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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's petition seeking exoneration under the newly enacted Post-Conviction Determination of Factual Innocence Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. 7-12-401 through 407, holding that the district court did not err when it dismissed the petition because it lacked documentation of any newly discovered evidence that would establish Appellant's innocence. Appellant, who was convicted for first degree murder and assault and battery, filed his petition for exoneration thirty-eight years after his convictions. The district court dismissed the petition without prejudice because it lacked any documentation of newly discovered evidence that would establish Appellant's innocence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to comply with the statutory requirements of the Act, and therefore, the district court did not err when it dismissed the petition. View "Parkhurst v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Employer on Employee's retaliatory discharge claim, holding that summary judgment was proper under the circumstances of this case. In support of Employee's claim for retaliatory constructive discharge Employee alleged that Employer retaliated against him for his submitting a report on elder abuse of a resident that was required by statute. The district court granted Employer's motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence Employee submitted in response to Employer's motion for summary judgment failed to create a disputed issue of material fact that would make his prima facie claim a triable issue. View "Kaufman v. Rural Health Development, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Father's complaint to modify custody claiming a material change in circumstances, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that no material change of circumstances occurred. In 2014, Father filed a petition to establish paternity, custody and support with regard to a child born in 2013. Mother and Father filed a stipulated agreement establishing joint legal custody with Mother having primary residential custody. The stipulation contained a visitation schedule and child support calculations. In 2017, Father filed a complaint to modify the order on custody and visitation. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court concluded that no material change in circumstances occurred since the entry of the order approving stipulation on paternity, custody and visitation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. View "Smith v. Kelly" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's denial of Father's Wyo. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) motion for relief from an income withholding order and the district court clerk's assessment of an $85 fee pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. 5-3-206(a)(vii), holding that the district court did not err in denying the motion and that the filing fee was statutorily required. Relying on Rule 60(b)(6), Father filed a pro se motion asking the district court to relieve him from the income withholding order. No responsive pleading was filed, and the district court did not rule on Father's motion for relief. Therefore, Father's motion was "deemed denied" under Rule 6(c)(4). Father appealed, and the district court charged the $85 fee required by section 5-3-206(a)(vii). On appeal, Father argued that the mandatory minimum child support was unconstitutional and that the $85 fee was not properly assessed when no transcripts were requested. The Supreme Court summarily affirmed the denial of Father's Rule 60(b) motion seeking relief from the income withholding order and held that section 5-3-206(a)(vii) required a filing fee of $85 for Father's appeal even though no transcript of testimony was included in the designated record. View "MSC, II v. MCG" on Justia Law

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In this breach of contract and breach of warranty case the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Shelly Besel's motion for summary judgment and dismissing Shelly from the litigation with prejudice, holding that Shelly was properly dismissed from the litigation. Appellants hired Leonard Besel to remodel their home. Prior to completing the project Leonard terminated the contract. Appellants brought this action naming Shelly as a defendant and alleging that Shelly was a partner of her husband's contracting business. Shelly moved to dismiss herself from the lawsuit, disavowing any partnership interest in her husband's business. The district court granted Shelly's motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that no material issue of fact existed based on the evidence as to Shelly's status vis a vis the business, and therefore, the record supported the district court's ruling dismissing Shelly from the litigation. View "Norris v. Besel" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the judgment of the district court deciding that a form of the accommodation doctrine governed to resolve the parties' dispute over priority of rights between mineral developers, holding that the BLM was not an indispensable party and that law of the case principles applied. The parties in this case were Berenergy Corporation, which owned rights to both federal and private oil and gas, and Peabody Powder River Mining, LLC, which held federal coal leases. These minerals overlapped. In Berenergy I, the Supreme Court determined that the BLM was a necessary party to the proceedings dealing with competing federal leases and remanded the case. The private oil and gas lease (the Thornburg lease) was not appealed or decided in Berenergy I. On remand, the district court concluded that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction as to the lands underlying the Thornburg lease without the presence of the BLM. The court then applied the law of the case in deciding that a form of the accommodation doctrine governed to resolve the parties' dispute on the overlapping minerals. The Supreme Court held (1) the BLM was not an indispensable party to the lease dispute; and (2) law of the case principles applied. View "Berenergy Corp. v. BTU Western Resources, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's pro se complaint filed under the Declaratory Judgment Act alleging that the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) violated certain policies and procedures during disciplinary proceedings brought against him, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief. Specifically, the Court held (1) Appellant did not have standing to seek a general declaration that the WDOC must abide by its own rules and regulations, and the district court properly considered standing in dismissing Appellant's complaint even though the WDOC did not raise the standing issue in its motion to dismiss; and (2) collateral estoppel and res judicata barred Appellant's claims that procedural violations occurred during his disciplinary proceedings. View "Bird v. Lampert" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court entering partial summary judgment against Rex Rammell on all his claims against his former employer, Mountainaire Animal Clinic, P.C., its president, and its office manager except Rammell's breach of express contract claim and then dismissing that claim as a sanction for willful obstruction of discovery and fraud upon the court, holding that the district court did not err. Specifically, the Court held (1) deficiencies in Rammell's certification did not mandate dismissal of his appeal; (2) defects in Rammell's notice of appeal did not mandate dismissal; (3) the district court did not err in entering summary judgment against Rammell on his tortious interference claim; and (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Rammell's breach of express contract claim as a sanction for discovery violations. View "Rammell v. Mountainaire Animal Clinic, P.C." on Justia Law

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In this appeal brought by Alex Mantle and Marjorie Mantle the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the district court's decision as to various post-trial issues in ongoing litigation arising from a soured business deal. The Court held (1) the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to offset the judgments when that issue was pending in the Supreme Court in Mantle I; (2) with respect to Killmer Settlement Funds, (a) there was no reviewable order in the record regarding whether the Garlands had standing to assert a direct claim against Karl Killmer, and (b) the Mantles did not have a superior security interest in the Killmer Settlement Funds by operation of the “general intangibles” clause of the FNB security agreement; (3) the district court did nor when it awarded North Star Energy & Construction, LLC's attorneys, The Kuker Group, their attorney fees from a portion of the Killmer Settlement Funds; and (4) the district court did not err when it issued a nunc pro tunc order that removed Marjorie Mantle’s name from the order that disbursed the Killmer Settlement Funds. View "Mantle v. North Star Energy & Construction LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of district court awarding primary custody of the parties' two children and child support to Mother, holding that the district court abused its discretion by ordering child support without obtaining sufficient information about Father's income. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court abused its discretion when it calculated the amount for child support based on a misunderstanding of the evidence establishing Father's income; and (2) Father's argument that the district court's time limits for presenting at trial deprived him of a meaningful opportunity to testify and cross-examine witnesses failed because Father's assertions were insufficient to explain how the district court's restriction on the time he had violated due process or his fundamental right to associate with his children. View "Lemus v. Martinez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law