Copelands’ bankruptcy stalls civil lawsuits
Couple declares almost $300,000 in accumulated debt
SUBLETTE COUNTY – Listing a mountain of debts to investors, customers, medical facilities – and collection agencies – Shane and Ramsey Copeland of Marbleton, past owners of Triple Peak Landscaping, LLC, filed for relief in U.S. District of Wyoming Bankruptcy Court.
Those who filed civil complaints against Triple Peak and the Copelands hoping to collect almost $200,000 of money they claim Copelands owe them might never be repaid in full.
One is Bill Murdock of Big Piney, who invested $143,000 with Shane Copeland to be repaid, with interest, from jobs completed by Triple Peak Landscaping. The Copelands did not provide him with records of jobs completed and the list of people owed advanced money could show few jobs were completed.
Rock Springs attorney Clark Stith represents both Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping in the civil cases and in Wyoming Bankruptcy Court.
9th District Judge Marv Tyler declared the Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping defaulted by not responding to Murdock’s civil complaint and ordered them to repay Murdock, court records show. Murdock’s attorney Travis Bing notified the judge of the Copelands’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Dec. 22..
Another is the Town of Marbleton, which seeks repayment of $32,500 plus interest in a separate civil suit also filed in 9th District Court. Shane Copeland had signed a repayment plan after town officials advanced him money for work he never completed, court records show.
Judge Tyler also declared the Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping defaulted in that case and ordered the repayment.
A third civil suit was filed in Lincoln County by dissatisfied client Kraig Frome, who sought the return of his $12,000 advance and other costs for a job contracted to Triple Peak Landscaping. After their lack of response except Stith’s acknowledgment of the papers’ receipt, that judge ruled that they had defaulted and owe Frome money. He began a garnishment process against both Shane and Ramsey Copeland, court records show.
After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Nov. 23, the Copelands filled out official paperwork of “creditors who have unsecured claims.”
The form requests “complete and accurate” responses and asks, “Do any creditors have nonpriority unsecured claims against you?” They answered, “Yes.”
Ramsey Copeland submitted her Bank of the West earnings statements at the Marbleton branch through Nov. 10. Her husband ‘s form said he had not worked since Sept. 22.
The Wyoming court reported on Nov. 25 it had sent bankruptcy notices to 16 persons or entities including Bill Murdock, the Town of Marbleton and Kraig Frome as well as Porcupine Nursery, in Jackson, for example.
“The debtors are seeking a discharge,” an official form explains. “Creditors who assert that the debtors are not entitled to a discharge of any debts or who want to have a particular debt excepted from discharge may be required to file a complaint in the bankruptcy clerk’s office within the deadlines specified in this notice.”
The “nonpriority creditors” include medical centers, a Rock Springs attorney, a Jackson attorney, the Marbleton attorney, $40,000-plus to a Thayne man, $6,000 to a Pinedale woman, more than $15,000 for student loans, $3,459 to Porcupine Nursery, $10,500 to a Bedford woman and $143,000 to Bill Murdock, court records show.
The grand total in claims – $299,282.
However, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and county sheriffs are collaborating on an investigation into the Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping, confirmed by Sublette Sheriff KC Lehr. It is possible that not all parties who believe they are owed money are aware of the Copelands’ bankruptcy filing.
The U.S. Wyoming Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office in Cheyenne assigned the Copelands’ file as Case 22-20396. Call 307-433-2200 to reach the clerk’s office.
People or entities who did not receive a bankruptcy notice but feel they should be listed in this action can mail a statement, motion or objection with Case 22-20396 for the judge’s record to Wyoming Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office, 2120 Capitol Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001-3633.
The bankruptcy trustee is David L. Miller of Farmington, Utah, who can be contacted at 801-382-5565 or [email protected].
A creditors’ Zoom meeting is set for Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. and creditors wishing to appear must contact the trustee at least one day before. People can also watch the public meeting and determine if they have grounds to object. Go to Zoom.com and join with Meeting ID 843 050 2551 and Passcode: WYO341.
People not listed as creditors will not receive legal updates but Case 22-20396 can be accessed with a Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) account.
The bankruptcy clerk’s office is not allowed to provide legal advice; one recommended resource is Legal Aid of Wyoming at 307-232-9827.