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Harignordoquy v. Barlow

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 10, 2013

Christopher HARIGNORDOQUY, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
Lee Ann BARLOW, Appellee (Plaintiff).

Page 1266

Representing Appellant: Christopher Harignordoquy, pro se.

Representing Appellee: Lea Kuvinka of Kuvinka & Kuvinka, P.C., Jackson, Wyoming.

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

DAVIS, Justice.

[¶ 1] The parties to this appeal were divorced in the District Court for the Ninth Judicial District (Teton County). Appellant Christopher Harignordoquy contends that the district court erred in exercising child custody jurisdiction, in the determination as to whether his children might be entitled to possible dual citizenship as that finding might relate to child custody, in requiring a bond to permit visitation and limiting visitation to Teton County, and in other respects.

Page 1267

Finding no error, we affirm. We also find no reasonable cause for the appeal, and therefore assess Appellee's costs, attorney fees and damages against Appellant as provided in Wyoming Rule of Appellate Procedure 10.05.

ISSUES

[¶ 2] 1. Did Wyoming have home state jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act so as to permit the district court to make a custody determination?

2. Did the district court abuse its discretion in its custody and visitation decision because it found it unlikely that the parties' children would obtain dual French citizenship if it awarded Appellant custody or increased visitation?
3. Are any of Appellant's other arguments adequately supported by pertinent authority or cogent argument so as to permit review?
4. Is Appellee entitled to an award of sanctions under Wyoming Rule of Appellate Procedure 10.05?

FACTS

[¶ 3] Christopher Harignordoquy and Lee Ann Barlow were married in Teton County in October of 2002. Ms. Barlow is a United States citizen. Mr. Harignordoquy is a citizen of both France and the United States. The parties executed a prenuptial agreement before they married.

[¶ 4] The couple decided to have children and arranged a surrogate pregnancy, the details of which need not be discussed here. Twins were born to a surrogate mother in Colorado in late August of 2010. The parties returned to Teton County with the twins on September 7, 2010, and Ms. Barlow and the children have since remained there.

[¶ 5] On March 1, 2011, Ms. Barlow petitioned the Teton County circuit court for a domestic violence protection order against Mr. Harignordoquy. She claimed that he pushed her to the ground and threatened her. The circuit court issued the requested order, which awarded Ms. Barlow temporary custody of the twins and temporary possession of the family residence. Ms. Barlow filed for divorce in the Teton County district court on March 11, 2011. Mr. Harignordoquy moved to France in April of 2011 and has resided there since.

[¶ 6] Ms. Barlow filed a motion for partial summary judgment which sought to have the prenuptial agreement declared valid and enforceable. Mr. Harignordoquy filed a pro se objection, claiming that Barlow was concealing marital assets, which evidently meant that he originally intended to contest the validity of the agreement. However, he later told the district court that he would not in fact contest the prenuptial agreement, and it therefore entered an order finding the prenuptial agreement valid and enforceable.

[¶ 7] Mr. Harignordoquy then filed a motion to disqualify the district judge and guardian ad litem (" GAL" ) in August of 2011. He claimed that the judge had improper connections with the Barlow family, and that the GAL was biased because he worked with a friend of Ms. Barlow's at Central Wyoming College's outreach campus in Jackson. He also titled the motion an interlocutory appeal, but it was never filed or docketed in this Court.

[¶ 8] The district judge entered an order denying the motion to disqualify him because Mr. Harignordoquy failed to support it with the required affidavits. See W.R.C.P. 40.1(b)(2) (motion for disqualification of district judge " shall be supported by an affidavit or affIdavits)" The district judge stated that he was " not ... prejudiced for or against any party in the matter," and the GAL also denied any connections with the Barlow family. The court therefore denied the motion. It also ordered Mr. Harignordoquy to refrain from further threats, personal ...


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