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John N. Bach v. Wayne Dawson

January 6, 2012

JOHN N. BACH, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WAYNE DAWSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND KATHERINE D. MILLER, AKA KATHERINE M. MILLER, INDIVIDUALLY & DBA R.E.M. AND CACHE RANCH; ALVA A. HARRIS, INDIVIDUALLY & DBA SCONA, INC., A SHAM ENTITY; JACK LEE MC LEAN; BOB FITZGERALD, INDIVIDUALLY & DBA CACHE RANCH; OLY OLESON; BOB BAGLEY & MAE BAGLEY, HUSBAND AND WIFE; BLAKE LYLE, INDIVIDUALLY & DBA GRANDE TOWING, AND ALSO GRANDE BODY & PAINT; GALEN WOELK & CODY RUNYAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND DBA RUNYAN & WOELK; ANN-TOY BROUGHTON; MARK LIPONIS; EARL HAMLIN; STAN NICKELL; BRET & DEENA R. HILL; DOES 1 THROUGH 30, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, Teton County. Hon. Darren B. Simpson, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gutierrez, Judge

2012 Opinion No. 2

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Renewal of judgment, affirmed.

Wayne Dawson appeals from the district court's renewal of judgment, arguing that the motion to renew judgment was outside of the five-year period allowed under Idaho law. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Beginning in 2002, John N. Bach, as sole plaintiff, was involved in a multi-party lawsuit against several defendants, including Dawson. On February 23, 2004, the district court entered an amended default judgment in favor of Bach and against Dawson. The district court did not certify the partial judgment under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) as a final and appealable order. It was only after other defaults and final dispositions had been made as to all the parties in the lawsuit that the district court issued a final judgment, which incorporated the default judgment entered against Dawson. This occurred on February 11, 2005.

On February 2, 2010, Bach filed a motion to renew the judgment entered on February 11, 2005, pursuant to Idaho Code sections 10-1110 and 10-1111. Dawson objected to the motion and asked the district court to find that the motion to renew was untimely. Dawson argued that because the default judgment against him was entered on February 23, 2004, Bach's motion in 2010 occurred nearly six years later and well outside the five-year period available to renew judgment under the statutes. The district court granted the motion, concluding that the controlling judgment was the final judgment entered in 2005, not the interlocutory default judgment entered in 2004. Dawson moved for reconsideration, which the district court denied. Dawson timely appeals and asks this Court to hold that the default judgment entered in 2004 was the controlling judgment for purposes of renewal under sections 10-1110 and 10-1111.

II.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

This case involves whether the district court applied the correct legal standards in regards to the application of a statute. The interpretation of a statute and its application to particular facts is a question over which this Court exercises free review. St. Luke's Reg'l Med. Ctr., Ltd. v. Bd. of Comm'rs of Ada Cnty., 146 Idaho 753, 755, 203 P.3d 683, 685 (2009). We must ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature, reading the statute as a whole. Id. Where the statutory language is clear, the plain meaning of a statute will prevail. Gonzalez v. Thacker, 148 Idaho 879, 881, 231 P.3d 524, 526 (2009). If the statute is ambiguous, we construe it according to the legislative intent, determined by looking not only at the literal words of the statute, but also the ...


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