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Law Offices of Michael E. Douglas
P.O. Box 251551
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-6551
   

Saint Paul Lawyer
 
 mdouglas@injurylawstpaul.com

 

UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

Robert K. Pearson,
Respondent,
vs.
All American Builders of Duluth, Inc., et al.,
Appellants.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
In this dispute over commissions owed respondent-employee Robert
K. Pearson from appellants All American Builders of Duluth, Inc. and All
American Builders of Rice Lake, Inc. after he resigned, the district
court awarded attorney fees under Minn. R. Civ. P. 11 to respondent for
his motion to dismiss a frivolous counterclaim and granted partial
summary judgment to respondent based on a concession by appellants'
counsel. Appellants argue that granting summary judgment was erroneous
because there were genuine issues of material fact and that the district
court abused its discretion in awarding rule 11 attorney fees. Because
appellants were not given proper notice of the motion for rule 11
attorney fees and the opportunity to withdraw or correct the
counterclaim, we reverse the award of rule 11 attorney fees. Because
the district court properly relied on the concession, we affirm summary
judgment.

= = = =

A05-1323

North American Cleaning Services Co., Inc.,
Relator,
vs.
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
Relator-business challenges the decision of the senior unemployment
review judge that a worker was relator's employee rather than an
independent contractor. We affirm.

= = = =

A05-1343

Bart Montanari,
Respondent,
Lisa Herda Montanari,
Plaintiff,
vs.
Terence Montpetit,
Appellant,
and
Monties Resources, L.L.C.,
additional defendant to counterclaim,
Respondent.

PETERSON, Judge
On appeal in this business dispute, appellant argues that (1)
respondent-buyer defaulted under the contract by selling timber and land
without consulting appellant; (2) the district court erred in concluding
that contract notice provisions were ambiguous and finding that
respondent-buyer was not in default under them; and (3) appellant was
entitled to attorney fees under the contract. Respondents argue that
this appeal is barred under doctrines of mootness and judicial estoppel.
Based on our conclusions that buyer did not default under the contract
by selling timber and land and that the district court properly
construed the notice provisions, we affirm.

= = = =

A05-1395

Trisi Lee,
Relator,
vs.
Dick & Rick's Auto Upholstery, Inc.,
Respondent,
Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
Relator challenges the senior unemployment review judge's decision that
she quit her employment without a good reason attributable to the
employer and is, therefore, disqualified from receiving unemployment
benefits. We affirm.

= = = =

A05-1435

Alex C. Eschweiler,
Respondent,
vs.
Charles C. Eschweiler,
Appellant.

MINGE, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's (1) dissolution and winding up
of his partnership; (2) determination of accord and satisfaction; and
(3) limitation on the length of the trial. Although we conclude that
respondent gave notice of dissociation from the partnership, the
district court did not err in ordering a judicial dissolution and
winding up or in finding accord and satisfaction. We further conclude
that the district court's limits on the trial were not an abuse of
discretion or a violation of appellant's right to procedural due
process. We affirm.

= = = =

A05-1550

Alex M. Popel,
Relator,
vs.
CommonBond Housing (Corp), and
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondents.

ROSS, Judge
This case involves an apartment manager's separation from employment
after he failed to remedy his employer's dissatisfaction with his
performance. Relator Alex M. Popel challenges the decision of the
senior unemployment review judge that Popel is disqualified from
receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged by respondent
CommonBond Housing Corporation for employment misconduct. We affirm.

= = = =

A05-1573

Richard Paul Hokanson,
Respondent,
vs.
2001 Dodge SSE, and City of Bloomington,
Appellant.

LANSING, Judge
In a judicial-forfeiture action, the district court determined that a
seized vehicle was not subject to forfeiture because the owner neither
knew nor should have known that his wife would drive the vehicle while
she was impaired. Because the record supports the district court's
determination on the owner's lack of actual or constructive knowledge of
the unlawful use, we affirm.

= = = =

A05-1590

Jeffrey S. Iverson,
Respondent,
vs.
Chicilo Homes, Inc.,
Appellant.

LANSING, Judge
In litigation involving statutory warranties on new-home construction,
the district court found that the homeowner's complaint was filed within
the statute of limitations, that the drain field for the septic system
failed to comply with the building code, and that the building-code
violation caused damages to the homeowner. The construction corporation
appeals each determination. Because the record supports the district
court's findings that the homeowner's complaint was timely and that
building-code violations in the installation of the septic system's
drain field resulted in damages to the homeowner, we affirm.

= = = =

A05-1643

Allen W. Peterson, et al.,
Appellants,
vs.
David M. Bergman,
Respondent.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Respondent David M. Bergman owns an undivided one-half interest in
certain land. Appellants Allen W. and Leslie Peterson, Anita L. and
Stanley Dekowski, and Roberta J. and Haven S. Hill together own the
other undivided half interest in that land. Appellants asked the
district court to partition the land or to order it sold and to divide
the resulting proceeds. Respondent opposed appellants' request, and the
district court denied relief. Appellants argue that the district court
misread Minn. Stat. ? 558.14 (2004) and associated case law. Because
the district court's findings of fact are supported by the record and it
did not otherwise misapply the law, we affirm.


