PATRICIA A. CHAMBERLAIN
LINWOOD A. HARRIMAN
Argued: November 8, 2016
L. Ferris, Esq. (orally), and Mariann Z. Malay, Esq., Gross,
Minsky & Mogul, P.A., Bangor, for appellant Linwood A.
G. Spaulding, Esq., and Joshua A. Tardy, Esq. (orally), Irwin
Tardy & Morris, Newport, for appellee Patricia A.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Linwood A. Harriman appeals from two judgments of the
District Court (Newport, Ende, J.). In the first,
the court clarified that a divorce judgment, entered in 2004,
required Harriman to pay $50, 000 plus post-judgment interest
to Patricia A. Chamberlain as her share of the parties'
marital property, and ordered that a writ of execution would
issue. In the second, the court entered a "corrected
order, " after a writ of execution had issued,
clarifying an ambiguity created by its first judgment and
directing that a new writ would issue in the amount of $50,
000 plus interest. We dismiss as untimely the appeal from the
first judgment, which clarified the divorce judgment, and we
affirm the second judgment, which clarified the terms on
which the writ of execution would issue.
We draw the facts from the trial court record and the
court's findings reached on Chamberlain's
post-judgment motion for contempt, which the court, without
objection, treated as a motion to enforce. After twenty-two
years of marriage, the parties were divorced in 2004. The
parties' divorce judgment, entered by agreement, disposed
of only one substantial piece of property-the parties'
Unfortunately, the documentation of the parties'
obligations at that time, apparently crafted by the parties
or their counsel, was so abstrusely drafted as to require
later clarification. Specifically, the July 20, 2004, divorce
judgment contained a provision that stated:
Plaintiff shall execute and deliver to Defendant a quitclaim
deed with covenant for [the parties' marital residence]
at the time the divorce shall become final. Concurrently, the
Defendant shall mortgage said property to the Plaintiff in
the amount of $50, 000.00 under the terms and condition of
same date as the divorce judgment, Harriman executed a
document titled "mortgage deed, " which provided:
The Mortgage [sic] or Linwood A. Harriman shall pay
to the Mortgage [sic] Patricia A. Harriman the sum
of $50, 000.00 ... on or before July 19, 2009. If the
Mortgage [sic] has not paid said sum in full on or
before said date then he shall pay to the Mortgage
[sic] a mortgage of $50, 000.00 ... at the state
[sic] of 5% . .. per annum over a period of 20 . ..
years in equal monthly installments in the amount of $329.98
. . . the first payments being due and payable July 20, 2009
and on the 20th of each month thereafter until paid in full.
Failure to make payments as specified herein is a condition
did not pay $50, 000, or any other sum, to Chamberlain by
July 19, 2009. Nor has he made a single installment payment
in the years that followed. [¶4] On March 2, 2015,
Chamberlain moved for contempt on the ground that Harriman
had failed to make payments according to the terms of the
mortgage. On August 13, 2015, the court held a hearing during
which Harriman testified and the divorce judgment and
mortgage deed were admitted in evidence. Harriman admitted
during his brief testimony that he had not made any payments
to Chamberlain and that it was his understanding that he owed
her $50, 000. The court and Chamberlain apparently agreed
that Harriman was not in contempt, so the court stated that
it would treat the motion "as a motion to enforce."
Neither party objected to the treatment of the pending motion
as a motion to enforce. Opposing the enforcement, Harriman
argued that because he had executed the mortgage as ordered,
he did not have any remaining obligations from the divorce
judgment that could be enforced.
The court entered the clarifying judgment on September 21,
2015, denying Chamberlain's motion for contempt and
enforcing the original judgment. Because the divorce ...