Young v. Young
Precedent establishes that the trial court has no jurisdiction to open a judgment and affect the property assignment in a marital dissolution action except within four months of the original judgment. The marriage of Karolina Young and Clifford Young was dissolved in 1977. The court ordered the marital home and other property listed for sale and the net proceeds divided equally between the parties. The marital residence was never sold. Clifford Young resided there. In 2005, he filed a complaint seeking to quiet title to the property and claimed the property by adverse possession. The court ruled in favor of Karolina Young on both counts and held that the plaintiff's expenditures in maintaining the property offset any claim by the defendant for use and occupancy. The property again was ordered sold and net proceeds divided equally. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. Karolina Young died. The defendant, Daniel Young, administrator of the estate of Karolina Young, appealed from several postjudgment orders claiming, inter alia, that the court erred in denying his motion for an order that the parties immediately list the property for sale. The Appellate Court affirmed and reversed the judgment in part. The defendant argued that the court's order that the property be sold to the plaintiff was erroneous. The Appellate Court found nothing in the 1977 dissolution judgment or a handwritten agreement between the parties provided that the property must be sold directly to the plaintiff. The 2007 quiet title judgment did not contain any order for a private sale to the plaintiff. Accordingly, that portion of the court's postjudgment order providing for immediate sale of the property to the plaintiff was improper and reversed as it contravened the unambiguous terms of the 2007 judgment and modified the terms of the 1977 dissolution judgment. Orders clarifying the plaintiff's entitlement to certain offsets were affirmed, but the 2007 judgment provided that the plaintiff's entitlement to such credit was equitably offset by the defendant's countervailing claim for use and occupancy. The matter was remanded with direction including to order an immediate listing of the property for public sale and the net proceeds divided equally.