Sehlstrom v. SehlstromAnnotate this Case
In this family dispute over real estate ownership resulting in a land partition action the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the district court's order finding Appellant in contempt for failure to pay sand and gravel royalties, holding that a party who acquired a royalty interest through a stipulated judgment may not enforce that interest by post judgment discovery and a contempt motion.
The land partition action was settled and judgment was issued based on a stipulated settlement by the parties. As part of the settlement, Respondent agreed to convey a gravel pit to Appellant, reserving a one-seventh interest in sand and gravel royalties. Under the settlement and resulting judgment, Appellant was required to pay for these royalties and sign releases allowing Respondent to contact gravel purchasers for verification purposes. The district court later found Appellant in contempt for failure to pay royalties but allowed Appellant to purge the contempt finding by, inter alia, paying Respondent's attorney fees. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because the parties' stipulated judgment created an interest in land and not a judgment debt, postjudgment discovery was not permitted; and (2) the district court erred in holding Appellant in contempt and ordering payment of attorney fees.