Palmer ordered to pay ex-wife $1,809 for art

Award for pieces missing from auction totals $3,618

May 31, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County judge ordered former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer yesterday to pay his ex-wife $1,809 as compensation for three pieces of art that were missing when the couple's collection was auctioned in November.

Circuit Judge Susan M. Souder also ordered the trustee who oversaw the auction to pay Joan H. Palmer $1,809 from the $2,485 escrow account set up after the sale, bringing the total payment to $3,618.

Geoffrey H. Genth, Joan Palmer's attorney, said yesterday that the ruling means the judge agreed that his client is entitled to the full value of the artwork -- a vase, a bronze sculpture of a jockey on a horse, and a wooden turning bowl.

"It means that we won," Genth said.

Palmer said yesterday that he thought Souder should have required his former wife to prove that the missing items were worth the $4,200 that she said they were worth.

"The judge just allowed her to place arbitrary values on these items and insist on those amounts," Palmer said. "But I'm not going to worry about it anymore. It's one thing that I can check off the list, and hopefully I won't have to deal with this anymore."

The couple's 36 other paintings, sculptures and decorative arts were sold for $32,000 at the sale, organized after Joan Palmer was granted a divorce May 17, 2000.

The missing pieces had been in Jim Palmer's Florida condominium but never arrived in Baltimore for the auction, according to lawyers.

The trustee appointed to oversee the auction, lawyer Robert E. Carney, paid Joan Palmer $12,090 from the auction proceeds and Palmer $9,632, holding from him the escrowed money, said Palmer's attorney, Julie Ellen Landau.

The balance of the proceeds paid for the auction expenses.

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