Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s order denying Appellants’ motion to intervene in custody proceedings relating to their granddaughter, EHD. The court held (1) in light of the facts of this case, the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellants’ request to intervene; and (2) Appellants did not have standing to pursue their remaining arguments that the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying Appellants’ requests to be appointed to the multi-disciplinary team and in denying Appellants’ request that EHD be placed with them. View "MMH v. State" on Justia Law

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In this appeal brought by Mother, the Supreme Court affirmed the divorce decree entered by the district court. The court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Father primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Mother’s motion to bifurcate the trial to separate the property distribution proceedings from child custody and support proceedings; and (3) this court declines to award sanctions under Wyo. R. App. P. 10.05(b), which authorizes the court to certify that there was no reasonable cause for an appeal and award attorney’s fees and damages. View "Ransom v. Ransom" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order modifying the parties’ divorce decree by transferring primary physical custody of the parties’ child to Mother. In granting Mother’s petition to modify custody, visitation and support, the district court concluded that Mother had demonstrated that a material change in circumstances had occurred since entry of the decree and it was in the child’s best interests to modify the decree and award custody to Mother. The court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that there had been a material change in circumstances that affected the child since entry of the divorce decree; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by deciding that it was in the child’s best interests to award primary custody to Mother. View "Bishop v. Bishop" on Justia Law

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The district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter to Father. After Mother and Father divorced, Mother remarried and announced her intent to relocate to southern Colorado. Both parties sought primary physical custody of their daughter. The district court found that the child’s best interests were served by Father having primary custody. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s findings provided the court with a reasoned explanation for the district court’s decision to separate the child from her siblings; and (2) the district court did not err in admitting into evidence two letters written by Mother’s older child describing the child’s complaints about her relationship with Mother and recounting various instances of conflict. View "Paden v. Paden" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling holding Husband in contempt and finding insufficient evidence to hold Wife in contempt. Both parties filed contempt motions alleging that the other party violated obligations imposed by both the divorce decree and a previous contempt ruling issued by the district court. In the first round of contempt motions filed by the parties, the district court found only Husband in contempt but ordered both parties to complete certain obligations. The Supreme Court held that there was no abuse of discretion in the district court’s ruling on the second contempt motions of Husband and Wife. View "Fowles v. Fowles" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s permanency order with regard to Mother’s child, an order that changed the permanency plan for the child from family reunification to adoption. The court held (1) despite the troubling delays in this neglect proceeding, Mother waived her due process and other claims relating to the change in permanency from reunification to adoption when she advocated the same change in permanency; and (2) the juvenile court did not err in refusing to designate the adoptive parents in the permanency order because determination of the adoptive parents is a matter for a separate proceeding. View "DM v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the termination of Mother’s parental rights with respect to two of her sons. The court held (1) the district court’s conclusions were amply supported by evidence, the accuracy of the district court’s conclusions was highly probable, and termination under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 14-2-309(a)(v) was supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (2) the district court’s closure of Mother’s termination trial was improper under Wyo. Const. art. I, 8, and because Mother did not direct the court to particularized facts showing that she was actually harmed or prejudiced by that error, the court was constrained to conclude that the error was harmless. View "LeBlanc v. State, Department of Family Services" 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

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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

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Mother appealed after the district court entered an order terminating Mother’s parental rights. The order followed a jury verdict finding that the Department of Family Services had proven two statutory grounds to terminate Mother’s parental rights to Child. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err (1) when it allowed the guardian ad litem (GAL) to actively participate in the termination proceedings where the GAL was required to participate fully in the termination proceedings; and (2) when it allowed Mother’s mental health providers to testify at trial over Mother’s claim of privilege. View "Cave v. State, Department of Family Services" on Justia Law