= = = =

A05-1696

In re the Marriage of:
Dee Henderson, f/k/a Denise Marie Dittrich, petitioner,
Respondent,
vs.
Gregory Duane Dittrich,
Appellant.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
The district court ruled that, after respondent-mother and custodial
parent Dee Henderson, f/k/a Denise Marie Dittrich, was incarcerated, the
parties' child would equally split his time between the home of mother
and her current husband and the home of appellant-father Gregory Duane
Dittrich. On appeal, father argues (a) the district court improperly
awarded joint physical custody of the child to mother's husband and
father, despite mother's husband not being a party to the parents'
custody proceeding; (b) mother's incarceration should have entitled
father to custody of the child; and (c) the record shows that the
joint-custody factors were not considered here. Mother notices review
of the award to father of sole legal custody and certain statements by
the district court about child support. We affirm in part and reverse
in part.

= = = =

A05-1719

Dean Croat Construction, Inc.,
Relator,
vs.
Stearns County Board of Commissioners,
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Relator brings a certiorari appeal from the Stearns County Board of
Commissioners' refusal to approve his preliminary plat. Because relator
had obtained a lot-size variance from the Board of Adjustment, the Board
of Commissioners exceeded its authority when it denied the plat because
of lot-size concerns. Because the record before us does not support
other bases for denial, we reverse and remand to the Board for approval
of relator's preliminary plat.

= = = =

A05-1720

Mark A. Krmpotich,
Relator,
vs.
Ultimate Electronics, Inc.,
Respondent,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

SHUMAKER, Judge
Relator challenges his disqualification from unemployment benefits,
arguing that he quit his job for good reason attributable to his
employer. Because the evidence supports the unemployment-law judge's
determination, we affirm.
= = = =

A05-1722

In re the Marriage of:
Kim Marie Bunce, petitioner,
Respondent,
vs.
John Russell Bunce,
Appellant.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant John Russell Bunce challenges the district court's orders
following remand of this child-support dispute. Because we see no abuse
of discretion in the orders relating to child support and sequestered
property and the record supports the award of attorney fees, we affirm.

= = = =

A05-1790

In re the Marriage of:
Barbara Jean Johnson, petitioner,
Appellant,
vs.
James Martin Johnson,
Respondent.

STONEBURNER, Judge
Appellant challenges the valuation and division of property and denial
of temporary maintenance in this dissolution action. Respondent
challenges the denial of his motion for conduct-based attorney fees. We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

= = = =

A05-1791

In re the Matter of:
Elijah Jesse Miller, petitioner,
Respondent,
vs.
Tiffany Leah Berens,
Appellant.

WILLIS, Judge
Appellant mother argues that the district court abused its discretion by
awarding appellant and respondent father joint physical custody of their
daughter. But because the district court considered all of the
applicable statutory factors in great detail and the record supports its
findings, we determine that the district court did not abuse its
discretion and affirm its award of joint physical custody. We further
deny respondent's motion for attorney fees.

= = = =

A05-1799

In re the Estate of
Geraldine Moeller

ROSS, Judge
Appellants argue that the district court erred by denying their claim
against decedent's estate for unjust enrichment. Because we conclude
that appellants did not establish the elements of their claim, we
affirm.

= = = =

A05-1962

Michele T. Barker,
n/k/a Michele T. Obermeier,
Respondent,

v.

Gunnar B. Barker,
n/k/a Gunnar Barker Soderlind,
Appellant.

ROSS, Judge
In this appeal, we consider a child-support magistrate's modification of
appellant father's child-support obligation. He contests the district
court's adoption of a child-support magistrate's order in which the
magistrate modified child support based on the finding that the father's
income had increased substantially. Because we conclude that the
district court abused its discretion in its imputation of income to the
appellant father as a basis for the child-support amount, we affirm in
part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

= = = =

A05-2000

Mary Jo K. Gerring,
Appellant,
vs.
Quality Car Wash Operations, Ltd., et al.,
Respondents,
Steven M. Gerring,
Respondent,
Virginia Gerring,
Respondent.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant Mary Jo K. Gerring challenges the district court's grant of
summary judgment, claiming she has standing to bring an action under the
Minnesota Business Corporations Acts because she has not been divested
of her 19 shares of stock in Gerring Properties. We affirm.

= = = =

A05-2133

In re the Matter of:
Ramsey County,
Plaintiff,
Marcia Hagen,
Appellant,
vs.
Jose Galeano,
Respondent.

HUDSON, Judge
In this child-support-modification dispute, appellant mother argues that
the district court abused its discretion by applying the law-of-the-case
doctrine and denying the county's motion to modify respondent father's
child-support obligation. Because the district court correctly
precluded relitigation of the support question, we affirm.

= = = =

A05-2249

Brenda M. Walker,
Relator,
vs.
Associated Bank,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Relator Brenda M. Walker challenges the decision of the unemployment-law
judge (ULJ) that she is disqualified from receiving benefits because she
quit her employment without a good reason caused by the employer.
Because the ULJ's findings, inferences, conclusion, and decision are not
affected by an error of law and are supported by substantial evidence,
we affirm.

= = = =

A05-2390

Karen L. Humenik,
Relator,
Vs.
Mission Farms Nursing Home, Inc.,
Respondent,
Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

RANDALL, Judge
Relator Karen Humenik challenges the decision of the unemployment-law
judge (ULJ) that she is disqualified from receiving benefits because she
quit her employment without a good reason caused by the employer. We
affirm.
 

 
 
 

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