Summary of Decision September 13, 2013
Justice Voigt delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.
Case Name: GEORGE M. SONNETT, JR. and WENDY Z. BURGERS SONNETT, Husband and Wife v. FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, a California corporation, and FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY OF SUBLETTE COUNTY, a Wyoming corporation
Docket Number: S-12-0237
Appeal from the District Court of Sublette County the Honorable Marvin L. Tyler, Judge
Representing Appellant: George M. Sonnett, Jr. and Wendy Z. Burgers Sonnett of Washington, Virginia, pro se. Argument by Mr. Sonnett and Ms. Burgers Sonnett.
Representing Appellee: Stuart R. Day and Keith J. Dodson of Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, P.C., Casper, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Day.
Date of Decision: September 13, 2013
Facts: The appellants, George M. Sonnett, Jr. and Wendy Z. Burgers Sonnett, filed a complaint against the appellees, First American Title Insurance Company and First American Title Insurance Company of Sublette County (collectively “First American”). In their complaint, the Sonnetts alleged that First American breached the terms of the title insurance policy, was negligent, and acted in bad faith when it determined that damages the Sonnetts claimed they incurred due to a “Master Plan” associated with their property was not covered under the title insurance policy. After the parties filed competing motions for summary judgment, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of First American and dismissed the Sonnetts’ complaint. The Sonnetts now appeal that decision and other procedural matters.
Issues: 1. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of First American regarding the Sonnetts’ breach of contract claim? 2. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of First American regarding the Sonnetts’ bad faith denial of coverage claim? 3. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of First American regarding the Sonnetts’ claims of negligence? 4. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it considered a decision letter it previously issued in a different civil action involving the Sonnetts and the same property at dispute in the present case? 5. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it struck portions of the Sonnetts’ affidavits that were attached to their motion for summary judgment? 6. Did the district court err when it granted First American’s motion for summary judgment despite the fact that it had already ordered the parties to mediate the case?
Holdings: These “arguments,” as presented by the Sonnetts, are substantively deficient. They lack any cogent argument or citation to relevant authority. Instead, they simply are conclusory allegations. We find that the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of First American on all claims brought in the Sonnetts’ complaint. The order of the district court is affirmed.
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court
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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Summary of Decision September 13, 2013