Life Care Center of Casper v. BarrettAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court holding Life Care Center of Casper in contempt when it failed to comply with an order compelling it to respond to a subpoena served on it in an action for appointment of a wrongful death representative, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to compel pre-suit discovery in the appointment proceeding.
Plaintiff, the granddaughter of Betty June Cochran, filed a petition to be appointed Cochran's wrongful death representative after Cochran died allegedly after a fall at Life Care Center of Casper. The district court granted the petition. Thereafter, Plaintiff served life Care with a subpoena to compel discovery. Life Care provided only some of the subpoenaed documents. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel, and the district court granted the motion in part. Life Care filed a Wyo. R. Crim. P. 60(b)(6) motion requesting that the district court vacate its order compelling discovery. The district court denied the motion and found Life Care to be in civil contempt. The Supreme Court vacated the order, holding that the district court did not have jurisdiction under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-38-103 to compel pre-suit discovery because the sole purpose of a proceeding under section 1-38-103(b) is the appointment of a wrongful death representative.