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Rules Governing the Suspension of Members of the Wyoming State Bar Who are Delinquent in Paying Child Support
Created April 3, 2000;
Effective June 21, 2000;
Text of Rules
Obtaining Court Order.
The Department of Family Services of the State of Wyoming, pursuant to W.S. §
20-6-112(a), shall obtain an order from a court of the State of Wyoming which
has jurisdiction in matters concerning child support. Any such order must
include the following:
A finding that a member of the Wyoming State Bar is in arrears in child support
payments in an amount which is the equivalent of at least triple the current
monthly child support obligation; and
A finding that there is no good cause for the non-payment; and
A recommendation to the Wyoming Supreme Court that the member's license to
practice law be suspended for the above-described arrearages.
The court receiving a request shall act upon the Department of Family Services
request for an order promptly, but in any event not later than 60 days after the
request is filed with the court.
A lower court's refusal to issue an order requested by the Department of Family
Services may be reviewed by the Wyoming Supreme Court in accordance with the
Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rule 13 and Rule 7.06(d).
Distribution of Order.
The Department of Family Services shall mail by certified mail, return receipt
requested, one copy of the order obtained under Rule 1, to each of the
following: The Wyoming Supreme Court; the Wyoming State Bar; and, the affected
member of the Wyoming State Bar.
Notice from Wyoming State Bar to Bar Member.
In accordance with W.S. § 33-5-113(b), within 10 days of receipt of the
above-described order, the Wyoming State Bar shall, by certified mail, return
receipt requested, and by regular first class United States mail, postage
prepaid, serve the affected member with a copy of the order, together with
notice that the order has been forwarded to the Wyoming Supreme Court. Service
shall be deemed complete upon mailing to the affected member at the last known
address provided on record with the Wyoming State Bar.
Supreme Court to Issue Order to Show Cause.
Upon receipt of the lower court's order, the Wyoming Supreme Court shall, within
10 days, issue to the affected member an order to show cause why the member's
license to practice law should not be suspended. This order shall be served by
first class United States mail, postage prepaid, at the address provided by the
Wyoming State Bar. The affected attorney's response to the order to show cause
shall be filed with the Supreme Court not later than 15 days after date of entry
of the Supreme Court's order to show cause.
Failure of Bar Member to Show Cause.
If the affected member fails to demonstrate good cause for the child support
arrearages set out in the lower court's order, the Wyoming Supreme Court shall
suspend the member's license. A member so suspended shall fully comply with all
duties of disbarred and suspended attorneys under Rule XX of the Disciplinary
Code for the Wyoming State Bar.
Notice to Supreme Court of Payment Plan or Payment of Arrearages.
The Director of the Wyoming Department of Family Services, or an authorized
designee of the Director, shall immediately notify the Wyoming Supreme Court, by
signed original letter, when the Department has approved a payment plan for an
affected member or when the member has made payment in full of the arrearages
set out in the lower court's order. A copy of that letter shall also
simultaneously be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the
Wyoming State Bar.
Reinstatement of Bar Member.
Upon receipt of the letter described in Rule 6, the Wyoming Supreme Court shall,
by order, immediately reinstate the member's license to practice law, unless the
Wyoming Supreme Court has in place a separate suspension order for reasons other
than nonpayment of child support arrearages.
Rules not to Limit Supreme Court's Authority to Impose Discipline.
Nothing in these rules shall be construed to limit the Wyoming Supreme Court's
statutory, rule-making, or inherent powers to discipline members of the Wyoming
State Bar, nor shall these rules be construed so as to preclude the Wyoming
Supreme Court from effecting rules making repeated non-payment of child support
a separate ground for the discipline of members of the Wyoming State Bar.