Court Summaries, 0419 WYBJ, Vol. 42 No. 3. 40

Author:Anna Reeves Olson Park Street Law Offices Casper, Wyoming
Position:Vol. 42 3 Pg. 40
 
FREE EXCERPT

Court Summaries

Vol. 42 No. 3 Pg. 40

Wyoming Bar Journal

April, 2019

Anna

Reeves Olson Park Street Law Offices Casper, Wyoming

Thomas

Crow v. 2010-1 RADC/CADC Venture, LLC

2018

WY 139

S-18-0088

December

5, 2018

In

2013, 2010-1 RADC/CADC Venture, LLC obtained a judgment

against Tomas Crow for $2 million. The clerk of court issued

a writ of execution and the sheriff attached Crow’s

property. Included in the attached property were more than 30

works of art described by Crow as “primarily framed

oil, watercolors and acrylic paintings.” Mr. Crow fled

an objection to the writ of execution, claiming that his

“pictures or ‘artwork’” were exempt

under W.S. § 1-20-106(a)(i), which exempts “[t]he

family bible, pictures and school books.”

Following

a hearing, the district court denied the claimed exemptions.

On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed and noted that the

general purpose of W.S. § 1-20-106 is to preserve the

family of the debtor from want. Consistent with this purpose,

the statutory exemptions apply only to such items as are

necessary to preserve a basic standard of living.

Furthermore,

as the statute does not place any limit on the value of

exempted “pictures,” this indicates that the

“pictures” the legislature intended to exempt

from execution are assets of high utility or sentimental

value to the debtor and his family, but of relatively low

monetary value to creditors. Additionally, the fact that the

legislature included “pictures” among the other

exempt assets of the first type—between “family

bible” and “school books”—led the

Court to reject Mr. Crow’s interpretation of the

statutory exemption because it is contrary to the

legislature’s intent as indicated by the structure of

the statute as a whole.

Kaley

Addison v. Albany County, Wyoming

2018

WY 148

S-18-0099

December

31, 2018

In

2017, Mr. Addison was charged with 25 felony counts and was

released on a $50,000 cash appearance bond. Five days before

his criminal trial, the State fled a motion to revoke his

bond and the district court issued a warrant for his arrest

for violating his bond conditions. The following day, Addison

died in an armed confrontation with police.

Following

his death, the district court ordered that the $50,000 cash

appearance bond be forfeited to the State. Thereafter, Kaley

Addison, Addison’s daughter, fled an objection to the

forfeiture. Addison’s counsel also fled a motion for

abatement ab initio of Addison’s case,

including the bond forfeiture order. The district court

entered its order affirming forfeiture of Addison’s

bond.

Kaley

Addison appealed and the Supreme Court affirmed. The Supreme

Court stated that the doctrine of abatement ab

initio is a common law doctrine in which criminal

proceedings are deemed nullified from the beginning for

reasons unrelated to the merits of the action. Application of

the doctrine leaves the deceased defendant as if he had never

been indicted or convicted as to any counts on which a

conviction has not yet become final.

Here,

because Addison died prior to trial, he was neither convicted

nor punished. However, when a defendant dies prior to trial,

but before his bond is forfeited, the principles of abatement

do not apply to bond forfeiture. This is because the bond

forfeiture proceeding is collateral to any determination of

Addison’s guilt or innocence, as that proceeding arose

out of separate court orders and conditions Addison agreed to

at his arraignment. Addison’s bond was a civil

contractual agreement between the State and Addison and the

State demonstrated that Addison violated the terms and

conditions of that agreement. In other words, though the

$50,000 cash bond was constructed in relation to

Addison’s pending trial, the bond forfeiture proceeding

did not fall under the criminal prosecution or any judgment.

The terms of Addison’s pre-trial release were

independent of the ultimate determination of his guilt or

innocence, and the forfeiture of Addison’s bond

operated as damages for his breach of those terms, not as

punishment for the criminal offenses for which he was

charged. For those reasons, the Court concluded that the

doctrine of abatement ab initio did not apply.

Scott

Oldroyd v. Tadge Kanjo, M.D.

2019

WY 1

S-18-0110

January

7, 2019

On July

21, 2017, Scott Oldroyd fled a medical malpractice suit

against Dr. Kanjo. Alexander Gallup, a private investigator,

served Kanjo with the complaint and summons on October 26,

2017. Kanjo responded to the lawsuit by fling a motion to

dismiss, alleging that it was fled after the two-year

professional malpractice statute of limitations. In reply,

Oldroyd claimed that he made reasonable efforts to serve

Defendant and asked the court to extend the time for service

pursuant to W. R.C.P. 4(w). The district court determined it

had jurisdiction, and after all savings and tolling statutes

had been properly applied, the statute of limitations

“would have expired on December 1, 2017.”

Consequently, it found that the lawsuit was timely.

Nevertheless,

the district court dismissed the lawsuit sua sponte

because Kanjo was served 97 days after the case was fled. The

district court’s order...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP