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In Re the Marriage of William Robert and Donna Jean Newby. v. Donna Jean Newby

December 27, 2010


(Super. Ct. No. 06FL01145)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cantil-sakauye, J.

Marriage of Newby CA3


California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

After Julie Beal was viciously beaten by her ex-boyfriend, William Newby, she obtained a default judgment against him for over $2 million in damages. Seeking to enforce the judgment, Beal challenged, as fraudulent, transfers William made to his wife Donna pursuant to a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) in dissolution of their marriage.*fn1 Beal intervened in the family law matter, seeking to show William's transfer of $375,000 to Donna, characterized in the MSA as child support, was a fraudulent transfer. After a court trial, the trial court found Beal had failed to show a fraudulent transfer because she provided insufficient evidence from which the court could determine whether William received equivalent value for the transfer.

Beal appeals from this order.*fn2 She contends the trial court improperly expanded the issue before it. She asserts the family law court was to decide only whether the $375,000 award was a proper award of child support. Once the court determined that it was not, Beal contends the matter should have been sent back to the civil court handling Beal's fraudulent conveyance action. Further, she contends the judgment of dissolution and the MSA should be vacated based on Code of Civil Procedure section 708.440.

Donna contends the appeal should be dismissed because the notice of appeal was untimely.

We affirm. Beal's appeal was timely; the 180-day period for filing a notice of appeal was not shortened to 60 days because the notice of the appealable order was sent to the wrong address. In this judgment roll appeal, Beal has failed to show the trial court erred in finding the $375,000 transfer from William to Donna was not fraudulent. Beal's lien on a pending judgment against William does not attach to the transfer to Donna.


The Dissolution of William and Donna's Marriage

William and Donna were married in 1990. They had two children.

In 2002, William was seriously injured in a scaffolding accident. He filed a personal injury action, which was subsequently settled. William received his first settlement payment, of over $1 million, in March of 2006.

William and Donna had separated the previous fall. In February of 2006, William filed for dissolution; at that time William and Donna had one minor child, who was 15 years old. A default judgment in the dissolution action was entered against Donna the following July. William and Donna began resolving property issues. That June, Donna signed off on her interest in a house William had purchased with his settlement proceeds. In August, William deeded the family residence to Donna.

Beal's Personal Injury Case Against William

Later that August, William severely beat Beal; as a result, William was convicted of multiple felonies and sentenced to life in prison. Shortly after the attack, Beal sued William for personal injuries. In August of 2007, Beal obtained a default judgment against him; the damages were $2,325,000. The following month, Beal filed a lien under Code of Civil Procedure sections 708.410 et seq. against William for that amount.


In July of 2007, William and Donna executed the MSA.*fn3 Paragraph 3.1 of the MSA provided that William would pay Donna "as and for child support" for their minor child the sum of $375,000. The MSA contemplated that William would be unable to make regular support payments in the future. Paragraph 6.4 of the MSA set forth the assets awarded to Donna as her share of the community property. These assets included the Citrus Heights family residence, a Lexus automobile, all accounts in Donna's name and all personal items in her possession. In addition, certain cash payments and other transfers were listed as Donna's share of community assets: the advance child support payment of $375,000 in cash; $75,000 in cash as a buyout of Donna's interest in William's retirement account; and certain automobiles and motorcycles in satisfaction of Donna's claim against William's personal injury award.

In August of 2007, William transferred $346,000 to Donna pursuant to the MSA. In October of 2007, a judgment of dissolution was ...

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