Friday, August 02, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 90

Summary of Decision July 19, 2013

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-12-0194


Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge

Representing Appellant: Bruce S. Asay of Associated Legal Group, LLC, Cheyenne, WY.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Martin L. Hardsocg, Deputy Attorney General; Ryan T. Schelhaas, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Michael M. Robinson, Senior Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Robinson.

Date of Decision: July 19, 2013

Facts: Gosar’s Unlimited, Inc. (“Gosar’s”) owns and operates two mobile home parks where, historically, Gosar’s included in the rent it charged tenants the cost of water that it purchased from the City of Rock Springs for the tenants’ use. However, in 2000, Gosar’s installed water meters on each trailer lot and began charging tenants for their water usage separately from their rent.

In 2008, acting on a complaint from a former tenant, the Public Service Commission (“PSC”) opened an investigation to determine whether Gosar’s was operating as a public utility and therefore subject to regulation by the PSC. Following an investigation and subsequent hearing, the PSC determined that Gosar’s was a public utility subject to PSC regulation. The district court affirmed the PSC’s determination, and this appeal followed.

Issues: We rephrase Gosar’s issues as follows: Whether Gosar’s is a public utility subject to regulation by the PSC, given that Gosar’s operates a mobile home park and installed water meters to allow it to bill tenants for their water usage separately from their rent? Whether the PSC’s regulation of Gosar’s has violated Gosar’s right to equal protection because the PSC does not regulate other similarly situated mobile home park operators?

Holdings: The PSC’s conclusion and the district court’s order affirming that Gosar’s is a public utility under Wyoming law is affirmed.

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

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