Anna Reeves Olson, Park Street Law Offices Casper, Wyoming
Joyce Hailing & MedCon, Inc. v. David A. Yovanovich, et al.
2017 WY 28
March 9, 2017
David and Joyce Hailing, as manager of Professional Business Holdings, LP (PBH) and president of MedCon, Inc., respectively, each purchased an undivided half interest in a parcel of land from Brandon Bentley. Mr. Bentley then assigned his rights and interests in the PBH mortgage to 1st Bank of Afton, Wyoming, and his rights and interests in the MedCon note and mortgage to David Yovanovich. Yovanovich later sued MedCon, alleging that it failed to pay the amount due under the note. The district court granted Yovanovich's motion for summary judgment but denied his request for prejudgment interest. Both parties appealed.
On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the summary judgment ruling but held that the district court abused its discretion when it failed to award prejudgment interest to Yovanovich. The Supreme Court reasoned that "parties are entitled to the use of money owed them, that 'the use of money has real economic value,' and that '[prejudgment interest should [be] awarded as an attempt to compensate for that loss.'" The Court further held that "[prejudgment interest is available if a two-part test is met: (1) the claim must be liquidated, meaning it is readily computable via simple mathematics; and (2) the debtor must receive notice of the amount due before interest begins to accumulate."MedCon maintained that Yovanovich was not entitled to prejudgment interest because he did not request it in his complaint. However, the Court ruled that under Rule 54, W.R.C.P, a party does not waive its request for prejudgment interest by omitting the request from pretrial submission.
The Court also held that Yovanovich was entitled to a prejudgment interest rate of 7% pursuant to W.S. § 40-14-106(e) because the parties had failed to specify the rate that was to be applied after the maturity of the promissory note.
Louise J. Galiher v. Dennis & Vicki Johnson
2017 WY 31
March 14, 2017
In April 2013, Ms. Galiher had her lot surveyed and she noticed that her neighbors, Vicki and Dennis Johnson, were using 1,208 square feet of her property for parking and to store various items. When Galiher asked Johnson to remove his items, he responded that he had been using her lot for years with permission from the previous owners. Johnson proceeded to tell several other witnesses that he knew that he did not own the disputed 1,208 square feet of property, but he had permission from the previous owners to be there. Subsequently, Johnson called Galiher and told her that he was not going to remove his items because he felt that he had a right to be there.
Galiher sued to quiet title and the Johnsons counterclaimed claiming that they owned the property through adverse possession. At trial, Mr. Johnson testified that he always thought that he had been using the property with permission and that he never intended to take the property away from the previous...