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J & M Securities v. Mees

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division

March 14, 2017

J & M SECURITIES, Respondent,
v.
ADAM R. MEES, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Cause No. 2105AC-10219 Honorable Lawrence J. Permuter

          Colleen Dolan, Judge

         I. Introduction

         Adam R. Mees ("Appellant") appeals the motion court's denial of his Motion for Satisfaction of Judgment and Motion to Quash [an Execution of] Garnishment.[1] Appellant argued in his Motion for Satisfaction of Judgment that the default judgment issued against him on May 4, 2005, was presumed satisfied because ten years had elapsed since the default judgment was entered, and Respondent's Acknowledgment of Credit Toward Judgment on the Record was not proof of a payment on the record sufficient to extend the life of the judgment pursuant to § 516.350.1.[2] Appellant argues on appeal that the motion court erred by: (1) denying his Motion for Satisfaction; (2) denying his Motion to Quash [an Execution of] Garnishment; and (3) awarding post-judgment interest. We reverse.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         On May 4, 2005, a default judgment was entered against Appellant in the amount of $6, 812.15. J&M Securities ("J&M") brought the action as an assignee after purchasing the debt from Plaza Square Apartments.[3] On April 1, 2015, J&M filed an Acknowledgment of Credit Toward Judgment on the Record and served it via mail to Appellant's last known address. This memorandum stated:

Comes now Plaintiff and pursuant to the provision of § 516.350.1 RSMo. acknowledges a payment or other credit, in the nature of a partial satisfaction of judgment, to be placed on the record of this case, as stated below:
1. Plaintiff acknowledges a payment and partial satisfaction of the Judgment against Defendant in the amount of $50 as of the date of this memorandum.

         On July 5, 2016, J&M filed an Execution Application and Order, 16-EXEC-2468, with a judgment balance of $6, 812.15 and post-judgment interest in the amount of $7, 715.86 for a total judgment of $14, 672.01.[4] On July 14, 2016, Appellant filed a Motion for Satisfaction of Judgment and a Motion to Quash [an Execution of] Garnishment in which he attacked the execution of the garnishment as unenforceable by alleging the underlying judgment had not been revived prior to the ten-year anniversary and was presumed paid under § 516.350. In support, Appellant filed an affidavit claiming he had never made a payment nor authorized another to make a payment to J&M. Appellant further swore he had not had any contact whatsoever with J&M since the default judgment was entered on May 5, 2005. The motion court overruled Appellant's Motion for Satisfaction of Judgment and Motion to Quash [an Execution of] Garnishment on July 22, 2016, in separate orders. This appeal follows.

         III. Standard of Review

         As an initial matter, there must be a final judgment for an appellate court to obtain jurisdiction. Sanford v. CenturyTel of Mo., LLC, 490 S.W.3d 717, 719 (Mo. banc 2016).[5] Under § 512.020 a party may directly appeal from a special order after a final judgment in a case.[6] A court's ruling on a motion to quash an execution of a garnishment qualifies as a special order and is generally appealable. Peachtree Apts. v. Pallo, 317 S.W.3d 189, 191 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010). "[A] motion to quash an execution is a special proceeding attacking the enforcement of the judgment." Carrow v. Carrow, 294 S.W.2d 595, 597 (Mo. App. E.D. 1956). The overruling of such a motion is a final and complete disposition of the merits of the motion and is appealable. Id. (citing § 512.020).[7]

         In reviewing a motion court's denial of a motion to quash an execution of a garnishment we will affirm the court's decision "unless it is unsupported by substantial evidence, it is against the weight of the evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the law." Noble v. Noble, 456 S.W.3d 120, 128 (Mo. App. W.D. 2015).[8] In the absence of specific findings of fact by the court, appellate courts consider all fact issues to have been found in accordance with the result reached." United States v. Brooks, 40 S.W.3d 411, 412 (Mo. App. S.D. 2001). Whether a judgment is void is a question of law. State v. Superior Mfg., 373 S.W.3d 507, 509 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012). Accordingly, a motion to quash an execution of a garnishment for an allegedly invalid judgment will only be granted when the record demonstrates the judgment is void, and appellate courts do not make such a finding lightly. Noble, 456 S.W.3d at 128.

         IV. Discussion

         a. The motion court erred in denying ...


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