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Friedman v. Friedman

Supreme Court of Nebraska

May 22, 2015

BRUCE R. FRIEDMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
SUSAN C. FRIEDMAN, APPELLEE

Page 154

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 155

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: J. MICHAEL COFFEY, Judge.

Bruce R. Friedman, Pro se.

Karl Von Oldenburg, of Brumbaugh & Quandahl, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 156

[290 Neb. 975] McCormack, J.

NATURE OF CASE

The ex-husband appeals from an order generally overruling his objections to garnishment upon a foreign dissolution decree. The ex-husband asserts that he was not properly notified of the registration of the foreign judgment or of the garnishment, that the court should have declared the amount of the foreign judgment to be lower than what was sought by his ex-wife, and that the court inadequately addressed the percentage of his wages that should be garnished. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On May 7, 2014, Susan Roggentine, also known as Susan C. Friedman (Roggentine), filed in the district court for Douglas County an affidavit for registration of a foreign judgment. According to the affidavit, Roggentine sought to enforce a total of $160,458.49 awarded in a Colorado dissolution decree against her ex-husband, Bruce R. Friedman. According to the affidavit, the award consisted of $145,243.49, plus $15,215 in court-awarded attorney fees, for a total of $160,458.49.

A certified copy of the decree, dated October 26, 2011, was attached to the affidavit. In the decree, the Colorado court ordered that Friedman pay Roggentine $100,000 in the division of assets and deliver to Roggentine described items of personal property and the title to specified vehicles. The court ordered that Friedman reimburse Roggentine for $45,243.49 that Friedman induced Roggentine to withdraw from her individual retirement account to pay Friedman's nondischargeable debts. The court awarded spousal maintenance in the amount of $2,000 per month for 12 months, but found that Friedman's default on $10,399 in temporary maintenance obligations justified that maintenance be awarded in a lump sum of $34,399. The court ordered Friedman to pay $15,215 in attorney fees and $850 in costs.

In the conclusion of the order, the Colorado court entered judgment in favor of Roggentine in the amount of $34,399, as [290 Neb. 976] of November 1, 2011. The court further ordered Friedman to pay Roggentine $145,243.49 in cash or certified funds within 30 days of the court's order and ordered Friedman to pay the balance of attorney fees in the amount of $15,215 and costs of $850. Mathematically, these listed sums total $195,707.49. The order itself does not purport to set forth a total summation of the various amounts awarded.

The affidavit in support of registration of the foreign judgment set forth as Friedman's last known address the correct house number corresponding to the address where he lived, but the street number stated 188th Street. Friedman actually lived on 118th Street. Accordingly, subsequent to the filing of the foreign judgment, the clerk of the court sent notice to the incorrect address. The notice was returned as undeliverable.

On June 20, 2014, Roggentine filed an affidavit and praecipe for summons in garnishment after judgment. This listed

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Friedman's correct address and stated that the amount due on the judgment was $160,458.49, plus costs in the amount of $101.12, for a total of $160,559.61. The affidavit set forth that Friedman was not the head of a family for purposes of the percentage of disposable earnings subject to garnishment under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1558 (Reissue 2008).

Roggentine asked that the summons in garnishment be issued by certified mail to Friedman's employer. Friedman's employer received the summons and order of garnishment in aid of execution on June 30, 2014. Although the summons/garnishment order lists the incorrect 188th Street address for Friedman, the certified mail receipts found in the transcript appear to show that it was sent to Friedman via certified mail to the correct address. The record does not reflect Friedman's receipt of that mailing, however.

On July 11, 2014, Friedman filed in the district court a pro se " Ex-Parte Motion to Quash," " Objection to Registration of Foreign Judgment," and " Objection to Garnishment." In the motion, Friedman alleged that he never received notice of the filing of the foreign judgment or of the garnishment until notified by his employer's payroll processor " via regular [290 Neb. 977] postal mail" on July 7, 2013. Friedman alleged he was therefore " neglected of his opportunity" to object to the judgment Roggentine was attempting to register and to object to the garnishment of his wages.

In the motion, Friedman requested a hearing to challenge the allegation that he was not the head of a family for purposes of the garnishment calculation. Friedman also asked that the court quash the garnishment on the grounds that Roggentine had failed to (1) notify the clerk of his proper address when filing the foreign judgment, (2) mail the notice of the garnishment by certified mail to his correct ...


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