Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Summary 2011 WY 36

Summary of Decision March 1, 2011

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it is issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

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

Case Name: Madsen v. Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, Wyoming

Citation: 2011 WY 36

Docket Number: S-10-0067

URL: http://wyomcases.courts.state.wy.us/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=461786

Original Proceeding Petition for Writ of Review District Court of Laramie County,
The Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge

Representing Appellant (Petitioner): Patrick J. Murphy of Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, Casper, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Respondent): Paul D. Schierer, M. Greg Weisz and Antonio E. Bendezu of Pence and MacMillan, Laramie, Wyoming.

Date of Decision: March 1, 2011

Facts: After the Respondent Hospital Board filed a complaint against him, Petitioner filed a counterclaim against the Hospital. On the Hospital’s motion, the district court dismissed the counterclaim finding that it did not adequately allege compliance with the signature and certification requirements for notices of claim contained in the Wyoming Constitution.

Issues: Whether the allegation contained in Petitioner’s counterclaim complies with the Wyoming Constitution, Art. 16, § 7 and Wyo. Stat. 1-39-113 ( 2009). Whether the itemization of damages contained in Petitioner’s notice of claim is sufficient under Art. 16, § 7 and § 1-39-113.

Holdings: To avoid dismissal of his counterclaim, it was incumbent upon Petitioner to show that he had satisfied the condition precedent to maintaining an action against the Hospital. That is, he had to show that within two years of the conduct giving rise to his claim he presented to the Hospital an itemized statement in writing certified under penalty of perjury. Petitioner met that showing by alleging in his complaint that he had presented a notice of claim pursuant to § 1-39-113 and Art. 16, § 7 of the Wyoming Constitution and by attaching the notice of claim he had presented to the Hospital which satisfied the requirements of those provisions.

In dismissing the counterclaim, the district court also concluded the notice of claim did not comply with Wyoming Constitution Art. 16, § 7 in that it did not contain a sufficiently detailed itemization of Petitioner’s losses. The purposes of requiring a full itemized statement were twofold: to give governmental entities the information they need to intelligently consider claims made against them and to provide taxpayers a means of assessing governmental expenditures. Petitioner’s notice of claim alleged total damages in the amount of $750,000 and separated that total into four categories: direct contractual damages, consequential damages, lost income and relocation. Petitioner’s itemization met the requirements of § 1-39-113(b)(iii). It constituted a “full itemized statement in writing” sufficient to apprise the Hospital as to the nature and extent of the damages claimed as contemplated by Art. 16, § 7.

The notice of claim presented in this case sufficiently alleged compliance with the statutory and constitutional requirements for notices of governmental claims. The district court had subject matter jurisdiction upon the filing of the counterclaim alleging a claim against a governmental entity. The itemization of damages in the notice of claim satisfied the constitutional requirements.

Reversed and remanded.

J. Kite delivered the opinion for the court.

J. Voigt concurred in part and dissented in part.

Petitioner’s counterclaim, which alleged “delivery” of the notice of claim pursuant to both Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-39-113 and article 16, section 7 of the Wyoming Constitution, coupled with attachment of the notice of claim, showing such compliance, was sufficient to give the district court subject matter jurisdiction over the counterclaim under our existing precedent. However, the mere filing of a complaint or counterclaim alleging a claim against a governmental entity does not give the district court subject matter jurisdiction over that claim.

No comments:

Check out our tags in a cloud (from Wordle)!