Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 104

Summary of Decision issued September 3, 2008

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

Case Name: JT v. KD

Citation: 2008 WY 104

Docket Number: S-08-0002

Appeal from the District Court of Sheridan County, the Honorable John G. Fenn, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Rex O. Arney and Vincent P. Schutte of Brown, Drew & Massey, Sheridan, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Greg L. Goddard of Goddard, Wages & Vogel, Buffalo, Wyoming.

Facts/Discussion: After various agreements and orders concerning custody, JT (Mother) filed a petition to modify custody in which she sought primary custody of the parties’ minor child. The district court awarded primary custody to KD (Father). Neither party requested findings pursuant to W.R.C.P. 52(a).
The ultimate issue was whether the court reasonably could have concluded as it did. Mother cannot complain on appeal that the district court did not adequately address the statutory factors or more fully explain its reasoning because she did not request specific findings.
The Court noted the district court’s decision letter contained detailed findings. The Court also noted that the district court’s consideration of the factors enumerated in § 20-2-201(a) were quoted in the decision letter so there was no question that it was aware of what it statutorily was required to consider in making a custody decision.
The Court found that Mother’s claim that the district court improperly based its decision on her past mistakes was without merit. All the past mistakes the district court considered happened during the lifetime of the child. It would have been improper for the district court not to consider them in determining the best interests of the child.

Holding: The district court issued an eight page decision letter containing detailed findings of fact, a thorough discussion of the applicable law, and a separate discussion of the importance witness credibility played in its decision. Although its ultimate ruling was set forth in one sentence, it was clear from the decision letter in its entirety that the district court carefully and thoughtfully considered the evidence, the law and the best interests of the child in awarding primary custody to Father.


J. Kite delivered the decision.

Link: .

[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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