Devin Jay Hardman v. State of Wyoming
2018 WY 24
March 5, 2018
Devin Jay Hardman entered a conditional no contest plea to a charge of driving under the influence. The district court entered its Order Granting Entry of Conditional Plea pursuant to W.R.Cr.P. 11(a)(2), identifying the purpose of the conditional plea as: “[T]o allow the Defendant to appeal the District Court’s denial of the Defendant’s motions to suppress the blood alcohol concentration level of . . . 0.08% and to allow further hearings pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms.”
On appeal, the Supreme Court held that Mr. Hardman did not present a proper conditional plea because conditional pleas are only permitted when the decision of the appellate court will dispose of the case either by allowing the plea to stand or by “such action as compelling dismissal of the [charges] or suppressing essential evidence.”
The Court reasoned that because a remand for further Daubert hearings could lead to a variety of outcomes, most of which would entail further proceedings without necessarily disposing of the case, the conditional plea was invalid and the matter was reversed and remanded.
EGW and AW, through their GAL, Stephanie J. Withrow v. First Federal Savings Bank of Sheridan as Successor Trustee of the Allen F. Willey Trust.
2018 WY 25
March 5, 2018
In 2001, Allen Willey created the Allen F. Willey Trust for the management of his assets during his lifetime and for distribution of the assets upon his death. Mr. Willey initially named his son, Spencer Willey, as successor trustee and the Trust ultimately benefited Spencer’s minor children, E.W. and A.W.
In 2010, Mr. Willey amended the Trust to remove Spencer as a beneficiary and successor trustee. E.W. and A.W. remained as beneficiaries. In March 2014, Mr. Willey amended the Trust again and added an in terrorem, or “no-contest” clause, which provided, “It is my intention that the provisions of my Trust be honored and respected without challenge . . . [and any] challenge to this Trust . . . shall immediately terminate any interest in the Trust of any descendant of mine.”
In 2016, E.W. and A.W. fled suit through Spencer, who acted as “next friend” for his children and sought, inter alia, a declaratory judgment that the in terrorem clause would not apply to them. Shortly after suit was fled, Allen Willey died and the district court upheld the in terrorem clause, meaning that E.W. and A.W.’s interest in any of the Trust’s assets was terminated.
On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed and held that because of Wyoming’s clear authority that supports a testator’s ability to dispose of his property as he chooses, the Court could not conclude that the in terrorem clause in Mr. Willey’s Trust violated public policy. The Court also held that the fact that the suit was initiated prior to Mr. Willey’s death did not create an exception to enforceability of no-contest clause.
Clayton Long v. Satin Long
2018 WY 26
March 12, 2018
After Clayton and Satin Long separated, Ms. Long retained a lawyer who drafted a stipulated judgment and decree of divorce. The stipulation provided that she would have full custody of the children, Mr. Long would pay $3,000 per month in child support and $3,000 per month in alimony. Ms. Long was also to receive the marital home, 100% of Mr. Long’s retirement and the vehicles. Mr. Long, who had been drinking heavily since the separation, signed the stipulation and decree of divorce.
Ms. Long then fled for divorce and presented the stipulated judgment and decree of divorce. Husband challenged enforceability, but the district court held that it was enforceable. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that simply because the complaint for divorce had not been fled when the stipulated judgment and decree of divorce were signed, there was...