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Cook v. Swires

February 19, 2009

RONNIE L. COOK, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
DANIEL L. SWIRES, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Albany County The Honorable Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kite, Justice.

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, and BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] The district court confirmed the execution sale of Mr. Cook's Albany County real property to satisfy two Colorado judgments. On appeal, Mr. Cook claims that the filing of the foreign judgments was insufficient pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, the property was not available for execution, the district court did not allow him the proper redemption period and he is entitled to seek contribution from his co-judgment debtors, including Mr. Swires. Mr. Swires contests Mr. Cook's assertions and also argues that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider the sufficiency of the foreign judgments filing because Mr. Cook did not appeal an earlier district court ruling on the issue. We conclude that we do not have jurisdiction over Mr. Cook's claim that the foreign judgments were improperly filed, but affirm as to the remainder of the issues.

ISSUES

[¶2] Mr. Cook presents the following issues on appeal:

1. Was the incorrect filing of the Colorado judgment in Wyoming sufficient to support Wyoming enforcement?

2. Was the property still available for execution after the debt was discharged in bankruptcy and the foreign judgment lien filed February 2, 2000 expired because of the one year limitation in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-17-336?

3. Had the judgment been properly entered and had the enforcement been timely, was Ronnie L. Cook entitled to a twelve month period for redemption?

4. Is Ronnie L. Cook entitled to contribution from the plaintiff and his wife Susan Swires who are also judgment debtors in the assigned Colorado judgment?

Mr. Swires presents similar issues but also raises two additional issues:

1. Does the Court have subject matter jurisdiction to hear Appellant Cook's appeal as to a challenge of the execution sale based on the alleged invalidity of the underlying judgment when Cook failed to take a timely appeal of an appealable district court order?

2. Does Cook, who filed for bankruptcy protection, have standing to pursue contribution against Appellee Swires when Swires also had an allowed unsecured claim in Cook's bankruptcy?

FACTS

[¶3] Mr. Cook and Mr. Swires were the sole members of a Wyoming limited liability company called Adventure Stone, LLC. John Claus loaned funds to the limited liability company and payment of the loan was guarantied by Mr. Cook, Mr. Swires and his wife Susan Swires. The company defaulted on the loan and Mr. Claus brought an action in Colorado against the company and the guarantors. On December 14, 1999, a Colorado court entered a default judgment against Mr. and Mrs. Swires and the company. Shortly thereafter, the same court entered a summary judgment against Mr. Cook concluding it was undisputed that the company had defaulted on its debt to Mr. Claus and Mr. Cook had guarantied payment. The two judgments indicated the defendants were jointly and severally liable.

[¶4] In early 2000, Mr. Claus filed both Colorado judgments in Albany County pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 1-17-701 through 1-17-707 (LexisNexis 2007) (UEFJA). The filings were identified as F.J. 357 by the district court. Mr. Claus also recorded the ...


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