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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Jackson Hole Airport Board (Board) in this action brought by Wyoming Jet Center, LLC seeking access to certain records held by the Board, holding that the district court erred in ruling that the Board was not subject to the record disclosure requirements of the Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA). In ruling in the Board’s favor, the district court concluded that the Special District Public Records and Meetings Act governed the Board’s record disclosure requirements, not the WPRA. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Special District Act defines neither the Board’s record retention requirements nor its disclosure requirements; and (2) the WPRA governed the Board’s public record disclosure requirements. View "Wyoming Jet Center, LLC v. Jackson Hole Airport Board" on Justia Law

Posted in: Communications Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision Board of Equalization (Board) reversing the determination of the Department of Revenue (Department) that use of camp spots at the Johnson County Fairgrounds for use during the annual Johnson County Fair and Rodeo was subject to sales and lodging taxation, holding that the Board correctly determined that the campsites and rent received therefrom were not subject to taxation because the Johnson County Fair Board (Fair Board) was not a “vendor” as defined by Wyo. Stat. Ann. 39-15-101(a)(xv). For each of the campsites at issue, the County charged $25 per week and did not collect sales or lodging taxes. The Department concluded that the Fair Board was a non-exempt lodging vendor statutorily obligated to collect sales and lodging taxes for the campsite rentals. The Board reversed, concluding that the Fair Board was not a vendor and therefore not obligated to impose a tax on the fees charges for the use of the campsites. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Board’s determination that the Fair Board was not a vendor and was therefore not required to impose an excise tax was supported by the record. View "State, Department of Revenue v. Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s modification of Father’s visitation schedule, holding that there was no support for a finding that the modification to Father’s visitation schedule was in the children’s best interests. When Father and Mother were divorced the district court ordered that Father would exercise his visitation with the parties’ two children at their former marital residence in Oakley, Utah. The parties later requested a modification to the visitation schedule so that Father, who lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming, was no longer required to exercise his visitation in Oakley. The court granted the request and changed the visitation location but, in addition, modified the visitation schedule to provide that the children would spend extended periods of time with Father in Rock Springs. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not violate Mother’s due process rights when it modified the visitation schedule; (2) there was a material change in circumstances sufficient to reopen the court’s original order; but (3) the record did not support a finding that the modification of Father’s visitation schedule was in the children’s best interests. View "Booth v. Booth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of three controlled substance charges, holding that the district court did not err by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence discovered during a search of Defendant’s vehicle. On appeal, Defendant argued that a law enforcement officer violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment when he detained Defendant for a dog sniff and searched Defendant’s pickup truck without a warrant. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the officer’s initial stop of Defendant was justified because he was speeding; (2) the officer had reasonable, articulable suspicion that Defendant was engaged in drug crimes, justifying his further detention; and (3) the automobile exception to the warrant requirement applied to Defendant’s pickup. View "Pier v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s application for a decree of summary distribution of real property of the estate of her grandfather (Decedent) on the ground that Appellant lacked standing to file the application, holding that the district court did not err in its analysis of Wyo. Stat. Ann. 2-1-205. Section 2-1-205 concerns who can file as a distributed and from whom a distributed may claim. On appeal, Appellant argued that she was a distributee of Decedent’s estate and therefore had standing to apply for summary distribution of Decedent’s real property. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the definition of distributee applies solely to persons who are entitled to property of a decedent through that decedent’s will or the statutes of intestate succession as applied to that decedent; and (2) Appellant was not a distributee of Decedent’s estate, and therefore, Appellant was not a proper applicant under section 2-1-205. View "In re Estate of Chris Robert Frank" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of one count of first degree sexual assault of minor, holding that the district court erred in providing an ex parte response to a juror’s note, but the error was harmless, and that Defendant received effective assistance of counsel. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court erred when it responded to a juror note expressing confusion over DNA testimony without informing either party of the juror note and the court’s response to it, but the error was harmless; and (2) Defendant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel based on an alleged conflict or interest or on counsel’s purported failure to adequately pursue a theory of intentional secondary DNA transfer. View "Wall v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s medical malpractice suit against Defendant because Defendant was not served with the complaint and summons within ninety days after the case was filed pursuant to Wyo. R. Civ. P. 4(w), holding that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint. In dismissing the complaint, the district court determined that Plaintiff had not established good cause for a mandatory extension of time to serve Defendant. Specifically, the court concluded that while Plaintiff had shown equitable factors in favor of permissive extension, the court would not grant such an extension due to prior procedural problems caused by Plaintiff’s counsel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the record supported the district court’s finding that Plaintiff did not establish good cause; but (2) the district court abused its discretion by imposing additional consequences on Plaintiff for his counsel’s failures in other areas. View "Oldroyd v. Kanjo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of felony possession of a controlled substance, holding that the district court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during a law enforcement officer’s search of Defendant’s vehicle. Defendant entered a conditional no contest plea to possession of a controlled substance. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in failing to suppress evidence obtained during what he characterized as an unreasonable search. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant waived his right to argue on appeal that the officer conducted an unlawful search when he leaned through the passenger window of the car and smelled marijuana; and (2) under the totality of the circumstances, the officers’ actions were objectively reasonable, and the search did not violate Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. View "Ray v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court vesting title to a portion of Louise Galiher’s property in Dennis and Vicky Johnson by adverse possession, holding the district court’s findings of fact were not clearly erroneous and that the facts supported a finding of adverse possession. Galiher sued to quiet title to the disputed property, alleging that the Johnsons’ use of her property had been permissive. The Johnsons counterclaimed, seeking to quiet title to the disputed parcel based upon adverse possession. The district court concluded that the Johnsons had proven their adverse possession claim. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for consideration of the totality of the evidence. On remand, the district court again concluded that title to the parcel had vested in the Johnsons. The supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court’s conclusion was supported by the record. View "Galiher v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment finding Defendant’s guilty of sexual abuse of a minor in the first and second degree, holding that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the conditions and that the district court did not err when it denied the admission of character evidence of the alleged victim. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not err when it denied Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal on both counts; and (2) the district court did not err when it precluded Defendant from presenting character evidence pertaining to the alleged victim on the grounds that it was inadmissible. View "Martinez v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law