Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge.
Representing Appellant: Brandon L. Jensen, pro se, of Budd-Falen Law Offices, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee: No appearance.
Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, VOIGT, BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.
[¶1] Appellant, Brandon Lee Jensen (Father), challenges an order from the district court holding him in contempt for failing to comply with an order awarding attorney's fees to Appellee, Margaret E. Milatzo-Jensen (Mother). We recently reversed the district court's order awarding attorney's fees to Mother in Jensen v. Milatzo-Jensen, 2013 WY 27, 297 P.3d 768 (Wyo. 2013) (Jensen I). As a consequence of our reversal of the underlying fee order, we conclude that the contempt order must also be set aside, and we reverse.
[¶2] The sole issue presented for our review is whether the district court's contempt order must be set aside following reversal of the underlying order awarding attorney's fees.
[¶3] We recently decided several issues connected with this litigation in Jensen I. As discussed in that opinion, Father challenged the district court's award of attorney's fees to Mother, which were incurred as a result of Father's motions to compel answers to interrogatories. Id., ¶ 34, 297 P.3d at 779. The district court ordered Father to reimburse Mother $2, 796.50 within 90 days of entry of the order. On appeal, this Court agreed with Father that Mother had failed to establish the reasonableness of the attorney's fees, and concluded that the district court abused its discretion in awarding those fees. Id., ¶ 38, 297 P.3d at 780.
[¶4] During the pendency of that appeal, however, Father failed to pay Mother's attorney's fees in accordance with the district court's order. As a result, on July 10, 2012, Mother filed a motion for an order to show cause as to why Father should not be held in contempt of court for failing to pay the attorney's fees. After a hearing on Mother's motion, the district court held that Father was in contempt for failing to pay the attorney's fees to Mother within 90 days of the court's order. A written order holding Father in contempt of court was entered on September 26. As a sanction for contempt, the court ordered Father to pay Mother an additional $600.00 in attorney's fees. Father filed a timely appeal.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
[¶5] Whether the district court's contempt order must be set aside following reversal of the underlying attorney fee order is a question of law. We review questions of law de novo. Plymale v. Donnelly, ...