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

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 mdouglas@injurylawstpaul.com

 

UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

In re the Marriage of:

Wayne Alan Butt, petitioner,

Appellant,



vs.



Eleanor Anna Schmidt,

Respondent



PARKER , Judge

On appeal in this dissolution proceeding, appellant-husband argues that the district court erred by (a) failing to credit his child-support obligation retroactively to the date the parties stipulated to joint physical and legal custody; (b) declining to impute income to respondent-wife; and (c) refusing to consider respondent-wifeís spousal-maintenance award as income for purposes of calculating the partiesí child-support obligations. Because spousal-maintenance awards are forms of ďperiodicĒ payments, the district court erred in failing to consider respondentís spousal-maintenance award as income for purposes of calculating the partiesí child-support obligations. We, therefore, reverse and remand on that issue. All other issues are affirmed.

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A06-1241



Olubunmi A. Olabiyi,
Relator,

vs.

Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.



MINGE, Judge

Relator challenges the determination of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that because she was not ďactively seeking suitable employment,Ē she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. We affirm.

= = = =
A06-1249



Elsie Mayard,

Appellant,



vs.



Todd Crabtree Law Firm, P.A., et al.,

Respondents.



WILLIS , Judge

Pro se appellant challenges the district courtís enforcement of a settlement agreement. Because we conclude that the district court did not clearly err by finding that appellantís attorney was authorized to enter into the settlement agreement, and because none of appellantís other arguments has merit, we affirm.

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A06-1285





Michael Sullivan, et al.,

Appellants,



vs.



American Family Mutual Insurance Company,

Respondent,



Natural Environments Corporation, et al.,

Defendants,



TOUSSAINT , Chief Judge

Appellants Michael and Stacy Sullivan challenge the district courtís entry of summary judgment in favor of respondent American Family Mutual Insurance Company in a declaratory-judgment action to determine respondentís defense obligations under the partiesí insurance contract in relation to an underlying lawsuit brought by a neighboring property owner against appellants. Because the district court did not err by determining that respondentís duty to defend the appellants did not include bearing certain costs of permanent remediation, including affirmative cross-claims against third parties and attorney fees, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-1387



Marjorie Conrad,
Respondent,

vs.

Walter R. Fields,
Appellant.



PETERSON , Judge

T his appeal is from a judgment and an order denying posttrial motions. The judgment awarded respondent damages in the amount of the cost of her law-school tuition and books based on a determination that the elements of promissory estoppel were proved with respect to appellantís promise to pay for the tuition and books. We affirm the judgment and grant in part and deny in part respondentís motion to strike appellantís brief and appendix.

= = = =

A06-1393



Therese J. Miska,

Appellant,



vs.



Justin Dennis Miska, et al.,

Respondents,



Robert Dennis Miska,

Respondent,



Jessica T. Miska, a minor,

Respondent,



Lindsey M. Miska, a minor,

Respondent,



Robert E. Curtis,

Respondent,



Dorothy A. Curtis,

Respondent.



HALBROOKS , Judge

On appeal from the district courtís judgment granting appellant a one-half undivided interest in the homestead, appellant argues that respondents lack standing to challenge the antenuptial agreement to which they were not parties. In addition, appellant argues that the district court erred by denying her petition to reform the warranty deed because the antenuptial agreement between appellant and her now-deceased husband unambiguously placed the property in joint tenancy, and that tenancy was not severed. We affirm the district courtís determination that appellantís stepchildren have standing. But because we conclude that clear and convincing evidence supports reformation of the warranty deed to effect the partiesí intent to establish a joint tenancy, we reverse that portion of the judgment and remand.

= = = =

A06-1463



In re the Marriage of:



Catherine A. Lawson,

n/k/a Catherine A. Dunham, petitioner,

Respondent,



vs.



Douglas L. Lawson,

Appellant.



KALITOWSKI , Judge

Appellant Douglas L. Lawson challenges the district courtís award of attorney fees to respondent Catherine A. Dunham, arguing that (1) the record does not contain sufficient evidence that appellant acted in bad faith and was motivated by animus; and (2) the district court abused its discretion by not requiring respondentís attorney to comply with Rule 119 of the Rules of Practice for District Courts. Respondent also seeks attorney fees for this appeal. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-1593



Edward LaBonte,

Respondent,



vs.



TEAM Industries, Inc., et al.,

Appellants.



KALITOWSKI , Judge

Appellant TEAM Industries, Inc. and its subsidiaries challenge the district courtís conclusions that: (1) appellants discriminated against respondent Edward LaBonte on the basis of age under both disparate impact and disparate treatment theories; (2) respondent was entitled to back and front pay; and (3) respondent was entitled to attorney fees. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-1618



Westside Equipment Installers, Inc.,

Respondent,



vs.



North of Sixty Flying, Inc., et al.,

Appellants.



WORKE , Judge

Appellants North of Sixty Flying, Inc., et al. challenge the district courtís grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent Westside Equipment Installers, Inc., on respondentís claims of breach of contract, account stated, unjust enrichment, and foreclosure of respondentís mechanicís lien as well as appellantsí counterclaims for defamation of title and breach of contract. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-1656



Marcia Rona Fischer, petitioner,

Respondent,



vs.



