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Deen-Bacchus v. Bacchus

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 9, 2017

Fazia Deen-Bacchus, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
Harold M. Bacchus, Jr., Appellee-Respondent.

         Appeal from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable James R. Heuer, Special Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D07-0702-DR-153

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Stephen P. Rothberg Fort Wayne, Indiana.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Cynthia Hogan Fort Wayne, Indiana Roberta L. Renbarger Fort Wayne, Indiana.

          NAJAM, JUDGE.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Fazia Deen-Bacchus ("Wife") appeals the dissolution court's February 2016 order in which the court directed Harold M. Bacchus, Jr. ("Husband") to promptly transfer certain amounts from three investment accounts ("the investment accounts") to Wife. Wife raises a single issue for our review, which we restate as follows: whether the dissolution court erroneously interpreted its January 2011 property distribution order, in which the court had set aside the investment accounts to Wife as "her property, " when the court ordered Husband in February of 2016 to transfer only the January 2011 value of the investment accounts to Wife. We reverse and remand with instructions.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] The facts underlying Wife and Husband's dissolution and the distribution of the marital estate were stated by this court on appeal from the January 2011 order:

Husband and Wife married in September 1985 and have three children, two of whom are now emancipated. Wife petitioned to dissolve the marriage on February 7, 2007. At the time, Wife was an attorney who had been admitted to practice just a few years earlier, and Husband was an Air Force physician and an emergency room physician. The parties also owned and operated a business, Med-I-Qwik.
The trial court dissolved the marriage in January 2009 but left disposition of the marital property pending. Later that year, Husband retired from the Air Force and his contract as an emergency room physician was terminated. A hearing regarding disposition of the marital property was held over several days. The trial court subsequently entered an order in January 2011 identifying marital assets and debts, finding the net worth of the marital property to be $1, 405, 763, and giving Wife 55% and Husband 45% of the property.
Both parties filed motions to correct error. After a hearing over another several days, the trial court entered an order in February 2012 reducing the net worth of the marital property to $1, 353, 333 and dividing the property equally between the parties. . . .

Bacchus v. Deen-Bacchus, No. 02A03-1203-DR-119, 2013 WL 1614972 (Ind.Ct.App. Apr. 16, 2013) ("Bacchus I").

         [¶3] Also in the January 2011 order, the court "granted" Wife "as her property" the investment accounts, along with numerous other assets. Appellant's App. Vol. 2 at 48. Elsewhere in its order, the court found the investment accounts to have values of $305, 755 (Prudential SEP IRA account #9594); $67, 961 (Prudential Annuity account #5952); and $81, 689 (Prudential Life Insurance account #3175). However, in ordering that Wife be "granted" the investment accounts "as her property, " the court simply identified the assets granted to Wife without reference to the court's valuation of those assets. Id. Further, in their ensuing motions to correct error, neither party challenged the court's identification of the investment accounts as assets to be distributed to Wife.

         [¶4] Both parties raised numerous issues for our review in Bacchus I. After reviewing the parties' arguments, we affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded with instructions to the dissolution court. However, neither party questioned on appeal the dissolution ...


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