Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 62

Summary of Decision issued June 5, 2008

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

Case Name: West America Housing Corp. v. Vandon, Inc.

Citation: 2008 WY 62

Docket Number: S-07-0071

Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County, the Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge.

Representing Appellants (Plaintiffs): Lynn Boak, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellees (Defendants): William W. Harden, Casper, Wyoming.

Facts/Discussion: West America filed suit after Vandon declared two contracts for deed it had executed with West America to be forfeited. After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of Vandon and West America appealed claiming that the trial was procedurally unfair.
West America claimed it was prejudiced when the district court heard evidence about felony charges against Ms. Joelson. The Court reviewed the record and noted that the excerpts referred to in the quote in the brief were not included in the record on appeal. The Court assumes that after a bench trial, a judge disregards any inadmissible evidence in making a decision; there was nothing in the decision to indicate otherwise.
West America claimed that Mr. Pearson was not competent to testify but the Court noted that the parties stipulated to the admission of many of the exhibits and that Mr. Pearson did not provide the foundation for any of Vandon’s exhibits.

Holding: The Court rejected West America’s claim that its case was fatally prejudiced when Vandon’s attorney briefly referenced Ms. Joelson’s criminal history because there was nothing in the judge’s decision indicating that he took it into account in rendering his decision. The Court rejected West America’s argument that Mr. Pearson was not competent to testify. The Court declined to impose W.R.A.P. 10.05 sanctions.


J. Kite delivered the decision.


[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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