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LEB Briefing Cases.Ch.17

LEB Briefing Cases.Ch.17 - Chapter17 CompaniesandLimited...

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Chapter 17 Limited Liability  Companies and Limited  Partnerships Case 17.1 2002 WY 73 46 P.3d 323 Supreme Court of Wyoming. KAYCEE LAND AND LIVESTOCK, a Wyoming partnership, Appellant (Plaintiff), v. Roger FLAHIVE, Appellee (Defendant). 103
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104 CASE PRINTOUTS TO ACCOMPANY WEST’S LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS No. 00-328. May 15, 2002. KITE , Justice. [   1] This matter comes before this court as a question certified to us by the district court for resolution under W.R.A.P. 11.  The certified question seeks resolution of whether, in the absence of fraud, the entity veil of a limited liability company  (LLC) can be pierced in the same manner as that of a corporation.   We answer the certified question in the affirmative. CERTIFIED QUESTION [   2] The question we have agreed to answer is phrased as follows:  In the absence of fraud, is a claim to pierce the Limited Liability entity veil or disregard the Limited Liability Company  entity in the same manner as a court would pierce a corporate veil or disregard a corporate shield, an available remedy  against a Wyoming Limited Liability Company under Wyoming's Limited Liability Company Act,  Wyo. Stat. ß  [ß  ] 17-15- 101  through  17-15- 144 (2000) [?] FACTS [   3] In a W.R.A.P. 11 certification of a question of law, we rely entirely upon the factual determinations made in the trial  court.     Allhusen   v.   State   By   and   Through   Wyoming   Mental   Health   Professions   Licensing   Board,       898   P.2d   878,   881       (Wyo.1995) .   The district court submitted the following statement of facts in its order certifying the question of law:  1.  Flahive Oil & Gas is a Wyoming Limited Liability Company with no assets at this time.  2. [Kaycee Land and Livestock] entered into a contract with Flahive Oil & Gas LLC allowing Flahive Oil & Gas to use the  surface of its real property.  3. Roger Flahive is and was the managing member of Flahive Oil & Gas at all relevant times.  4. [Kaycee Land and Livestock] alleges that Flahive Oil & Gas caused environmental contamination to its real property  located in Johnson County, Wyoming.  5. [Kaycee Land and Livestock] seeks to pierce the LLC veil and disregard the L[L]C entity of Flahive Oil & Gas Limited  Liability Company and hold Roger Flahive individually liable for the contamination.  6. There is no allegation of fraud. DISCUSSION [1]     [2]      [   4] The question presented is limited to whether, in the absence of fraud, the remedy of piercing the veil is available  against a company formed under the Wyoming Limited Liability Company Act (Wyo. Stat. Ann.   ß ß   17-15-101   to -144  (LexisNexis 2001)).    To answer this question, we must first examine the development of the doctrine within Wyoming's 
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