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Kleinpeter v. Kleinpeter

Supreme Court of Wyoming

June 26, 2017

MANDI LYNN KLEINPETER, n/k/a MANDI LYNN DeLEON, Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
DEDRICK RAY KLEINPETER, Appellee (Defendant).

         Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable Catherine C. Wilking, Judge.

          Representing Appellant: Wendy S. Owens, Casper, WY.

          Representing Appellee: Dedrick Ray Kleinpeter, Pro Se, Casper, WY.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          HILL, Justice.

         [¶1] Mandi Kleinpeter, n/k/a Mandi DeLeon (Mother), and Dedrick Kleinpeter (Father) divorced after having two children together. About four months after entry of the Decree of Divorce, Father filed a motion for an order to show cause why Mother should not be held in contempt for failing to allow Father in-person and telephonic visits with the couple's children. Following an evidentiary hearing, the district court found Mother in contempt of the Decree's provisions allowing Father reasonable visitation with the children and requiring that both parents make reasonable efforts to insure the children free access to and unhampered contact with both parents. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Mother states the issues on appeal as follows:

1. Did the District Court err in finding Appellant in civil contempt of court with regard to supervised visitation?
2. Did the District Court err in finding Appellant in civil contempt of court with regard to telephonic contact?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Mother and Father were married on May 3, 2009 and had two children together: RMK, born in 2010, and JCK born in 2011. On March 16, 2015, Mother filed a complaint for divorce, and on February 9, 2016, the district court entered a Decree of Divorce (hereinafter Divorce Decree or Decree). The Decree stated that the parties generally agreed and stipulated that, among other facts:

5. * * * [Mother] is a fit and proper person to have the legal and physical care, custody of the minor children of the parties; and it is in the children's best interests to be placed in the legal and physical custody of [Mother] with [Father] having rights of reasonable visitation as agreed by both parties upon reasonable notice with the initial six months of visitation to be supervised by a third party such as the Casper Family Connections paid for by [Father].

         [¶4] With regard to custody of the children, visitation, and the obligation to cooperate, the Decree ordered:

3. That [Mother] is awarded the legal and physical custody of the parties' children * * *; and that [Father] will be entitled to reasonable visitation upon reasonable notice with the first six months of visitation to be supervised by a third party such as the Casper Family Connections paid for by [Father]. Following the successful completion of the supervised visitation [Father] can have visitation with reasonable notice for alternate weekends and alternate holidays. In order for visitation to be utilized [Father] must not utilize in any fashion alcohol or illegal/synthetic drugs or in any way improperly utilize drugs whether the drugs are prescribed to [Father] or not. [Father] will be responsible for any transportation costs in exercising his visitation.
10. Obligation to Cooperate. Neither of the parents shall complain about or malign the other nor the others' family. Neither shall either directly or indirectly cause the child[ren] to lose respect for or alienate the affection of said child[ren] toward the other parent. The parents shall cast each other in the most favorable light before the child[ren] and shall recognize the great importance of the other's parent/child relationship. Either parent has the right to petition to enforce or revise this decree with regard to the care, custody, visitation and maintenance of the child[ren] as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the child[ren] requires in accordance with W.S. 20-2-201 through 20-2-204 and 30-2-311(d). Any breach of this instruction shall constitute a material violation of this order. Additionally, both parents shall:
(b) Make every reasonable effort to insure free access of the child[ren] to and unhampered contact with both parents.

         [¶5] On June 13, 2016, Father filed a motion for order to show cause in which he alleged that Mother had violated the Decree by denying reasonable visitation and by denying him access to the children by telephone. The district court entered an order to show cause, and Mother responded with her traverse, which stated, in part:

5. While [Father] wishes that visitation be supervised by SueAnn Tavener, LPC, it is in the children's best interest that visitation be supervised through Casper Family Connections as recommended in the Decree of Divorce. It is further in the children's best interest that [Father] not graduate to standard visitation until he has completed six months of consistent, regular, supervised visitation through Casper Family Connections.
6. No specific visitation schedule was ordered, particularly regarding the six months of supervised visitation. There is no effective visitation schedule to be violated or enforced. [Father] cannot claim a violation of a non-specific order.
9. [Mother] has not willfully violated this Court's Orders, and therefore the Motion for Order to Show ...

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