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Bremer v. Bremer

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

May 29, 2015

Valerie L. Bremer
v.
William G. Bremer

Kent County Family Court. (K 07-481). Chief Justice Haiganush R. Bedrosian, Associate Justice Stephen J. Capineri.

For Plaintiff: Donald R. Lembo, Esq.

For Defendant: Evan M. Kirshenbaum, Esq.

Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.

OPINION

Page 164

William P. Robinson III, Judge.

Before the Court are three appeals filed by Valerie L. Bremer from various proceedings in the Family Court surrounding her divorce from William G. Bremer. This case came before the Supreme Court pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided. After a close review of the record and careful consideration of the parties' arguments, we are satisfied that cause has not been shown and that these appeals may be decided at this time. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of the Family Court in all respects.

I

Facts and Travel

The parties' divorce was granted from the bench on May 30, 2008, and a final judgment of divorce was ultimately entered on February 19, 2010. However, that was not the end of the matter--because, on June 9, 2010, Valerie filed a complaint in Superior Court contending that she had an interest in two businesses that she and William had operated during their marriage.[1] William then filed two motions in the Family Court seeking clarification of the division of assets, specifically as to the businesses. On March 26,

Page 165

2012, the Chief Judge of the Family Court issued an order assigning William's motion for clarification to the Family Court justice who had presided over the original divorce hearings. Valerie's first appeal is from that assignment order. Subsequently, on June 8, 2012 (after rendering a bench decision on April 4, 2012), the Family Court justice to whom the matter was assigned entered an order clarifying the final judgment of divorce and awarding the businesses to William. That order forms the basis of Valerie's second appeal.

Quite apart from the issues involving the businesses, William moved, in Family Court, to have Valerie adjudged in contempt due to her failure to meet the terms of the February 19, 2010 final judgment of divorce. On June 27, 2013, the Chief Judge of the Family Court entered an extremely thorough and well-thought-out order adjudging Valerie in contempt and ordering her to comply with the final judgment of divorce or face incarceration. Also included in the order was an award of interest against Valerie. ...


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