In re the Matter of: LAUREN M. JENSEN, Petitioner/Appellee,
PETER DAMIEN JOSEPH BEIRNE, Respondent/Appellant.
from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. FC2003-010228
The Honorable Dewain D. Fox, Judge
M. Jensen, Scottsdale Petitioner/Appellee.
Murray Law Offices PC, Scottsdale By Stanley David Murray
Counsel for Respondent/Appellant.
Jon W. Thompson delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen and Judge Edward W. Bassett
Peter Damien Joseph Beirne (Beirne) appeals from the family
court's dismissal of his petition to enforce orders
affecting real property stemming from a 2005 marriage
dissolution decree. For the following reasons, we reverse the
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The marital union of Beirne and Lauren M. Jensen (Jensen) was
dissolved by decree entered in June 2005. The decree
distributed several real properties between the two parties.
Two properties acquired as community property, but awarded to
Beirne as his separate property, a "Unit 1103" in
Scottsdale, Arizona, and the "Hadley Highstone
Property"in England, United Kingdom, are the
subjects of this appeal. The decree ordered Beirne to
refinance the mortgages on the two properties in his name
only within 90 days. Beirne failed to do so.
Due to Beirne's failure to refinance the mortgages, in
December 2005, the court ordered that Jensen "may place
the Hadley Highstone and Unit . . . 1103 properties for sale,
and that she has the first right of refusal to purchase them
for their fair market value [, ]" in accordance with the
June 2005 decree. The proceeds from the sale of both
properties would go to Beirne, with reimbursement to Jensen
for mortgage and maintenance payments.
In a minute entry filed in early January 2006, without
specifying who should do the selling, the court
ordered that both properties be sold, with Jensen having the
right of first refusal to purchase both. At a March 2007
emergency hearing related to other matters, the parties
informed the court of various reasons the two properties
remained unsold. The court ordered the appointment of a
special real estate commissioner to sell Unit 1103.
The special real estate commissioner requested an evidentiary
hearing in April 2008 after he was unable to list Unit 1103
for sale. At the evidentiary hearing, which took place in May
2008, the court ordered: (i) the sale of Unit 1103 be
completed to Jensen; (ii) that the clerk of the
court's office sign papers on Beirne's behalf if he
did not cooperate in the sale of the unit to Jensen; and
(iii) that Jensen shall be reimbursed to the extent she
"continues to pay the mortgage on the house until its
No other action to enforce the court's decree or any of
the subsequent orders regarding the two properties occurred
until Beirne filed the subject petition in July 2015. In his
petition Beirne alleged that, to his knowledge, Jensen had
made no effort to list the Hadley Highstone Property for
sale. He requested that the court order Jensen to pay him
"an amount equal to the current equity in the
property" and he would, in return, deed his interest to
her. He also argued that he could not refinance Unit 1103
because Jensen refused to sign over her interest. He
requested that the court order Jensen to execute a quitclaim
deed transferring her interest in Unit 1103 to him,
proffering that he would thereafter refinance the property in
his name only.
The court held a hearing on Beirne's petition on October
7, 2015. Both parties were present. At that hearing, the
court ordered Jensen to sign a quitclaim deed for Unit 1103
and return it to the court by October 14, 2015. The court
further ordered that Beirne refinance Unit 1103, removing
Jensen's name from it, no later than January 15, 2016.
Jensen stated she wanted to assert her right of first refusal
to buy the ...