Motion to Vacate Judgment In Wyoming
In order to be entitled to relief under W.R.C.P. 60(b), the party seeking relief must demonstrate:
(1) a lack of culpable conduct;
(2) a meritorious claim;
(3) a lack of prejudice to the appellee. Vanasse v. Ramsay, 847 P.2d 993, 998 (Wyo. 1993) (quoting Carlson v. Carlson, 836 P.2d 297, 301-02 (Wyo. 1992)).
In pertinent part, W.R.C.P. 60(b) provides:
On motion, and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or a party's legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.
We have stated, with respect to our review of a denial of a motion submitted pursuant to W.R.C.P. 60(b):
We review the ruling of a trial court on motions presented pursuant to Wyo. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1) and (6) only for an abuse of discretion. Vanasse v. Rogers, 847 P.2d 993 at 996 (Wyo.1993); Carlson v. Carlson, 836 P.2d 297, 301 (Wyo.1992); U.S. Aviation, Inc. v. Wyoming Avionics, Inc., 664 P.2d 121, 126-27 (Wyo.1983).
Essentially the resolution of such motions is left to the sound discretion of the trial court, as defined in Martin v. State, 720 P.2d 894, 897 (Wyo.1986):
"Judicial discretion is a composite of many things, among which are conclusions drawn from objective criteria; it means a sound judgment exercised with regard to what is right under the circumstances and without doing so arbitrarily or capriciously." Lee v. Sage Creek Refining Co., 947 P.2d 791, 793 (Wyo. 1997).
It is clear from the tenor of the decision letter from the district judge that he was aware of the equitable concerns surrounding the matter before the court, and that the district judge had carefully considered the law.