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Gosar's Unlimited Inc. v. Wyoming Public Service Com'n

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 19, 2013

GOSAR'S UNLIMITED INC., Appellant (Petitioner),
v.
The WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, Appellee (Respondent).

Page 1153

Representing Appellant: Bruce S. Asay of Associated Legal Group, LLC, Cheyenne, WY.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Martin L. Hardsocg, Deputy Attorney General; Ryan T. Schelhaas, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Michael M. Robinson, Senior Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Robinson.

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

HILL, Justice.

[¶ 1] Gosar's Unlimited, Inc. (" Gosar's" ) owns and operates two mobile home parks where, historically, Gosar's included in the rent it charged tenants the cost of water that it purchased from the City of Rock Springs

Page 1154

for the tenants' use. However, in 2000, Gosar's installed water meters on each trailer lot and began charging tenants for their water usage separately from their rent.

[¶ 2] In 2008, acting on a complaint from a former tenant, the Public Service Commission (" PSC" ) opened an investigation to determine whether Gosar's was operating as a public utility and therefore subject to regulation by the PSC. Following an investigation and subsequent hearing, the PSC determined that Gosar's was a public utility subject to PSC regulation. The district court affirmed the PSC's determination, and this appeal followed.

ISSUES

[¶ 3] We rephrase Gosar's issues as follows:

1. Whether Gosar's is a public utility subject to regulation by the PSC, given that Gosar's operates a mobile home park and installed water meters to allow it to bill tenants for their water usage separately from their rent?
2. Whether the PSC's regulation of Gosar's has violated Gosar's right to equal protection because the PSC does not regulate other similarly situated mobile home park operators?

FACTS

[¶ 4] Gosar's is a Wyoming statutory close corporation owned by Darla Gosar. Gosar's owns and operates two mobile home parks in Rock Springs: Mobile Corrals and Mobile Stalls. Those mobile home parks are serviced by city meters and are billed for overall usage. In May of 2000, Gosar's installed water usage meters for each lot in each mobile home park. Since then, Gosar's has billed water and sewer usage for each lot occupant separately from rent. Also, in order to track water payments to the City of ...


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