Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division
In Re the Arbitration of: CHARLES SCOTT EARLS and LISA MARIE EARLS, Petitioners-Appellants,
NORTHPOINTE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LLC, Respondent-Respondent
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TANEY COUNTY. Honorable Carr L.
Woods, Senior Judge.
Appellants: Eric A. Farris of Branson, MO.
Respondent: Matthew F. Trokey and Russell Schenewerk of
W. BATES, J., OPINION AUTHOR, DANIEL E. SCOTT, P.J., CONCUR,
MARY W. SHEFFIELD, C.J., CONCUR.
W. BATES, J.
and Lisa Earls (hereinafter referred to individually by their
first names and collectively as the Earls) appeal from a
judgment confirming an arbitration award in their favor
against Northpointe Development Company, LLC (Northpointe).
The trial court registered the judgment with limiting
language that purported to prevent the judgment from acting
as a lien on real estate. Presenting two points on appeal,
the Earls contend the trial court erred by registering the
judgment with the limiting language because: (1) the
arbitration award did not contain the limitation, and
Northpointe did not file a motion to modify the award as
required by § 435.410; and (2) § 511.350 mandates
that a circuit court judgment shall be a lien on real estate,
located within that county, of the person against whom the
judgment was entered. Both points have merit. The judgment
is reversed, and the cause is remanded with instructions to
register the judgment without the limiting language.
and Procedural Background
Earls and Northpointe were parties to an arbitration
agreement. A dispute arose between the parties concerning the
operating agreement of Northpointe. Pursuant to the
arbitration agreement, an arbitrator from the American
Arbitration Association (AAA) was designated to arbitrate the
conducting a hearing on the matter, the arbitrator found in
the Earls' favor and awarded them $176,655. Insofar as
relevant here, the arbitrator determined that Charles was no
longer a member of Northpointe, and " hereafter neither
entitled to the benefits nor burdens of membership[.]"
The arbitrator ordered that no
distributions be made by Northpointe to its members without
first securing a waiver or release of the Earls' prior
personal obligations and guarantees from Northpointe's
lenders. The arbitration award stated that Charles did not
have " any status other than as an unsecured
creditor" of Northpointe.
point not disclosed by the record, the Earls filed a lis
pendens against real estate owned by Northpointe, but
neither party raised the issue during arbitration. Following
entry of the award, Northpointe filed a motion to clarify the
legal effect of the pending lis pendens. In an order
on the motion to clarify, the arbitrator stated that "
by providing the monetary obligation to have the status it
did, the arbitrator would presume any lis pendens would be
withdrawn without prejudice or immediately limited to the
terms of the award[.]" The arbitrator explained:
The arbitrator presumed that one or the other or both parties
would quickly proceed to judicial action under [RSMo]
sections 435.400 and 435.415, or 435.405 or 435.410 as
contemplated by AAA Rule 52. A judgment envisioned by Rule 52
and by Missouri statute, if confirmed, would likely give far
better notice to any title company and prospective purchaser
of land owned by [Northpointe]. ...The award was clear that
it affected only [Northpointe] and that it was not designed
to affect title to any particular real estate. So the
arbitrator did not require any monies from sales to be paid
... or be used in a way as to protect [the Earls], albeit