Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Marriage of Herum

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 26, 2018

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF STACY HERUM AND SCOTT HERUM Upon the Petition of STACY HERUM, n/k/a STACY ZUMBACH, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning SCOTT HERUM, Respondent-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Emmet County, Nancy L. Whittenberg, Judge.

         An ex-husband appeals an order directing distribution of support payments held in escrow awaiting resolution of his modification action.

          Christine B. Skilton of Cronin, Skilton & Skilton, PLLC, Charles City, for appellant.

          Laura J. Parrish of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty & Parrish, PLC, Decorah, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.

          TABOR, JUDGE.

         For the second time this year, Scott Herum appeals a district court decision concerning his spousal and child support obligations. A few months ago, we affirmed an order largely denying his requests to modify the 2012 decree dissolving his marriage to Stacy Zumbach. In re Marriage of Herum, No. 17-1161, 2018 WL 2084852 (Iowa Ct. App. May 2, 2018). While that appeal was pending, Scott unsuccessfully moved to disqualify the district court judge assigned to the modification action. In this appeal, he renews his call for the judge's disqualification and attacks a December 2017 order directing the clerk of court to distribute support payments. We affirm the district court and order Scott to pay appellate attorney fees.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         In February 2015, Scott filed a petition to modify his divorce decree, including requests to terminate or reduce his spousal and child support obligations. The following month, Chief Judge Duane E. Hoffmeyer of the Third Judicial District assigned Judge Nancy L. Whittenburg to preside over all pretrial, trial, and posttrial matters in the modification case.

         Scott's failure to keep current with his support obligations prompted Stacy to file a contempt action in July 2016. Because the contempt hearing took place on a court service day, Judge Don E. Courtney presided. In light of Scott's payment of all child support and alimony arrearages (totaling more than $10, 000) just before the rule-to-show-cause hearing in October 2016, Judge Courtney found "Scott lacked the requisite intent" to merit a finding of contempt. But the court noted "it was clear that Scott was in default on his child support and alimony obligations" and as a remedy the court awarded Stacy $2000 in attorney fees. Scott filed an application to release liens on the child and spousal support obligations, which Stacy resisted. The district court ordered Scott to enter $11, 520 into an escrow account until Judge Whittenberg "makes a decision as to whether that amount is owed" by resolving the modification action.

         In June 2017, Judge Whittenberg ruled on Scott's modification action, denying all his requests-except to enforce a planned reduction in child support when the eldest of their three children reached the age of eighteen. Stacy applied for distribution of the escrow funds. Scott filed a resistance-labeled an "answer"-as well as a motion to reconsider. District court administration assigned the matter to Judge Carl J. Petersen, who was then court-service-day judge for Emmett County. On July 19, Judge Whittenberg denied the motion to reconsider. That same day, Judge Whittenberg issued an order rescinding prior orders of assignment:

Now on this date this matter has been brought to the attention of the Court by District Court Administration. The undersigned is currently the individually assigned judge in this matter. On June 16, 2017, an Application for Distribution of Support Payments was filed by the Petitioner. On June 22, 2017, the Respondent replied to the application by filing an "Answer" to the application. The filing of an "Answer" triggered the individual assignment of the Honorable Carl J. Petersen to his matter, as well as the scheduling on a nonjury modification trial on September 6, 2017. The undersigned finds that the Application for Distribution is a matter which should be heard by the undersigned. Accordingly, the assignment of Judge Carl J. Petersen and the scheduling on a nonjury modification trial should be rescinded.

         Judge Whittenberg set Stacy's application for a telephone hearing. Scott filed a motion to disqualify, asserting ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.