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Sue Ann Hamm and Continental Resources Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm are seen in this undated handout combination photo courtesy of the Journal Record and PRNewsFoto/Continental Resources.

Court dismisses appeal in $1 bln divorce of oil executive Hamm

Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of Oklahoma oil executive Harold Hamm, lost an appeal of the couple’s divorce case because she had accepted an award of nearly $1 billion, the state Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled in favor of a motion filed in January by Hamm, chief executive officer of oil company Continental Resources Inc, to dismiss Arnall’s appeal. Earlier that month, Arnall had cashed Hamm’s check for $975 million, the vast majority of the lower court’s award in the case.

The majority of the justices said Arnall also took possession of the marital property awarded to her. Those actions, the court ruled, caused her to forfeit her right to appeal the judgment.

In January, Hamm also appealed the lower court decision, saying the judgment was excessive. In its ruling, the Oklahoma Supreme Court allowed his appeal to proceed despite dismissing Arnall’s.

Craig Box, a lawyer for Hamm, said he had not read the opinion yet.

Last November, an Oklahoma district court ordered Hamm to pay his ex-wife about $1 billion in cash and assets when the couple divorced after a 26-year marriage. The check for $975 million that Arnall cashed represented the entire balance owed by Hamm, according to the court’s decision.

But Arnall said the earlier ruling allowed Hamm to keep the vast majority of a marital estate worth up to $18 billion. She had sought an award of billions more.

The Hamm case began in 2012 and concluded after a 2-1/2 month trial last November. The judgment was among the largest ever in a U.S. divorce.

In a separate but concurring opinion, two justices wrote that they viewed the majority’s decision to allow Hamm’s appeal to continue as “fundamentally unfair.”

In a dissenting opinion, two other justices wrote that barring Arnall from appealing because she accepted the $1 billion judgment was a “draconian approach.”

In related news, Epic divorce of U.S. oil baron may end after ex-wife deposits check.

(Reporting by Brian Grow in Atlanta and Joshua Schneyer in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

11 comments

  1. So she is going to have to struggle by on $1 Billion for the rest of her life??? That is gonna be rough, hope she can do it.

  2. The lawyers will probably take 35-45% of her award so they will have to struggle with about 500 million. I hope she can make it.

  3. What’s her number…..I need a Sugar Mama…..

  4. The good news is-you cashed a check for $1 billion. The bad news is – you cashed a check for $1 billion.

  5. Would love to bring that check into the bank…

  6. Thought it was only $900MM? Not enough to live lavishly these days. Have you seen the sticker price on a yacht lately?

  7. How will she ever survive?