September 26, 2008
KONSTANTIN SEVERINOVA, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
ELENA SEVERINOVA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Middlesex County, Docket No. FM-12-1829-04F.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 27, 2008
Before Judges A. A. Rodríguez and C. L. Miniman.
Defendant Elena Severinova appeals from the August 22, 2007 post-divorce judgment order by the Family Part. We affirm.
The order, in its dispositive language, states as follows:
ORDERED that defendant's request to require the plaintiff to remove his belongings from her home is denied without prejudice. Since the plaintiff has failed to claim the items, the defendant may remove the items at the plaintiff's expense, or may destroy the items; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall remove the defendant's name from his dental insurance coverage. In the event plaintiff fails to remove same within fifteen (15) days of the date hereof, the defendant is hereby granted a limited power-of-attorney to sign the plaintiff's name to remove herself from his dental coverage; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall have their motor vehicles appraised at David Michael Dealership, Freehold, New Jersey, and comply with Paragraph 20, Page 5, of the Amended Dual Judgment of Divorce within thirty (30) days of the date hereof; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall immediately retain Troyan to equalize their pensions with the parties being responsible equally for the cost of same pursuant to Paragraph 14 of the Dual Judgment of Divorce; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in the event the plaintiff fails to comply with this Order, the defendant may move for sanctions and other penalties[.]
In connection with this order, Judge Michael A. Toto issued a written opinion on December 6, 2007 as follows:
Defendant filed a motion returnable August 22, 2007 seeking various forms of relief, including enforcement of provisions of the Judgment of Divorce entered December 6, 2005. The Court entered an Order of August 22, 2007, granting most of the relief sought by the defendant. The defendant requested an Order compelling the plaintiff to return to the prior marital home to retrieve certain personal property. This request was made approximately 1 1/2 years after the Judgment of Divorce was entered.
Paragraph 21 of the Judgment of Divorce dated December 6, 2005, provided, "Wife shall retain the furniture and furnishings of the marital home. Husband may remove his bike, ski set, shoes and boots, snowboard/boots, and personal items including his books and clothes." The Judgment of Divorce did not provide that the husband shall remove or was compelled to remove but provided that he may remove those items. The use of the word "may" in Paragraph 21 indicates it was the Husband/Plaintiff's option to remove said personalty. The same paragraph specifically provides that the Wife "shall" retain the furniture and furnishings of the marital home. The use of the word "may" was a factor in the Court denying the defendant's application to compel the plaintiff to return to the home to now remove the items where no such wording was provided for in the original Judgment of Divorce.
An Order was entered permitting the defendant to either retain the items or dispose of the items at the expense of the plaintiff. According to the defendant's certification, on July 5, 2007, the plaintiff "suggested that I throw away whatever I do not need." The defendant in her certification has itemized more items than set forth in Paragraph 21 of the Judgment of Divorce that she seeks to have removed by the plaintiff.
The relief granted by the Court appeared more appropriate and more equitable as the plaintiff has not returned to the marital home to obtain the personal property and he advised the defendant that she may retain the items. Rather than require the plaintiff return to the home 1 1/2 years post Judgment of Divorce, this Court granted the defendant the right to retain the items or dispose of the items at the plaintiff's expense.
The balance of the relief sought by the defendant in the Motion was granted with regard to compelling the plaintiff to remove his name from dental coverage, appraisal of the motor vehicle, compelling the parties to retain an expert to equalize their pensions, and permitting the defendant to move for sanctions and other penalties in the event plaintiff failed to comply with the terms of the Order.
Defendant appeals, contending that: (1) the judge "suggested that appellant removes or destroys the objects, which she does not own. In doing so she would have committed act of vandalism;" (2) "certain objects that were left by the respondent in his former marital house have peculiar origins. Possession (or destruction) of these objects by unauthorized person shall be criminally punished;" and (3) "it was not burdensome or difficult for the respondent to return to marital house and retrieve all his objects."
We reject these contentions and affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Toto in his December 6, 2007 written decision. We merely add that the order under appeal permits defendant to contact Rutgers University, or any other rightful owner, to arrange for return of the property.
Finally, defendant also contends that, "for almost two years post divorce the respondent deliberately hold the appellant in state of mental anguish and physical pain." This contention is not properly before us. It does not pertain to the August 22, 2007 order. We decline to address it.
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