Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summary 2007 WY 132

Summary of Decision issued August 16, 2007

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses "Universal Citation" and was given an "official" citation when issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will note that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation, the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion should include the reporter page number. If you need assistance, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Vollan v. State

Citation: 2007 WY 132

Docket Number: 06-275

Appeal from the District Court of Big Horn County, the Honorable Steven R. Cranfill, Judge

Representing Appellant (Defendant): W. Keith Goody of Alpine, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Patrick J. Crank, Attorney General; Michael L. Hubbard, Deputy Attorney General; Ryan Schelhaas, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Kennard F. Nelson, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Issue: Whether Appellant’s denturist practice in Basin, Wyoming is conducted in violation of Wyoming Statutes barring individuals from practicing dentistry without a license.

Facts/Discussion: The district court granted a summary judgment in favor of the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners (the Board) against Appellant.

Standard of Review: Summary judgment is appropriate when no genuine issue as to any material fact exists and the prevailing party is entitled to have a judgment as a matter of law.
The Court reviewed Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 33-15-114 and § 33-15-128(a)(ii) which defines dentistry as “the healing art practiced by a dentist which is concerned with the examination, diagnosis, treatment, planning and care of conditions within the human oral cavity and its adjacent tissues and structures.” Appellant relied on the Court’s decisions in Paravecchio v. Memorial Hosp. of Laramie Co.; Hahn v. State and State v. Catellier to support his argument that his practice as a denturist foes not violate Wyoming law. The Court noted his argument ignored the fact that his practice violates the clear language of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 33-15-114.

Holding: Appellant admitted he personally examined his customers, created their dentures, and later adjusted those dentures if necessary. A person is deemed to be practicing dentistry if he or she creates oral prosthetics, places them in the mouth or adjusts them after placement. Appellant was practicing dentistry in multiple ways under the statute. The district court’s order granting the Board a summary judgment and enjoining Appellant from practicing dentistry without a license was affirmed.


C.J. Voigt delivered the decision.

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