Westmont Residential, LLC v Buttars

Westmont sued Buttars for cleaning expenses and defamation. After a bench trial, the district court granted judgment to Buttars. The panel affirmed. It held that Westmont failed to provide any evidence or cite any legal authority for any of their arguments challenging the district court’s conclusion that Buttars had not abandoned the apartment when Westmont boxed up and removed his belongings. It held the district court did not error in concluding the goods boxed up were not trash especially since Westmont boxed and stored them. It held that Buttars used “crooks” in an online review as hyperbole and the post was thus not defamatory as a matter of law. The panel finally held that all challenges to post-trial motions were inadequately briefed and thus were rejected.  

Sheeran v Thomas

Thomas appealed a civil stalking order entered against him. The panel affirmed but clarified two points. It held that the findings below, while sparse, were adequate for appellate review. It held that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the order as Thomas approached Sheeran in order to put him in fear, cut him off on the highway and yelled in an effort to cause fear and recorded Sheeran while he was driving for a vindictive purpose. The panel clarified that while the order is titled “permanent’, the text is for a standard three year term and an incorrect statement as to the effect of the order on Thomas’ federal gun rights did not provide a basis to overturn the order.

State v Gainer

Gainer appealed his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held that district court properly considered the information in the presentence report which discussed Gainer’s background and the circumstances in the case and reasonably concluded that biting and stabbing someone during a robbery called for prison instead of probation. The panel rejected Gainer’s due process argument as both unpreserved and without merit given the lack of requirement for a victim to testify at sentencing under oath.

Diversified Stripping Systems, Inc. v Kraus

Diversified appealed the dismissal of its suit against Kraus on inconvenient forum grounds. The panel reversed and remanded. It held the tort claims in this case were outside the scope of the parties’ forum selection clause which was limited to contractual disputes. It held the district court failed to follow the correct method of analyzing inconvenient forum issues and the case was remanded for the analysis to be properly conducted.

State v Lindsey

Lindsey appealed his sentence arguing he should have received a continuance to obtain a presentence investigation report, his plea agreement was breached and the sentencing judge erroneously relied on letters from neighbors and others. The panel affirmed. It held that there was no abuse of discretion in denying the countenance because Lindsey was late for his interview which caused some of the delay in getting the report done, that he chose to waive the report in order to expedite the sentencing and stay out of jail and he changed his mind about getting a second chance at a report too late to prevent a lengthy trip by the victim and her family, presentence reports are optional and Lindsey put everything he wanted into the record. The panel held the pela agreement was not breached because State only promised to advocate for jail if the report was completed before sentencing and it was not. Finally, the panel held there was no error in relying on the letters as Lindsey identified no evidence he would have used to rebut the information in the letters if knew about them earlier than the day of sentencing.

State v Stewart

Stewart appealed her drug convictions arguing her trail counsel was ineffective. The panel affirmed. It held there was no deficient performance in withdrawing Stewart’s first motion to suppress as Stewart’s jitteriness, dilated pupils and slurred speech provided reasonable suspicion she was operating her car under the influence of drugs. The panel held there was no deficient performance in filing another motion to suppress late both because the arresting officer clarified that Stewart was willing to talk with her lawyer and the district court actually heard and denied her motion.

Estate of Rietz v Labor Commission

Rietz filed a claim for workers compensation for injuries from a fall. He died before the claim was adjudicated. His claim was denied and the panel affirmed holding reasonable minds could accept the independent medical board report (which was based on a review of nearly 2000 pages of medical records) that there was no connection between the fall and Rietz’s death and any injury form the fall reached medical stability well before his death.