Many of you may recall the story of Sue Ann Hamm. She is the ex-wife of oil billionaire Harold Hamm. Sue Ann filed for divorce against Mr. Hamm, and attempted to fully divorce rape him. In the end, Sue Ann received just over $1 billion in the divorce decree against Mr. Hamm. And she said that still wasn't enough, so she appealed the divorce judgment claiming she deserved billions of dollars more of the fortune Mr. Hamm had put together building his company, Continental Resources.
In the meantime while the appeal was pending, Mr. Hamm complied with the court's judgment and paid the $1 billion or so he owed to his ex wife, by check. Rather than holding onto the check and not depositing it (as she should have done), Sue Ann got greedy and deposited the check in her account. This was a massive strategic error. By depositing the check, it opened the door for Mr. Hamm's lawyers to argue that Sue Ann had accepted the benefits of the divorce judgment, and therefore she could not legally attack the validity or sufficiency of the judgment in an appeal.
Shortly after depositing the check, Sue Ann's lawyers advised her of the mistake. They attempted to argue that she just had to deposit the check. That not being able to do so was "intrusive" on her lifestyle and well-being ("intrusive" being a legal term of art, in this particular instance).
Today, the Oklahoma Supreme Court came down with a decision entirely dismissing Sue Ann's appeal. The court first cited this maxim of law: "A party to an action who voluntarily accepts from [her] adversary the benefits accruing to [her] under a judgment cannot question the validity of such [j]udgment in this court on appeal, and thus deny the rights flowing to such adversary under said judgment." The court then held:
Respondent [Mr. Hamm] conveyed to Petitioner [Sue Ann Hamm] all court-ordered marital property. Petitioner took possession or title of the real property and deposited the check for property-division alimony. The parties acceded to the district court judgment and now have the benefits flowing from that judgment. The judgment is now satisfied. Respondent's motion to dismiss Petitioner's appeal is hereby granted.
There is no legal road for her to further appeal this matter (it is not appealable to the US Supreme Court). The case is over. Although one billion dollars is still a whopper of a divorce judgment, it's still nice to see that Sue Ann's attempt to appeal the judgment and get more money was foiled by her own greed and stupidity.