An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA02-1074


Filed: 20 May 2003


v .                         Mecklenburg County
                            No. 01 CVD 10543

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 19 March 2002 by Judge Jane V. Harper in Mecklenburg County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 22 April 2003.

    Mary V. Carrigan for plaintiff.

    Tonja L. McClinton, pro se.


    James R. Telley (“plaintiff”) and Tonja Lee Telly McClinton (“defendant”) were married on 14 June 1997, separated on 20 May 2000, and divorced on 20 July 2001. During the marriage, the parties acquired property which is subject to equitable distribution under N.C.G.S. 50-20 et seq. (2001).
    The trial court entered an order and judgment for equitable distribution on 15 January 2002. Plaintiff and defendant were both 29 years old at the time of the equitable distribution hearing. Plaintiff was a non-commissioned officer, pay grade E-6, in the United States Marine Corp earning $2200 per month. Defendant was employed as an actuarial analyst.
    The trial court found the following facts: (1) The plaintiff had received additional pay during the marriage and following the separation for housing allowance, referred to as BAH. The BAH was received and expended by defendant in amounts totaling $10,963.
(2) The parties owned a residence subject to a mortgage in joint names with a net value of $2342. Defendant lived in the residence and wanted to retain it. Plaintiff wanted his name removed from the mortgage.
(3) Defendant owned a 1992 Honda Accord. The parties disagreed as to how much of the loan on the vehicle was paid during the marriage.
(4) The parties owned miscellaneous personal property, including a motorcycle valued at $0, a Bank of America joint checking account with a balance of $371, a gun at $600, jewelry at $739, washer/dryer at $400, living room and dining room suites at $0, and a computer at $400.
(5) Defendant's retirement account had a marital value of $1267. Plaintiff had acquired three years out of 9.9 in military retirement. Neither party presented evidence as to the value of the marital component of the pension.
(6) Marital debt incurred included (a) Discover Card- $1200, (b) MBNA card- $5463, and (c) American Express- $5346.
    The trial court divided the assets in kind and found net value of $6965 for plaintiff's assets and net value of $4610 for defendant's assets. After distributing debts, the trial court found plaintiff's assets to have a net value of $5765 anddefendant's assets to have a net value of $-6199. After the court applied offsets for BAH and defendant's deposited paycheck, plaintiff's net marital value equaled $6509, and defendant's net marital value equaled $4764 for a total marital estate of $11,273. Plaintiff was ordered to pay $872.50 to defendant to achieve an equal division of the net marital estate.
    Defendant moved to vacate the judgment pursuant to Rule 60 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. On 19 March 2002, the trial court denied the motion in part and granted it in part for limited correction of typographical errors. Defendant appeals.
    Defendant failed to preserve any assignments of error to the equitable distribution judgment. Defendant's remaining assignments of error present the sole issue of whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying defendant's Rule 60 motion.
    Defendant provides no support for some of her assignments of error and very limited support for others. Although defendant appears pro se, as she did at the hearing, her choice to represent herself does not excuse compliance with requirements for an appellant to preserve and assign errors of law. See Baylor v. Brown, 46 N.C. App. 664, 266 S.E.2d 9 (1980). Defendant assigns multiple errors to the trial court's denial of her Rule 60 motion. Our standard to review a trial court's denial of Rule 60 relief is abuse of discretion. Danna v. Danna, 88 N.C. App. 680, 686, 364 S.E.2d 694, 698, disc. review denied, 322 N.C. 479, 370 S.E.2d 221 (1988).
    Defendant moved to vacate the order of equitable distributionpursuant to Rule 60: 60(a) “[c]lerical mistakes”, 60(b)(1) “[m]istake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect”, 60(b)(3) “[f]raud . . . , misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party”, and 60(b)(6) “[a]ny other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.” N.C.G.S. § 1A-1, Rule 60 (2001).    At the Rule 60 motion hearing, defendant attempted to relitigate her case and to offer the same evidence excluded by the trial court at the equitable distribution hearing. The trial court stated, “I understood what you were trying to do. I just didn't do it the way you wanted it done. That's not a reason to set aside an order. You didn't offer me any authority to do it your way.”
    We find no abuse of discretion in the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to vacate the equitable distribution judgment.
    Panel consisting of
    Judges WYNN, TYSON, and STEELMAN.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

*** Converted from WordPerfect ***