Court Summaries, 1021 WYBJ, Vol. 44 No. 5. 50

PositionVol. 44 5 Pg. 50

Court Summaries

No. Vol. 44 No. 5 Pg. 50

Wyoming Bar Journal

October, 2021

Nicholas J. Jendresen v. State of Wyoming S-19-0154, S-20-0244 2021 WY 82

July 8, 2021

In 2016, Nicholas Jendresen confessed to his brother-in-law, Arlin Price, that he had been touching his six-year-old daughter, I.J., “in her private areas.” Price advised Jendresen to tell his wife, and the next evening Jendresen did so. Price proceeded to call the Gillette Police Department and reported what Jendresen had disclosed.

Shortly thereafter, Corporal Jay Johnson went to Jendresen’s apartment and encountered Jendresen walking out of his apartment into the hallway, naked. He commanded Jendresen to show his hands and to lie down on the floor. He complied at first, but then slipped past the officers, who tased him at least twice; he ran down a flight of stairs and out the door where he was tackled in the snow. Te officers cuffed him and dragged him back into the apartment building.

EMTs arrived and asked him what was going on, and he answered, “I was a bad man. . . I was being a bad man. And it . . . it hurt . . . my daughter.” When Jendresen calmed down, Corporal Johnson arrived at the hospital and advised Jendresen of his Miranda rights. Jendresen indicated he understood by nodding. He then confessed to touching his daughter in a sexual way in detail.

A few days later, while in jail, Jendresen asked Corporal Johnson to come and speak with him. He was advised of his rights and confessed again in detail.

After Jendresen was arraigned, he filed a motion to suppress his confessions. Te district court denied the motion, finding that Jendresen had waived his Miranda rights voluntarily and intelligently. At trial, the district court found Jendresen guilty.

On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed and held that Jendresen’s Miranda waiver was knowing and intelligent. Te Court noted that the rights recognized in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) protect “defendants against government coercion leading them to surrender rights protected by the Fifth Amendment.” Statements made during a custodial interrogation are therefore inadmissible unless the suspect is advised voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waives those rights under Miranda.

Anna Reeves Olson

Park Street Law Offices Casper, Wyoming

In other words, the waiver must be made with a full awareness both of the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it. However, there is no bright line test that exists for determining when a defendant sufficiently comprehends his rights.

Here, the Supreme Court held that the district court’s findings were not clearly erroneous because the evidence showed that Jendresen “did have awareness of the nature of his Miranda rights and . . . understood sufficiently the consequences of his decision to waive those rights.” Te evidence showed: the Miranda warnings were read, Jendresen indicated he understood those rights, Jendresen was calm, and he gave details about the abuse. Terefore, the Court held that the district court correctly concluded that Jendresen was aware of his right to remain silent and he knowingly abandoned that right.

Jennifer Brown, et al. v. Best Home Health & Hospice, LLC S-20-0270 2021 WY 83

July 15, 2021

Best Home provides home health care to clients. In 2016, Best Home started requiring its employees to sign a written employment agreement, which stated that the employees were “at-will.” Te Agreement also contained a non-compete provision which prohibited employees from competing with Best Home by providing home health care services similar to its services. In the event a former employee violated the Agreement, Best Home was also authorized to seek injunctive relief.

Nurses Jennifer Brown and Nora Youngren were already employed by Best Home when they signed the Agreement in June 2016. Nurse Carol Wolfe signed the Agreement at the time of her hire in 2017. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, these three nurses went to work for a competitor.

Best Home filed a complaint asserting the nurses violated the Agreement and petitioned the district court for a preliminary injunction to prohibit them from working during the pendency of the litigation. Te nurses opposed the preliminary injunction, arguing the non-compete...

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