Becky Jo Krump-Wootton, f/k/a Becky Jo Krump, Plaintiff, Appellant, and Cross-Appellee
Daniel Paul Krump, Defendant, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant and State of North Dakota, Statutory Real Party in Interest
from the District Court of Richland County, Southeast
Judicial District, the Honorable Bradley A. Cruff, Judge.
William Woodworth, Bismarck, N.D., for plaintiff, appellant,
M. Warner, Fargo, N.D., for defendant, appellee, and
Becky Jo Krump-Wootton [Becky Krump-Wootton], appeals from a
district court order denying her request to change the school
location for the parties' children and denying her
request to modify the parties' parenting time. Daniel
Paul Krump [Daniel Krump] cross-appeals the denial of his
request for modification of primary responsibility. We
The parties were divorced in 2012. Becky Krump-Wootton was
awarded primary residential responsibility of the
parties' two children and Daniel Krump was allocated
parenting time with the children. The judgment requires the
parties to agree on the children's education. The
children have attended school in Hankinson, North Dakota.
Becky Krump-Wootton has remarried and her husband lives in
Lisbon, North Dakota, about 65 miles from Hankinson.
Believing Becky Krump-Wootton would remove the children from
school in Hankinson and enroll them in school in Lisbon,
Daniel Krump filed a motion seeking to enforce the provision
of the judgment requiring the parties to agree on the
children's education to prevent Becky Krump-Wootton from
enrolling the children in Lisbon. Daniel Krump also sought
modification of primary residential responsibility. Becky
Krump-Wootton opposed the modification of primary residential
responsibility and filed a motion seeking to modify Daniel
Krump's parenting time to accommodate enrolling the
children in school in Lisbon.
The court found a prima facie case for modification of
primary residential responsibility as required by N.D.C.C.
§ 14-09-06.6 and scheduled a combined hearing for
resolution of all of the pending motions. At the beginning of
the hearing, Becky Krump-Wootton requested the court approve
the enrollment of the children in school in Lisbon.
Following the evidentiary hearing, the court issued its
findings, conclusions of law, and order denying all of the
pending motions. Daniel Krump moved to amend the findings as
follows: 1) removing references to Daniel Krump's motion
to modify primary residential responsibility as an
"alternative" request for relief to the children
staying in school in Hankinson; 2) finding a significant or
material change in circumstances had occurred notwithstanding
the children's continued attendance in the Hankinson
Public School; 3) finding it is in the children's best
interests for Daniel Krump to be awarded primary residential
responsibility of the children; and 4) to specifically state
that the children shall continue to attend the Hankinson
Public School. The court granted Daniel Krump's motion to
amend the findings with the exception of it being in the best
interests of the children to modify primary residential
Daniel Krump filed a motion seeking to dismiss Becky
Krump-Wootton's appeal asserting she failed to comply
with several of our rules of appellate procedure.
See N.D.R.App.P. 3(a). In the alternative to
dismissal, Daniel Krump seeks a recovery of attorney fees.
See N.D.R.App.P. 13.
Failure to adhere to our rules of appellate procedure can
result in the dismissal of an appeal. N.D.R.App.P. 3(a)(2).
While dismissal is permissible, this Court has been reluctant
to dismiss an appeal and generally desires to reach the
merits of a case. Latendresse v. Latendresse, 283
N.W.2d 70, 71 (N.D.1979). "Whether to administer
sanctions under N.D.R.App.P. 13 for noncompliance with the
Rules of Appellate Procedure is discretionary with this
Court." Silbernagel v. Silbernagel, 2007 ND
124, ¶ 21, 736 N.W.2d 441.
Although we agree with Daniel Krump regarding Becky
Krump-Wootton's failure to adhere to our rules of
appellate procedure, Becky Krump-Wootton's issues on
appeal significantly overlap with the issues raised by Daniel
Krump in his cross-appeal. The significant overlap between
the parties' issues reduces the justification for
dismissal of the appeal because Daniel Krump would have
likely filed substantially the same materials and engaged in
similar briefing regardless of Becky Krump-Wootton's
failure to adhere to our rules. Under these ...