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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s aggravated assault and battery conviction and reversed and remanded for acquittal on Defendant’s battery conviction, holding (1) the trial court did not commit plain error or deny Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against him when it allowed the emergency medical technician and the physician who treated the victim to testify regarding several statements the victim made to them because the statements were not testimonial; and (2) Defendant’s battery conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence because the jury could not have reasonably concluded that the victim suffered bodily injury when Defendant hit him. View "Villarreal v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence collected pursuant to a search warrant, concluding that the police officer’s affidavit used to obtain the search warrant established probable cause sufficient to justify the issuance of the search warrant. Defendant entered a conditional guilty plea to charges of delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. On appeal, Defendant argued that the affidavit was deficient, that the circuit court improperly issued the warrant, and that the search violated Defendant’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Wyo. Const. art. I, 4. The Supreme Court held that the affidavit established probable cause supporting the issuance of the search warrant. View "Fosen v. State" on Justia Law

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In this divorce case, the Supreme Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the marital assets and in denying Wife’s request for post-decree alimony of $2,000 per month for ten years. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the marital assets and liabilities as it did because this division was not one that shocks the conscience of the court or appears to be so unfair and inequitable that “reasonable people cannot abide it”; and (2) the district court acted within its discretion in deciding that alimony was unwarranted to even up the division of marital assets and liabilities. View "Porter v. Porter" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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When Mother and Father divorced, the decree of divorce awarded legal and physical custody of the parties’ two children to Mother, with Father having rights of reasonable visitation. Approximately four months after the decree was entered, Father filed a motion for an order to show cause, alleging that Mother had violated the decree by denying him in-person and telephonic visits with the children. Following a hearing, the district court held Mother in contempt. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err (1) in finding Mother in civil contempt of court with regard to supervised visitation; and (2) in finding Mother in civil contempt of court with regard to telephonic contact. View "Kleinpeter v. Kleinpeter" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Appellants owned residential property in Teton County. JCFT Wyoming Real Estate, LLC owned two parcels in the same area. The Teton County planning director, at Appellants’ request, issued a formal rule interpretation concerning a development permit associated with the JCFT property. At JCFT’s request, the planning director issued a zoning compliance verification (ZCV) concerning JCFT’s smaller parcel. Appellants appealed the rule interpretation and the ZCV decision. The Teton County Board of County Commissioners dismissed the appeals, concluding that Appellants lacked standing to appeal either action. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellants lacked standing to challenge the Teton County planning director’s rule interpretation and ZCV decision; and (2) neither decision was ripe for judicial review. View "Moose Hollow Holdings, LLC v. Teton County Board of County Commissioners" on Justia Law

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In this probate action, the district court erred by refusing to grant Appellants’ Wyo. R. Civ. P. 40.1 motion for peremptory disqualification of the assigned judge. Appellants, the surviving children of Robert Meeker, contested Meeker’s will, which left the bulk of his estate to Appellee. Appellants filed a petition to set aside the probate of the will and also filed a motion for change of judge under the peremptory disqualification provision in rule 40.1. The judge assigned to the probate had presided over an earlier, related guardianship/conservatorship action. The district court denied the motion for peremptory disqualification as untimely and granted summary judgment to Appellee on the will contest. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Appellants timely filed their motion to peremptorily disqualify the assigned judge when they filed it on the same day they filed their will contest, and therefore, the district court erred when it denied Appellants’ motion for peremptory disqualification; and (2) accordingly, the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee was void. View "Gaston v. Wagner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of one count of aggravated robbery, holding that the district court did erred in ordering Defendant to make pretrial disclosure of information requested by the State pursuant to Wyo. R. Evid. 404(b) because a defendant is not required to make a pretrial disclosure of such information. In addition, the district court erred in limiting cross-examination by defense counsel as a sanction for Defendant’s failure to disclose such evidence. Ultimately, however, the limitation placed on Defendant’s cross-examination was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt given the strength of the State’s case against Defendant. View "Broussard v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of five counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor. Defendant appealed, arguing that he was denied his right to a fair trial due to the cumulative error of three instances of prosecutorial misconduct during the prosecutor’s closing argument. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the prosecutor committed misconduct by attempting to define reasonable doubt for the jury; (2) the prosecutor committed misconduct by suggesting that Defendant carried any burden of proof; but (3) Defendant was not cumulatively prejudiced by the prosecutor’s statements to such an extent that his trial was anything other than fair and impartial. View "Hamilton v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. After Defendant was sentenced, the State and Defendant filed a joint motion to correct an illegal sentence, agreeing that Defendant had not been sentenced in accordance with the terms of his plea agreement. Dissatisfied with his stipulated sentence amendment, Defendant filed a motion to vacate an illegal sentence and a motion to withdraw his no contest plea. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s post-sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea because Defendant’s post-sentence motion was untimely; and (2) accordingly, this court lacked jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s appeal. View "Sanchez v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Appellant pled guilty to six counts of second-degree sexual assault in 2000 and was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. The current matter began when Appellant filed a Wyo. R. Crim. P. 36 motion requesting that the spelling of his surname in his judgment and sentence order be corrected from DELOGE to DeLoge or De Loge. The district court denied the motion, explaining that capitalization in the caption on court documents is not a clerical error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not misspell Appellant’s name when it capitalized its letters, and therefore, there was no clerical error in the judgment and sentence. View "DeLoge v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Education Law