by
The Supreme Court affirmed, as modified by this opinion, the order of the district court dissolving Brian Osantowski’s marriage to Dori Ann Osantowski, dividing the martial assets and debts, and ordering Brian to make an equalization payment of $680,000, distributing the estate about equally. The Supreme Court held (1) contrary to Brian’s argument on appeal, the district court’s decision that stored and growing crops should not be treated the same as cattle herds for tracing purposes was not in error; but (2) the district court committed an abuse of discretion and plain error in its division of certain marital assets and debts. View "Osantowski v. Osantowski" on Justia Law

by
In this custody case, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court to provide recordings of conversations between Father’s child and his ex-wife surreptitiously recorded by Father to a psychologist appointed by the court to evaluate the child’s welfare. The stipulated divorce decree between the parties awarded them joint physical custody of their child. Father later moved to modify those terms to get primary physical custody. During the custody proceeding, Father filed a motion to admit the recordings at issue into evidence. The district court denied Father’s motion to admit the recordings into evidence but nonetheless provided the recordings to a psychologist, whom the court had appointed to interview and evaluate the child. The psychologist testified that Wife’s behavior was creating confusion and distress in the child, basing her opinion in part on the recordings. Thereafter, the district court determined that it was in the child’s best interest that Father be awarded primary physical custody. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in providing the recordings to the expert because they furthered the expert’s evaluation of the child’s relationship with his parents and aided the district court’s determination as to the child’s best interest. View "Abid v. Abid" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal brought by Parent challenging the district court’s placement decision following the termination of Parent’s parental rights where Parent entered into a stipulation agreeing to the termination of her parental rights but reserving the right to participate in a contested pre-termination hearing regarding the child’s placement. The Supreme Court held that Parent lacked standing to challenge the placement decision because Parent’s parental rights were clearly terminated, and therefore, Parent no longer had any substantial interest that could be affected by the court’s placement decision. Further, the Supreme Court’s prior order denying writ relief did not confer standing on Parent. View "In re Parental Rights as to T.L." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court modifying child support with respect to Mother’s daughter. In 2011, Mother and Father entered into an agreement modifying Father’s child support obligation. Approximately five years later, at Mother’s request, the Child Support Enforcement Program filed a petition to modify Father’s child support obligation. The district court entered an order modifying child support but granted a downward deviation from the presumptive child support. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion by using the matrix for two children rather than one child when it calculated a deviation from the presumptive child support; and (2) properly made specific findings in its order for the reasons it granted a deviation pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 20-2-307(b). View "TSR v. State, ex rel., Department of Family Services" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her two children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (1)(B)(2)(b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) there was competent evidence to support the district court’s findings that Mother failed to take responsibility for her children and was unwilling and unable to protect the children from jeopardy, and that both of these circumstances were unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs; and (2) the district court acted within its discretion when it declined to continue the termination hearing for testimony that was cumulative and not likely to affect the judgment. View "In re Alexavier G." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her two children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i), (b)(ii). Mother appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the district court’s finding of parental unfitness and the determination that termination was in the best interest of the children. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the district court’s findings of parental unfitness; and (2) the district court did not clearly err or abuse its discretion in its finding and conclusion that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the best interests of the children. View "In re Zianna G." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Parents’ parental rights to their child. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the Department of Health and Human Services satisfied its obligation to provide necessary services to Mother; (2) the district court did not err in finding that Mother was unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for him within a time that was reasonably calculated to meet his needs; and (3) the district court did not err in determining that the termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Dominyk T." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her five children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) district court’s findings of fact were supported by competent evidence in the record; (2) the district court did not err in its finding of parental unfitness and did not err in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the children’s best interests; and (3) contrary to Mother’s arguments, the Department of Health and Human Services complied with Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4041 by providing Mother with home community treatment services. View "In re Aiden J." on Justia Law

by
The district court found clear and convincing evidence that supported at least one ground for termination of parental rights, but it nevertheless concluded termination was not in the best interest of the child. The Louisiana Supreme Court found the district court was clearly wrong in finding that termination of the father’s parental rights was not in the best interest of the child. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court's judgment and rendered judgment terminating the rights of the father and allowing the child to be adopted. View "Louisiana in the interest of C.F." on Justia Law

by
Appellant Norman Wechsler and Respondent Sharon Wechsler, divorced in New York in 2005. A Divorce Judgment was entered by the New York County Clerk on February 3, 2006, setting forth a distribution of the parties’ property and maintenance obligations. In 2014, Sharon moved a New York court for an order to direct the entry of a money judgment in her favor because Norman had defaulted on his obligation to transfer funds according to the Divorce Judgment. A New York court granted Sharon’s motion and issued a $9,468,008.98 Judgment in her favor. In 2012, Sharon partially collected on a $17,669,678.57 divorce-related Judgment by executing on Norman’s house in Colorado. Between the acquisition of Norman’s Colorado house, and the filing of the Foreign Judgment in Idaho, Norman did not disclose his updated address; accordingly, in an affidavit filed with the Idaho Foreign Judgment, Sharon indicated that Norman’s last known address was the Colorado house that she had acquired. Unbeknownst to Sharon, Norman had moved to a rental apartment in Angel Fire, New Mexico. After living in New Mexico for one year, Norman moved to Pocatello, Idaho. The New York Judgment at issue here was filed in Idaho as a “Foreign Judgment,” and the issues before the Idaho Supreme Court relate to Sharon’s attempts to collect. Norman challenged the Idaho district court’s order in favor of Sharon; he attacked the judgment on jurisdictional, constitutional, abuse-of-discretion and procedural grounds. Finding none of these arguments availing, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the Idaho district court’s judgment and awarded Sharon attorney fees. View "Wechsler v. Wechsler" on Justia Law