Thursday, May 09, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 56

Summary of Decision May 9, 2013

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Dismissed and Remanded.


Docket Number: S-12-0192


Appeal from the District Court of Hot Springs County, the Honorable Robert E. Skar, Judge

Representing Appellant: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Robin Sessions Cooley, Deputy Attorney General; Jill E. Kucera, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Jared Crecelius, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Representing Appellee: No appearance filed.

Date of Decision: May 9, 2013

Facts: In 2009, the Wyoming Department of Family Services (Department) filed an action to enforce a 2003 order requiring Connie Powell to pay child support and certain related expenses. Instead of enforcing the 2003 order, the district court set aside the 2003 order, ordered that the child support obligation be recalculated, and directed that the revised child support obligation be applied retroactive to 1999, the date the children’s father obtained custody of the children. The Department appealed, contending that the district court abused its discretion in setting aside the 2003 order.

Issues: The Department presents the following issue on appeal:

In 2012, the district court ordered a retroactive recalculation of child support against Connie Powell for child support arrears and medical and travel expenses even though neither the mother nor the father filed a motion or petition requesting modification of child support or relief from the judgment. Did the district court abuse its discretion by retroactively modifying the child support order and setting aside the judgment without a proper petition or motion from a party requesting such relief?

Holdings: The district court was without jurisdiction to modify the August 2003 child support order where no petition to modify had been filed. The Court therefore dismissed the appeal and remanded to the district court for entry of an order vacating the Order Setting Aside August 4, 2003 Judgment and Child Support Obligation filed on June 29, 2012.

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

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