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Winegeart v. Winegeart

910 N.W.2d 906 (2018)

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Winegeart v. Winegeart

South Dakota Supreme Court

910 N.W.2d 906 (2018)

Facts

Eryn Marie Winegeart (plaintiff) and Weston Lee Winegeart (defendant) jointly owned a marital home. Weston filed for divorce in 2016, and both parties vacated the home. The parties attended one mediation session in March 2017 pursuant to a court order and signed a confidentiality agreement for the session. After the mediation, Weston signed an agreement with a real estate broker to list the marital home for sale, which included a commission for the realtor. When a buyer was found, Eryn refused to sign the purchase agreement, stating that Weston had orally agreed in mediation to sell the home privately without paying a realtor. Weston moved the circuit court to have Eryn sign the purchase agreement. At a hearing, Eryn introduced testimony from the mediator that the parties had orally agreed to a private sale with no realtor commissions. The circuit court found the oral agreement unenforceable and ordered Eryn to sign the purchase agreement. On April 15, the parties signed a property-settlement agreement, which stated that it was a complete agreement and that the parties disagreed about the payment of realtor fees. The circuit court granted the divorce on April 18, incorporating the property-settlement agreement. Eryn appealed, arguing the circuit court erred by not enforcing the parties’ oral agreement. Weston countered, arguing that mediation communications are confidential, that Eryn signed a confidentiality agreement, that the circuit court’s ruling cannot be reversed because it was not clearly erroneous, and that any oral agreement was superseded by the subsequent property-settlement agreement.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gilbertson, C.J.)

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