MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in George Floyd's death, and his wife failed to follow a court order and file public documents in their divorce proceeding, a judge ruled.
Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman issued a decision Monday ordering Derek and Kellie Chauvin to file redacted public versions of confidential documents they filed under seal in December.
The Chauvins' divorce has come under scrutiny after Freeman cited possible fraud in her decision last October rejecting the couple's proposed divorce settlement that would have given most of Derek Chauvin's assets to his wife.
"The Court has a duty to ensure that marriage dissolution agreements are fair and equitable," Freeman wrote last October. "One badge of fraud is a party's transfer of 'substantially all' of his or her assets."
Several veteran divorce attorneys have said Freeman's October ruling fueled speculation that Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce to protect the couple's assets in the face of civil litigation.
Attorneys for Floyd's family filed a federal lawsuit last year — after Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce — against the city of Minneapolis, Chauvin and three of his former colleagues who assisted in Floyd's May 25 arrest: J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Kellie Chauvin's divorce attorney, Amanda Mason-Sekula, did not return a message seeking comment. Derek Chauvin has no attorney in the case and could not be reached for comment.
Freeman's ruling this week does not vacate parameters she set last year that permits the Chauvins' assets, debts and property, among other information, to remain confidential and to be redacted from public documents due to harassment, financial fraud and stalking they faced after Floyd's death.
After Freeman refused to accept their first offer, the Chauvins filed two documents on Dec. 1 and a third on Dec. 2, respectively: a "Stipulation and Proposed Order," "Correspondence for Judicial Approval" and "Proposed Order or Document."
The documents were filed as confidential and are sealed. They are not publicly available.
The couple's first offering was similarly labeled, and was eventually filed as a public document so heavily redacted that its terms were impossible to discern.
However, Freeman wrote in October that under the first agreement, Kellie Chauvin would have received all of the equity in their two homes, all the money in their bank and investment accounts and money from Derek Chauvin's accounts except for funds he earned in two accounts before their marriage in 2010.
The couple has no children.
Freeman ordered this week that the Chauvins refile the December documents as public documents with all confidential information redacted.
The Chauvins' December stipulation filing included a three-page spreadsheet that was difficult to read because of pixelation and faint text, the judge wrote. Freeman ordered them to refile a legible copy of the spreadsheet as a sealed document.
A pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for March 26, with a trial date of April 26. Both are open to the public.
Derek and Kellie Chauvin are also scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court Friday on felony charges alleging that they failed to claim $464,433 in joint income dating back to 2014.©2021 StarTribune. Visit at startribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.