Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Conzelman v. Conzelman

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 9, 2019

MELINDA CAROL CONZELMAN, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
STEVEN RAY CONZELMAN, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John R. Perry, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Bernard Q. Phelan, Phelan Law Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

          Representing Appellee: Kathryn J. Edelman, Edelman Law Office, Gillette, Wyoming.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          GRAY, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Melinda and Steven Conzelman married in 2015 and filed for divorce two years later. In bifurcated proceedings, the district court entered a Decree of Divorce and later ordered the division of the marital property with each party essentially receiving their premarital assets. Ms. Conzelman, the Appellant, contends the district court abused its discretion when it denied her second motion for a continuance of the trial. She also claims the property division improperly punishes her for fault.[1] We affirm.

         ISSUES

         1. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it denied Ms. Conzelman's motion for a continuance of the divorce trial?

         2. Did the district court improperly consider fault in making a division of property?

         FACTS

         [¶2] Steven Conzelman and Melinda Conzelman met in 2014 through an online dating website. Both parties had been previously married-Mr. Conzelman once, and Ms. Conzelman four times. Both parties had grown children, and both had separately acquired assets. When they met, Ms. Conzelman lived in Florida, and Mr. Conzelman lived in Gillette, Wyoming. As their relationship progressed, Ms. Conzelman relocated to Wyoming. Mr. Conzelman paid for her moving expenses ($4000), debt on her vehicle ($3400), and to resolve her outstanding legal issues ($6000).

         [¶3] The parties married on March 5, 2015. The relationship quickly turned rocky, and on May 1, 2017, Ms. Conzelman petitioned in circuit court for an order of protection against Mr. Conzelman, claiming physical abuse. Two days after Ms. Conzelman filed for the protection order, Mr. Conzelman filed for divorce in district court. On May 11, 2017, the circuit court granted Ms. Conzelman a protection order and directed Mr. Conzelman to pay Ms. Conzelman $3000 monthly spousal support through May 11, 2018. It also ordered Mr. Conzelman to provide Ms. Conzelman an insurance card allowing her to continue receiving benefits under his existing coverage. In July 2017, the circuit court lowered Mr. Conzelman's spousal support payments to $1800 a month due to Mr. Conzelman's changed employment status and ordered an additional $200 per month from the parties' joint rental income be paid to Ms. Conzelman.

         [¶4] The divorce trial was set for October 6, 2017. The district court issued its case management order on June 13, 2017, establishing deadlines for the designation of witnesses and identification of exhibits. Ms. Conzelman hired an attorney and filed her answer and counterclaim on May 31, 2017, claiming to be the aggrieved party. Shortly thereafter, her attorney died. Ms. Conzelman found another attorney and that attorney entered an appearance on July 6, 2017.

         [¶5] Both parties actively participated in the pretrial proceedings. Mr. Conzelman was granted occupation of the marital home beginning on June 27, 2017. In July 2017, Ms. Conzelman filed a Motion for Order for Financial Affidavits and Motion for Appraisal of the Marital Residence which the district court set for a hearing. In August, Ms. Conzelman's request for a continuance of the trial to April 16, 2018, was granted. In September, Ms. Conzelman's second attorney moved to withdraw, and the court granted that request in November 2017. Ms. Conzelman found a third lawyer who entered an appearance on March 28, 2018. Ms. Conzelman asked for another continuance on the same day. The district court denied the request.

         [¶6] A three-day bench trial began April 16, 2018.[2] Ms. Conzelman was not allowed to call witnesses because she did not timely file a witness and exhibit list pursuant to the case management order. The district court did allow her to testify, cross-examine Mr. Conzelman's witnesses, and offer exhibits. After the second day of trial, the court bifurcated the proceedings. It ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.