SWC PRODUCTION, INC., an Oklahoma corporation, Appellant (Defendant),
WOLD ENERGY PARTNERS, LLC., a Delaware limited liability company, Appellee (Plaintiff).
from the District Court of Converse County The Honorable F.
Scott Peasley, Judge
Representing Appellant: S. Thomas Throne of Throne Law
Office, P.C., Sheridan, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee: Thomas F. Reese and Will Reese of
Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, P.C., Casper, Wyoming.
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
Appellant, SWC Production, Inc. (SWC), appeals the district
court's denial of its W.R.C.P. 60(b) motion, arguing that
two pieces of evidence, one of which it possessed and the
other which was a matter of public record at the time of
trial, constituted newly discovered evidence. SWC contends
that it was not owing to a want of due diligence that it did
not discover the documents in its physical possession or data
available on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation
Commission's (Commission) website prior to trial. The
district court disagreed. Finding no abuse of discretion, we
SWC raises one issue, rephrased as:
I. Whether the district court abused its discretion by
denying SWC's W.R.C.P. 60(b) motion.
Since May 2015, Wold Energy Partners, LLC (Wold) has operated
the Powell Pressure Maintenance Unit (Unit). SWC owns a
non-operating working interest in the Unit. The Unit
Operating Agreement (Agreement) outlines the parties'
respective duties within the Unit. Wold, on December 20,
2016, sued for breach of contract, alleging SWC failed to pay
its share of operating costs due under the Agreement. SWC
counterclaimed, arguing breach of contract, conversion, and
unjust enrichment against Wold. Subsequently, the parties
filed motions for summary judgment. On July 20, 2018, the
district court granted Wold's motion for summary judgment
and, on August 21, 2018, entered final judgment in favor of
Wold in the amount of $123, 967.51, plus interest and
Following entry of final judgment, SWC discovered two items
it characterizes as "newly discovered evidence."
First, SWC discovered, "in another file," revenue
distribution "check stubs" from Wold's
predecessor-in-interest. Second, SWC discovered, on the
Commission's website, production data Wold's
predecessor-in-interest in the Unit submitted to the
Commission. SWC filed a W.R.C.P. 60(b) motion to set aside
judgment based on this "newly discovered
evidence." SWC alleged both items, taken together,
proved Wold's predecessor-in-interest failed to pay SWC
according to the Agreement-a liability SWC alleged Wold
assumed when it became the operator of the Unit. The district
court concluded that neither item of evidence was "newly
discovered" and denied SWC's motion. SWC appealed.
We review the district court's denial of SWC's
W.R.C.P. 60(b) motion for abuse of discretion. Campbell
v. Hein, 2013 WY 131, ¶ 8, 311 P.3d 165, 167 (Wyo.
2013); Painovich v. Painovich, 2009 WY 116, ¶
5, 216 P.3d 501, 503 (Wyo. 2009). "An abuse of
discretion occurs where the district court could not
reasonably have concluded as it did." Drury v.
State, 2008 WY 130, ¶ 8, 194 P.3d 1017, 1019 (Wyo.
2008) (citing Thomas v. State, 2006 WY 34, ¶
10, 131 P.3d 348, 352 (Wyo. 2006)). "[I]t is the
movant's burden to bring his cause within the claimed
grounds of relief and to substantiate these claims with
adequate proof." Painovich, ¶ 5, 216 P.3d
at 503 (citing In re ...