Gaston v. WagnerAnnotate this Case
In this probate action, the district court erred by refusing to grant Appellants’ Wyo. R. Civ. P. 40.1 motion for peremptory disqualification of the assigned judge.
Appellants, the surviving children of Robert Meeker, contested Meeker’s will, which left the bulk of his estate to Appellee. Appellants filed a petition to set aside the probate of the will and also filed a motion for change of judge under the peremptory disqualification provision in rule 40.1. The judge assigned to the probate had presided over an earlier, related guardianship/conservatorship action. The district court denied the motion for peremptory disqualification as untimely and granted summary judgment to Appellee on the will contest. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Appellants timely filed their motion to peremptorily disqualify the assigned judge when they filed it on the same day they filed their will contest, and therefore, the district court erred when it denied Appellants’ motion for peremptory disqualification; and (2) accordingly, the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee was void.