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Spqr Venture, Inc. v. Robertson

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

May 12, 2015

SPQR Venture, Inc., an Arizona corporation, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
ANDREA S. ROBERTSON (fka ANDREA S. WECK) and BRADLEY J. ROBERTSON, wife and husband, Defendants/Appellees

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County. No. CV2013-000097. The Honorable John Rea, Judge.

For Plaintiff/Appellant: Lisa M. Borowsky And Marshall R. Hunt, Davis Miles McGuire Gardener, PLLC, Tempe.

For Defendants/Appellees: Steven Feola, Feola & Traica, P.C., Phoenix.

Judge Jon W. Thompson delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Andrew W. Gould and Judge Maurice Portley joined.

OPINION

Page 1108

THOMPSON, Judge:

¶1 Appellant SPQR Venture (SPQR) appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Andrea and Bradley Robertson (the Robertsons). SPQR seeks to expand the reach of creditors under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 25-215(B) (2007) to include the community property earnings of the non-debtor spouse. Finding no such extension warranted and no violation of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (UFTA) (A.R.S. § § 44-1001-1010 (2013)), we affirm the trial court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 SPQR is a judgment creditor of Andrea Robertson (Andrea). SPQR's predecessor in interest obtained a default judgment against her in the amount of $240,000 plus attorneys' fees, costs, and interest in July 2003, while she was married to her former husband Michael Weck. The judgment has twice been renewed. In 2009, Andrea married Bradley Robertson. SPQR filed the instant garnishment suit against the Robertsons alleging community liability for Andrea's separate premarital debt. It further alleged that the Robertsons engaged in behavior that violated the UFTA.

¶3 After cross-motions for summary judgment and argument, the trial court ruled in favor of the Robertsons, specifically finding that " contribution" under A.R.S. § 25-215(B) refers only to financial contributions of which Andrea had none. The trial court also found there could be no transfers violating the UFTA because, under A.R.S. § 25-215(B), Bradley's community property income was " immune" from attachment. This appeal followed and we have jurisdiction.

DISCUSSION

¶4 SPQR asserts that the trial court erred in finding that the Robertsons' community property was not liable for Andrea's premarital debt. Specifically, SPQR argues that the trial court should have found that Bradley's income should have been used to satisfy Andrea's premarital debt where Andrea's contributions to the Robertsons' community were strictly nonfinancial. The relevant facts are that Andrea was a stay-at-home mother to their combined five children since her 2009 marriage to Bradley, and that Bradley provides the sole household income. Andrea's uncontroverted affidavit included the information that Andrea provided full-time care for one of their children who has special needs and who is unable to care for herself.

¶5 SPQR stated its position in its motion for summary judgment this way:

Ms. Robertson has forgone her previously gainful employment in order to fulfill her current role in the Robertsons' marital community. Ms. Robertson thus makes valuable contributions to the marital community, the monetary equivalent of which may be drawn from the ...

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