from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce A. Romanick, Judge.
Rath, plaintiff, no appearance.
A. Rath, self-represented, Bismarck, ND, defendant and
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
1] Mark Rath appealed from the district court's second
amended judgment modifying decisionmaking responsibility and
parenting time, and from orders denying his other various
motions. We conclude the court did not abuse its discretion
in denying a new trial because no manifest injustice supports
reversal, in denying his requests for recusal of the judge,
and in denying his motion for reconsideration. We affirm.
2] In January 2013, Mark Rath and Kayla Rath, now known as
Kayla Jones, were divorced. The divorce judgment awarded
Kayla Jones primary residential responsibility for the
parties' two children, and Mark Rath received supervised
parenting time. Mark Rath has since made numerous
post-judgment motions in the district court, some of which
this Court has addressed in prior cases. See Rath v.
Rath, 2017 ND 138, 895 N.W.2d 315; Rath v. Rath,
2017 ND 128, 895 N.W.2d 306; Rath v. Rath, 2016 ND
105, 879 N.W.2d 735; Rath v. Rath, 2016 ND 83, 878
N.W.2d 85; Rath v. Rath, 2016 ND 46, 876 N.W.2d 474;
Rath v. Rath, 2015 ND 22, 861 N.W.2d 172; Rath
v. Rath, 2014 ND 171, 852 N.W.2d 377; Rath v.
Rath, 2013 ND 243, 840 N.W.2d 656. In September 2016,
the district court entered an amended judgment increasing his
child support obligation, which we affirmed. Rath,
2017 ND 138, ¶¶ 29-30, 895 N.W.2d 315.
3] In October 2016, Mark Rath moved the district court to
amend the divorce judgment to adopt his proposed shared
parenting plan, requesting joint residential responsibility
or, in the alternative, granting him reasonable unsupervised
parenting time. After a hearing on April 26, 2017, the court
entered a second amended judgment, granting Kayla Jones sole
decisionmaking responsibility for the children and amending
parenting time to provide Mark Rath with unsupervised
parenting time. The court subsequently entered various other
orders denying his request for an order to show cause,
requests for a new hearing, objections to the proposed
judgment, requests for recusal, and motions to reconsider and
4] Mark Rath appealed from the district court's
memorandum for second amended judgment filed May 22, 2017; an
order within the May 22 memorandum denying an order to show
cause; an order denying his request for a new hearing and his
objection to judgment language filed June 8, 2017; an order
denying his request for a new hearing and recusal filed June
8, 2017; and the second amended judgment filed June 13, 2017.
Because post-judgment motions were pending at the time Rath
filed his notice of appeal, we granted a limited remand for
the district court to decide his remaining motions. After the
court entered its order on August 16, 2017, denying his
request to recuse, motion to reconsider, and motion to
clarify, Rath filed an amended notice of appeal to include
5] While his appeal in this case was pending, we also granted
Mark Rath permission to file another motion in the district
court, seeking to amend the parenting plan for overnight
parenting time to accommodate a ten-day, out-of-state family
vacation. See Rath v. Rath, 2018 ND 98, ¶¶
4-5, 909 N.W.2d 666. After a hearing, the district court
denied his motion and awarded attorney fees. We affirmed the
denial of his motion, reversed the attorney fees award, and
denied his request for a supervisory writ. Id. at
¶¶ 1, 16. We now address Mark Rath's present
appeal concerning proceedings related to entry of the second
6] A district court may modify primary residential
responsibility after two years from an order establishing
primary residential responsibility, if the court finds: (1) a
material change has occurred in the child's or
parties' circumstances, and (2) modification is necessary
for the child's best interests. See N.D.C.C.
§ 14-09-06.6(6). A "material change in
circumstances" means "an important new fact that
was not known at the time of the prior custody decree."
Hankey v. Hankey, 2015 ND 70, ¶ 6, 861 N.W.2d
479 (quoting Lechler v. Lechler, 2010 ND 158, ¶
9, 786 N.W.2d 733 (citation omitted)). The party seeking to
modify primary residential responsibility bears the burden of
proof. N.D.C.C. § 14-09-06.6(8). The court's
decision whether to modify custody is a finding of fact that
will only be reversed on appeal if clearly erroneous.
Siewert v. Siewert, 2008 ND 221, ¶ 16, 758
7] In deciding parenting time, we have explained that
"the best interests of the child, rather than the wishes
or desires of the parents, are paramount." Bertsch
v. Bertsch, 2006 ND 31, ¶ 5, 710 N.W.2d 113.
[T]o modify parenting time, "the moving party must
demonstrate that a material change in circumstances has
occurred since entry of the previous [parenting time] order
and that the modification is in the best interests of the
child."... The standard set forth in our case law
governs modification of a parenting time decision.
Seibold v. Leverington, 2013 ND 173, ¶ 19, 837
N.W.2d 342 (quoting Wolt v. Wolt, 2011 ND 170,
¶ 19, 803 N.W.2d 534 (citations omitted)).
8] The district court's decision on parenting time is a
finding of fact, subject to the clearly erroneous standard of
review. Id. A finding of fact is clearly erroneous
if there is no evidence to support it, if the finding is
induced by an erroneous view of the law, or if the reviewing
court is left with a definite and firm conviction a mistake
has been made. Id. at ¶ 12. A court's
ruling on decisionmaking responsibility is also a finding of
fact, reviewed under the clearly erroneous standard. See
Horsted v. Horsted, 2012 ND 24, ¶¶ 4-5, 812
N.W.2d 448. "A parenting plan must include a provision
relating to decisionmaking responsibility, N.D.C.C. §
14-09-30(2)(a), and that responsibility must be allocated in
the best interests of the child, N.D.C.C. §
14-09-31(2)." Horsted, at ¶ 5. A court
need not make separate findings for each best interests
factor under N.D.C.C. § 14-09-06.2, but its findings
must contain sufficient specificity to show the factual basis
for the decision. Wolt v. Wolt, 2010 ND 26, ¶
9, 778 N.W.2d 786.
9] In this case, Mark Rath also made motions for a new trial
and for reconsideration, both of which were denied on limited
remand. While our law does not formally recognize motions to
reconsider, "[t]his Court generally treats a motion for
reconsideration as either a motion to alter or amend the
judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 59(j), or a motion for relief
from a judgment or order under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b)."
Tuhy v. Tuhy, 2018 ND 53, ¶ 20, 907 N.W.2d 351.
A district court's denial of a motion to reconsider ...