Dawn Gibbons requests divorce explanation

First lady Dawn Gibbons filed a demand Thursday in a Reno court for a detailed explanation from Gov. Jim Gibbons on why he feels they're incompatible and wants a divorce.

In papers filed with Washoe County Family Court Judge Frances Doherty, Dawn Gibbons' lawyer, Cal Dunlap, insisted on a "bill of particulars" and also sought a motion for what he termed "a more definite statement with regard to the governor's claims of incompatibility."

In his divorce complaint filed May 2, the first-term Republican governor listed incompatibility as grounds for ending the couple's marriage of nearly 22 years. The complaint filed by his attorney, Gary Silverman, also states the "cause of action for divorce" occurred in Reno, but offers no specifics.

The filings Thursday are based on a state law that says it's permissible to demand "the facts, dates, times and occasions" relied upon for a divorce complaint; and on a court rule that says someone hit with a complaint can seek "a more definite statement" if wording of the complaint "is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading."

The latest moves follow a motion last week by Dawn Gibbons, 54, proposing a compromise so that Gibbons, 63, could move back into the Governor's Mansion in Carson City and she would stay in a guest house on the grounds so she can continue her duties as first lady.

Gibbons has asked the judge to award him sole occupancy of the taxpayer-supported mansion and award his wife occupancy of the couple's Reno home, where he's been staying in recent months. Dunlap has said Dawn Gibbons wants to sell the Reno house because it's too big for her to maintain by herself.

State law requires the governor live in Carson City. Gibbons has described his move to Reno as temporary, and a spokesman has said there's no law violation.

Details from the various motions filed by lawyers for the first lady and governor haven't been made public because of an order sealing most of the files in the case. That order, sought by Gibbons, was granted by Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox prior to a venue change to Judge Doherty's court.


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