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Lykins v. Habitat for Humanity

August 18, 2010

JIM LYKINS AND JILL M. SELLARS, APPELLANTS (DEFENDANTS),
v.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, THE HEART OF WYOMING, INC., APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burke, Justice

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT*fn1, and BURKE, JJ.

BURKE, J., delivers the opinion of the Court; VOIGT, J., files a special concurrence.

[¶1] In litigation disputing the ownership of a residential property in Casper, Wyoming, a default judgment was entered against the Appellants, Jim Lykins and Jill M. Sellars, and in favor of the Appellee, Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Lykins and Ms. Sellars moved to set aside the default judgment. The district court denied the motion, and Mr. Lykins and Ms. Sellars appealed that decision. We will affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Mr. Lykins and Ms. Sellars present these issues:

1. Whether the District Court erred when it ruled that "the Defendants have failed to make the requisite showing of the grounds upon which the Default Judgment in this case should be set aside pursuant to Rules 55 and 60(b) of the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure."

2. Whether the District Court acted in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law; the District Court acted contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege or immunity; the District Court acted without observance of procedure required by law; or the District Court ruling was unsupported by substantial evidence in a case reviewed on the record of an agency hearing provided by statute. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 16-3-114(A), (B), (D), and (E) (LexisNexis 2009).

Habitat for Humanity states the issues as follows:

A. Whether the District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellants' motion to set aside the default.

B. Whether this Court should summarily affirm or dismiss the appeal for failure to designate or cite to any record on appeal as well as other disregard of the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure.

C. Whether this Court should summarily affirm or dismiss the appeal since Appellants present no cogent argument or pertinent authorities in support of their position.

FACTS

[ΒΆ3] According to the complaint filed by Habitat for Humanity, the late Vernon Christman established a revocable trust on July 19, 2001. The following month, Mr. Christman conveyed the disputed property to the trust. The trust documents directed that the property be distributed to Habitat for Humanity at the time of Mr. Christman's death. He died on January 7, 2009, and on April 23, 2009, Ann Marie Spencer, as trustee, executed a trustee's deed conveying the ...


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