Williams v. Sundstrom

Nikki Jo Burtsfield died in a law enforcement shooting. The county coroner examined the body and prepared the verdict and case docket, listing the manner and cause of death. Appellant filed a public records request with the coroner seeking disclosure of the verdict and case docket. Dissatisfied with the documents he received in response to his request, Appellant filed a “Motion for Reasonable Response” with the district court, requesting that the court order the coroner to produce a case docket of “sufficient detail.” The district court dismissed the action pursuant to Wyo. R. Civ. P. 12(c). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant was actually requesting relief in mandamus, and even though he did not follow the pleading requirements, the district court had jurisdiction over the action; and (2) on the merits, while the district court erred in denominating its decision as a dismissal under Rule 12(c) rather than a summary judgment, its decision was correct because the coroner did not have an absolute, clear and indisputable duty to provide the detailed information requested by Appellant. View "Williams v. Sundstrom" on Justia Law