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Cody T. Zeitner v. Joseph Grossmayer Shank

December 13, 2012

CODY T. ZEITNER, APPELLANT (PLAINTIFF),
v.
JOSEPH GROSSMAYER SHANK, APPELLEE (DEFENDANT).



Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge

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

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

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] Appellant, Cody Zeitner, acting pro se, challenges the district court's order denying her petition for modification of custody. No transcript of the hearings on the petition was created, and Ms. Zeitner's statement of the evidence was not approved by the district court pursuant to Wyoming Rule of Appellate Procedure 3.03. Further, Ms. Zeitner's appellate brief fails to comply with several provisions of W.R.A.P. 7.01. Based on the lack of a hearing transcript and the deficiencies in Ms. Zeitner's brief, we affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Ms. Zeitner (Mother) presents the following issues:

1. Did the trial Judge's decision to admit and review evidence in September, 2011 but fail to acknowledge it in January, 2012, a full four months later, violate due process?

2. Did the trial Judge's personal opinion about the Plaintiff and her marriage, specifically forming opinions based on no facts or evidence, violate the Wyoming Judicial Code of Conduct?

3. Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona made over 30 rulings. Did misinterpretations and failure to clarify the Arizona[] Court['s] 2007 and 2008 orders filed by the maternal grandparents result in an unfair ruling? Were they even relevant to these proceedings?

4. [The trial court] faxed information to the Defendant that was used to discredit the Plaintiff on a Power of Attorney that was filed by mistake. The correct and legal document was admitted into evidence. Did [the court's] ex parte communication with the Defendant violate the Wyoming Judicial Code of Conduct?

5. Plaintiff filed [the] petition based on very specific UCCJEA*fn1 statutes as well as the application of Wyoming statutes on child abuse and abandonment that fell under UCCJEA guidelines. Did [the court's] failure to rule on the issues in the Plaintiff's initial pleading result in an unfair ruling?

Appellee (Father) did not file a brief.

FACTS

[¶3] The parties were married in 1999 in Mesa, Arizona. Two children were born into the marriage: BJS, born in 2000, and AZS, born in 2003. Upon dissolution of the marriage in 2004, the parties agreed they would share joint legal custody of the children and that Mother would have primary residential custody. Seven months after entry of the parties' stipulated divorce decree, Mother filed a petition for sole custody of the children in the Superior Court of Arizona for Maricopa County. The court granted the petition. Ten months later, Father petitioned for sole custody of the children. The Arizona court granted Father's petition by default and awarded sole custody of the children to him. The children's maternal grandparents, Patty and Richard Trembley, were subsequently granted visitation with the children. In May, 2008, the court entered an order "granting grandmother's request to allow the minor children, [AZS] and [BJS] to have contact with their natural mother [] during grandparenting time."

[ΒΆ4] In late 2009, Father relinquished physical custody of AZS to the Trembleys after AZS was hospitalized for an appendectomy. Ms. Trembley collected AZS from the hospital in Arizona and returned with him to her home in Buffalo, Wyoming. Father executed a "Limited Non-Durable Power of Attorney" granting the Trembleys the power to exercise Father's parental rights with respect to the care, custody, and control of AZS for a ...


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