Orwig v. OrwigAnnotate this Case
Mary Orwig appealed three district court orders finding her in contempt of court and an order denying her motion to vacate the contempt orders. The charges stemmed from divorce and business proceedings. In September 2016, Steven Orwig sued Mary for divorce. The Orwigs co-owned Orwig’s Livestock Supplements, Inc.; Orwigs Tubs International, Inc.; and MVP Transport, Inc. (“Corporations”). Before the divorce lawsuit, the Corporations sued Mary, alleging she made unauthorized transactions on the Corporations’ behalf, including opening credit card accounts in the Corporations’ names and using them for personal use. The Corporations also alleged Mary wrongfully detained and controlled their property. The Corporations requested the district court to enjoin Mary from transacting business on behalf of the Corporations and to remove her as an officer and director of the Corporations. In December 2016, the court ordered her to return corporate property in her possession. In February 2017, the Corporations moved for contempt against Mary, alleging she violated the preliminary injunction and order to return corporate property and continued taking actions adverse to the Corporations. In May 2017, Steven moved for an order to sell the parties’ Arizona real property, claiming its sale would resolve the parties’ financial problems. Mary opposed the sale, claiming that since 2014 she spent a majority of her time residing on the property. After a June 2017 hearing on the parties’ motions, the district court issued a July 31, 2017, order finding Mary in contempt of the December 2016 order to return corporate property. The court ordered her to return certain corporate property, including credit card and tax information. The court also ordered the sale of the Arizona property. At a September 28, 2017, hearing, the district court found Mary in contempt for impeding the sale of the Arizona property. The October 9, 2017, order required Mary to allow the parties’ realtor on the property within two weeks. The order also stated another hearing would be scheduled within three weeks to address Mary's compliance with the court’s earlier orders. The district court found Mary in contempt of the October 9, 2017, order at a October 19, 2017, hearing. Steven's attorney informed the court Mary continued to deny access to the Arizona realtor. The court issued its contempt order on November 13, 2017, ordering Mary to pay the other parties’ attorney’s fees and stated Mary “shall be imprisoned for a period of six (6) months, or until compliance with the aforementioned Order is achieved, whichever is shorter.” After review, the North Dakota Supreme Court concluded Mary failed to timely appeal two of the contempt orders, and dismissed her appeal of those orders. The Court reversed and remanded the remaining contempt order. The Court affirmed the order denying the motion to vacate.