Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 113

Summary of Decision August 29, 2012

Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.

Case Name: NORTHWEST BUILDING COMPANY, LLC, a Wyoming Limited Liability Company v. NORTHWEST DISTRIBUTING, CO., INC., a Wyoming Corporation

Docket Number: S-11-0283


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

Representing Appellant: Greg L. Goddard, Christopher M. Wages and Tucker J. Ruby of Goddard, Wages & Vogel, Buffalo, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Ruby.

Representing Appellee: Thomas J. Klepperich, Dan B. Riggs and Amanda K. Roberts of Lonabaugh and Riggs, LLP, Sheridan, Wyoming. Argument by Ms. Roberts.

Date of Decision: August 29, 2012

Facts: Northwest Building Company, LLC (Contractor) performed construction services for Northwest Distributing Co., Inc. (Owner) on a Taco John’s/Good Times facility in Gillette, Wyoming. Contractor brought an action against Owner seeking payment for its services, and Owner counterclaimed. After Contractor’s attorney moved to withdraw, the district court ordered Contractor to find substitute counsel by the pretrial conference. When Contractor was unable to find substitute counsel by the deadline, the district court sanctioned it by dismissing its complaint and granting judgment in favor of Owner on its counterclaims. Contractor appealed, raising a number of procedural issues. Affirmed.

Issues: Contractor presents several issues for our review:

1. Whether the District Court abused its discretion when it allowed [Contractor’s] counsel to withdraw when no new counsel had entered a written appearance on [Contractor’s] behalf.

2. Whether the District Court abused its discretion when it dismissed all of [Contractor’s] claims with prejudice and entered judgment against [Contractor] on all of [Owner’s] counterclaims in its Order Granting Motion to Withdraw and Imposing Sanctions, and denied [Contractor’s] motion to set aside those sanctions in its Order Denying Motion to Set Aside Sanctions.

3. Whether the District Court erred when it considered [Contractor’s] Notice of Appeal, dated May 31, 2011, appealing the District Court’s Order Granting Motion to Withdraw and Imposing Sanctions and Order Denying Motion to Set Aside Sanctions premature.

4. Whether the District Court erred when it maintained jurisdiction over the case, proceeded to a hearing on the damages owed [Owner] on [Owner’s] counterclaims on July 29, 2011, and awarded [Owner] damages pursuant to its counterclaims in its Judgment, dated September 19, 2011.

5. Whether the District Court abused its discretion when it struck [Contractor’s] Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings from the record on appeal in its entirety.

Owner’s statement of the issues is similar.

Holdings: The district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to accept Contractor’s statement of the evidence and, instead, relying on its orders to establish the record on appeal in this case. Affirmed.

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

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