Morgan v. Morgan
The plaintiff's sale of contested property to a nonparty during the pendency of the appeal rendered moot the plaintiff's challenge to the propriety of the court order requiring the sale of the property. The marriage of the plaintiff, Susan Morgan, and the defendant, Jay Morgan, was dissolved and their separation agreement was incorporated into the judgment of dissolution. The agreement included a provision regarding the sale of the marital home and division of the net proceeds between the parties. The parties entered into a post-judgment agreement requiring the defendant to quitclaim the property to the plaintiff who was given 30 months to refinance the property to remove the defendant's name. The defendant filed a motion for contempt due to the plaintiff's failure to comply with the agreement. The court ordered the property sold. The defendant filed two further motions for contempt. The court ordered the property sold by a certain date at whatever price the plaintiff saw fit and, then, if it was not sold the price was to be reduced to $256,000. If the property was not sold within a certain amount of time, the plaintiff was to transfer the property to the defendant. The self-represented plaintiff appealed from the order requiring her to sell the home for $256,000. Meanwhile, she sold the home to a third party for that sum. The Appellate Court dismissed that portion of her appeal challenging the order to sell the property as moot and otherwise affirmed the judgment. The plaintiff's sale of the property to a nonparty during the pendency of the appeal rendered moot her challenge to the order requiring the sale of the property. Because that sale could not now be undone, the Appellate Court could not afford the plaintiff any practical relief. The plaintiff also asked the Appellate Court to assess monetary damages against the defendant for injuries she allegedly sustained in complying with the trial court's orders. The plaintiff had failed to raise the claim before the trial court. The determination of damages presented a question of fact. As an appellate tribunal, the court could not decide the claim for damages.