, VADIM SHAPIRO, and DMITRY KHOTS, Defendants-Appellees,
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David M.
plaintiffs appeal from the district court's dismissal of
their action for equitable contribution.
E. Weinhardt and Danielle M. Shelton of The Weinhardt Law
Firm, Des Moines, for appellants.
C. Palmer and Timothy N. Lillwitz of Bradshaw, Fowler,
Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C., Des Moines, for appellees.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Blane, S.J., takes no part.
and Tatiana Shcharansky initiated an action against the five
named defendants for equitable contribution, claiming they
had paid more than their share of a joint debt to Wells Fargo
and the defendants had been unjustly enriched as a
result. After a trial to the bench, the district
court found that the Shcharanskys were not entitled to
contribution because the source of the funds used to pay the
debt was not the Shcharanskys'; although the money was in
their personal accounts just before it was paid to the bank,
the two of them had not actually paid more than their share.
The Shcharanskys filed an Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure
1.904(2) motion to enlarge or amend, and the district court
denied their motion. They then appealed.
appeal, the Shcharanskys contend the source of the funds used
to pay the joint debt is immaterial; they urge us to reverse
the ruling of the district court. In response, the defendants
contend the Shcharanskys' 1.904(2) motion was not
"proper, " so it did not toll the time for filing a
timely appeal. They maintain we should find the
Shcharanskys' appeal was untimely and dismiss it.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
appeal concerns debt incurred by Continuous Control
Solutions, Inc. (CCS). Prior to September 2007, CCS was owned
by the named defendants- also known as the Shapiro Group-and
the Shcharansky group, which included Alexander Shcharansky
and two other parties not at issue in this appeal.
and 2006, CCS obtained several loans from Wells Fargo,
totaling approximately $900, 000. CCS was the primary obligor
on the debt, but each of the eight owners also personally
guaranteed the debt.
September 2007, the Shcharansky Group bought out the Shapiro
Group, pursuant to a written stock purchase agreement. In the
agreement, the Shcharansky Group agreed to "use best
efforts" to have CCS "satisfy and repay in full all
debt obligations" of CCS "to Wells Fargo Bank,
not make any principal payments to Wells Fargo. As a result,
in October 2008, Wells Fargo filed a petition at law seeking
to collect the amount due on two defaulted notes. In April
2009, judgment was entered in favor of the bank on its claims
against CCS and the eight guarantors, in the amount of $909,
338.27 plus interest.
2009, Wells Fargo entered into a forbearance agreement with
CCS, Alexander, and his wife, Tatiana. Tatiana had not
previously been one of the guarantors of the debt-bringing
the guarantors to a total of nine. As additional collateral
to secure the forbearance agreement, Tatiana gave Wells Fargo
a mortgage lien on a condo she owned in New York. Pursuant to
the agreement, CCS agreed to make an initial payment of ...