Gregory Lynn Fischer,

Appellant.



SHUMAKER , Judge

Appellant challenges the district courtís modification of his child-support and spousal-maintenance obligations, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by automatically reinstating his original obligations after he regains employment and by ordering him to pay spousal-maintenance arrearages. Appellant also moves to strike portions of respondentís brief. Because the district court abused its discretion by requiring arrearages when appellantís maintenance obligation was suspended and by automatically reinstating the original amounts of appellantís obligations for maintenance and child support upon reemployment, and because it is unnecessary to strike substantial portions of respondentís brief, we reverse, and deny the motion to strike.

= = = =

A06-1693



Judy Frieler,

Appellant,



vs.



Carlson Marketing Group, Inc.,

Respondent.



SHUMAKER , Judge

Alleging that she was subjected to sexual harassment in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), that a hostile work environment was created when her supervisor sexually harassed her on the job, and that respondent Carlson Marketing Group, Inc. (CMG) is liable for assault and battery as her employer under the doctrine of respondeat superior for her supervisorís alleged actions, appellant Judy Frieler appeals summary judgment granted in favor of CMG. The district court determined that Frieler failed to show a material fact dispute that: (1) CMG knew or should have known of the unwitnessed and unreported sexual assaults that she alleged or that CMG failed to respond appropriately to the allegations once they surfaced; (2) that the alleged assailant, Ed Janiak, was not her supervisor for the purpose of assigning liability vicariously to CMG for a hostile work environment; and (3) that sexual harassment was not a well-known, widespread, industry hazard for the purposes of Frielerís assault-and-battery claims. Because Frieler failed to show a material fact dispute about whether CMG knew or should have known about harassment, even if her work environment was considered hostile for the purpose of granting summary judgment, and because Frieler failed to establish that sexual harassment is a well-known hazard in her particular type of workplace, we affirm the district courtís determination.

= = = =
A06-1749



Antonio I. Kartalozi, petitioner,

Appellant,



vs.



Melissa Kartalozi,

Respondent.



WILLIS , Judge

On appeal in this parenting-time dispute, pro se appellant-father argues that (1) the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion for unsupervised parenting time without adequately considering the childrenís best interests; (2) the guardian ad litem (GAL) failed to perform her statutory duties properly; and (3) the district court abused its discretion by awarding conduct-based attorney fees to mother. Because the district court did not clearly err by finding that father failed to show that unsupervised parenting time would be in the childrenís best interests, the GAL properly performed her duties, and the district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding attorney fees to mother, we affirm.

= = = =
A06-1795



Gary Schmitz, et al.,

Appellants,



vs.



City of Farmington ,

Respondent.



HUDSON, Judge

Appellants Gary and Doris Schmitz challenge the district courtís grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent City of Farmington . Because the district court erred by concluding that (1) respondent was statutorily immune from liability because it relied entirely on the professional and scientific judgment of its contractors regarding dewatering; (2) none of the exceptions for nonliability of an employer for the acts of its independent contractor applied; and (3) appellants could not maintain an action for inverse condemnation, we reverse.

= = = =
A06-1836



Jerome Wieneke, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

United Prairie Bank,
Respondent.



STONEBURNER, Judge



Appellants challenge summary judgment granted to respondent dismissing their claims for promissory estoppel, breach of contract, fraud, conversion, trespass, concealment of evidence, and punitive damages. Appellants assert that the district court erred by holding that they had not tendered payment, based summary judgment on an inadmissible document, and erred in not granting appellantsí request for attorney fees for respondentís discovery violations. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-2051



Kevin Joseph Mehr, petitioner,

Appellant,



vs.



Commissioner of Public Safety,

Respondent.



KALITOWSKI , Judge

Appellant challenges the revocation of his driverís license under the implied consent law, Minn. Stat. ßß 169A.50-53 (2004), arguing that (1) summary rescission of implied consent revocation or suppression of witness testimony is required when the state fails to disclose its witness list; and (2) law enforcementís warrantless entry into his fatherís home and appellantís subsequent arrest were not supported by probable cause or consent. We affirm.

= = = =

A07-120





In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of:

S.S. and E.F.,

Parents.



LANSING , Judge

The district court terminated EFís parental rights in October 2006, finding that clear and convincing evidence established two statutory criteria for termination. On appeal, EF argues that the courtís decision is not supported by sufficient evidence and rests on improper considerations. Because the record establishes that the district court considered proper statutory criteria and properly admitted testimony and exhibits when it found by clear and convincing evidence that two statutory grounds for termination exist, we affirm.

= = = =

A07-342



In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of:

H. K. and P. K., Parents.



HALBROOKS , Judge

On appeal from the district courtís termination of her parental rights, [1] appellant P.K. argues that the district court erred by: (1) concluding that appellant failed to comply with her parental duties; (2) concluding that appellant is palpably unfit to be a parent; (3) concluding that reasonable efforts failed to correct the conditions leading to placement; (4) concluding that the child is neglected and in foster care; (5) failing to make required findings of fact regarding the best interests of the child; and (6) failing to make the required findings of fact regarding a change in custody. Because the district court properly applied the law and because the record supports its findings and conclusions, we affirm.



[1] The childís father, H.K., does not challenge the termination of his parental rights.

 

 
 
 

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