Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court setting aside Resolution 2077, which was adopted by the Campbell County Board of Commissioners in 2021, holding that there was no error.Resolution 2077 "revoked and superseded" previous resolutions approving Petitioners - Wyoming Horse Racing, LLC and Wyoming Downs, LLC - to conduct simulcast operations under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 11-25-102(a)(vii)(B) and placed conditions on all future approvals. Petitioners filed a petition for judicial review, arguing that the resolution exceeded the statutory authority of Campbell County under the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. 11-25-101 et seq. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the County had authority under the Pari-Mutuel Act to revoke its prior approvals of Petitioners' simulcast operations. View "Campbell County Bd. of Commissioners v. Wyo. Horse Racing, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming the ruling of the district court affirming the decision of the Medical Commission upholding the order of the Department of Workforce Services denying Appellant's application for permanent total disability benefits under the odd-lot doctrine, holding that there was no error.On appeal, Appellant argued that substantial evidence did not support the Commission's determination that he failed to show his degree of obvious physical impairment, coupled with other facts, qualified him for odd-lot treatment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant failed to meet his burden to establish a degree of physical impairment; and (2) the Commission's credibility determinations were not arbitrary and capricious. View "Rodriguez v. State ex rel. Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) denying Applicant's application for a concealed firearm permit renewal, holding that DCI's denial of Applicant's concealed firearm permit application was not arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.In denying Applicant's concealed firearm permit renewal application, DCI relied on recommendations and information from the Albany County Sheriff and City of Laramie Chief of Police, stating that it made its decision after "reach[ing] out to local law enforcement." The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Applicant had a meaningful opportunity to rebut the evidence against him; and (2) DCI's decision was not arbitrary or capricious or otherwise not in accordance with the law. View "Lemus-Frausto v. State, ex rel. Division of Criminal Investigation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court's order changing the permanency plan for Mother and her two youngest children from family reunification to adoption, holding that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion.On appeal, Mother argued that the juvenile court abused its discretion in determining that the Department of Family Services (DFS) made reasonable but ultimately unsuccessful efforts at reunification and that the permanency plan for the children should be changed to adoption. The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed, holding that the record adequately supported the court's determination that DFS met its burden to prove its efforts at reunifying Mother with her two children were reasonable but unsuccessful. View "NP v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court holding that three roadside services offered by Big Al's Towing and Recovery were taxable under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 37-15-103(a)(i)(J), holding that the Wyoming Board of Equalization correctly concluded that the roadside services were not taxable under the statute.At issue were Big Al's roadside services for jumping-starting a vehicle, unlocking a vehicle, and replacing a flat tire with a spare tire. The Wyoming Department of Revenue determined that Big Al's owed taxes and interest on the roadside assistance revenue it collected between 2016 to 2019. The Board reversed, concluding that the roadside services did not constitute a taxable event. The district court reversed, ruling that the services were taxable under section 39-15-103(a)(I)(J). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Board's decision that Big Al's roadside services were not taxable under the statute was in accordance with law. View "Big Al's Towing & Recovery v. State, Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's declaratory judgment action against Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Board of Parole, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Appellant lacked standing to bring his claims.Appellant, an inmate serving a life sentence and a consecutive five-to-ten-year sentence for crimes to which he pled guilty in 1989, brought this action seeking a declaration that Wyoming's commutation procedures are unconstitutional. The district court dismissed the action, concluding that Appellant lacked standing and that Wyoming's commutation procedures did not violate Appellant's constitutional rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Appellant did not have an existing or genuine interest in or right to commutation he lacked standing to bring his declaratory judgment action; and (2) commutation decisions involve a political question that is not an appropriate subject for judicial review. View "Weldon v. Honorable Mark Gordon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Medical Commission Hearing Panel (Commission) upholding that decision of the Wyoming Workers' Compensation Division denying Claimant's request for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits for a work-related injury that Claimant asserted made him unemployable, holding that the Commission's decision was supported by substantial evidence and was unaffected by any error of law.At issue was Claimant's request for PTD benefits for a work-related back injury Claimant suffered in 2002. The Division denied Claimant's application for PTD benefits, and the Commission upheld the Division's denial of PTD benefits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission correctly determined that Claimant did not meet his burden of proving he was entitled to PTD benefits under the odd lot doctrine. View "Genner v. State, ex rel. Department of Workforce Services, Workers' Compensation Division" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the decision of the Wyoming State Board of Equalization (Board) affirming the tax assessment set forth by the Wyoming Department of Revenue (DOR) imposing severance and ad valorem property taxes on the waste mine gas (WMG) captured and used by Solvay Chemicals, Inc., holding that there was no error.Solvay used the WMG released from its trona mining operations to help fuel its soda ash processing plant during the years 2012 through 2015. The DOR imposed severance and ad valorem taxes on the WMG during those years. Solvay objected, arguing that the WMG was not taxable under the severance or ad valorem tax statutes. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Solvay failed to show the DOA and DOR improperly valued the WMG for production years 2012-2015. View "Solvay Chemicals, Inc. v. Wyoming Dep't of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the State Board of Equalization affirming the decision of the Wyoming Department of Revenue disallowing a deduction of bagging costs from the taxable value of its bagged soda ash, holding that Solvay Chemicals, Inc. was not entitled to deduct bagging costs from the taxable value of soda ash.In 2013-2015, Solvay deducted its soda ash bagging costs from the taxable value of the bagged soda ash it sold. The Department determined that Wyo. Stat. Ann. 39-14-303(b) did not entitle Solvay to a separate deduction for bagging costs, and the Board and district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Board did not err in determining that the Department's interpretation of section 39-14-303(b)(ii) was not erroneous or contrary to the plain language of Wyo. Stat. Ann. 39-14-303(b)(iv). View "Solvay Chemicals, Inc. v. Wyoming Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court ordering the permanency plan for minor siblings BP and CS be changed from reunification to adoption, holding that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion.The Department of Family Services (DFS) recommended changing the permanency plan for BP and CS to adoption. After a permanency hearing, the juvenile court issued an order changing the permanency plan to adoption and relieving DFS from further reunification efforts, finding that DFS established that it had made reasonable efforts to reunify the family. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that DFS made reasonable efforts to reunify Mother with CS and BP and changed the permanency plan for reunification to adoption. View "NP v. State" on Justia Law