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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A06-1256



Amanda Steffensen,
Appellant,

vs.

Caroline Otteson,
Respondent.



MINGE, Judge



In this personal-injury case, appellant-plaintiff appeals from the district courtís judgment and the denial of her posttrial motions. Appellant contends that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to admit expert testimony and that this error was prejudicial. We reverse and remand.

= = = =

A06-1300





In re the Marriage of:



Kim Teresa Pattinson, petitioner,

Respondent,



vs.



Daniel Keller Pattinson,

Appellant.



LANSING , Judge

In this fourth appeal related to the spousal-maintenance provisions of a 1996 marital-dissolution judgment, Daniel Pattinson contends that the district court failed to comply with this courtís remand instructions, failed to provide independent review when it adopted proposed findings verbatim, and endorsed factual findings that are clearly erroneous. Because the record supports these contentions, we reverse and remand.

= = = =
A06-1317



Kathryn Nobbe,
Appellant,

vs.

Wolfgram/Tritt & Associates,
Respondent.



STONEBURNER, Judge

Appellant challenges the district courtís denial of her motion for a new trial after a jury determined that respondent was not negligent in failing to provide sufficient coverage for appellantís damaged paintings. Specifically, appellant asserts that the question on the special-verdict form about respondentís negligence misstated the law and that the district court erred by holding, as a matter of law, that no special relationship existed between the parties. Respondent filed a notice of review challenging the district courtís denial of its summary-judgment motion based on a release that appellant gave to other tortfeasors and the district courtís denial of its motion for judgment as a matter of law. Because, under the circumstances of this case, any error in the special-verdict question was harmless, we affirm, and therefore find it unnecessary to reach the issues raised in the notice of review.

= = = =
A07-317





In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of:

William Richard Iverson.



WILLIS , Judge

Appellant challenges his commitment as mentally ill to the mental-health unit at the Oak Park Heights correctional facility and the district courtís authorization of the involuntary administration of neuroleptic medication to appellant. We affirm.

= = = =
A07-16



In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: T.P. and P.P., Parents


In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: T.P. and D.W., Parents



MINGE, Judge

On appeal from the district courtís termination of her parental rights, appellant-mother argues that (1) the record lacks clear and convincing evidence that the children suffered egregious harm while in her care; (2) termination of her parental rights is not in the best interests of the children; and (3) she was denied effective assistance of counsel. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-2170



Leon S. DeCook, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

Rochester International Airport Joint Zoning Board,
Respondent.



PETERSON , Judge

This appeal is from a summary judgment dismissing appellant-landownerís regulatory-taking claim. We reverse and remand.

= = = =
A06-1962



Bruce H. Wheece,
Appellant,

vs.

Great River Regional Library,
Respondent,
Joint Powers Organization of the City of St. Cloud, et al.,
Defendants.



STONEBURNER, Judge



Appellant challenges dismissal of his whistleblower action against respondent public library, arguing that the district court erred by concluding that he failed to make a prima facie case under Minnesotaís Whistleblower Act, Minn. Stat. ß 181.932 (2006). We affirm.

= = = =

A06-1773





In re the Marriage of:



Essam El-Dean Hassan Ahmed, petitioner,

Appellant,



vs.



Eman Bakry Haroun,

Respondent.



LANSING , Judge

After the district court denied Essam El-Dean Hassan Ahmedís motion for a fourth continuance, he agreed to settle his marital-dissolution proceeding through an oral stipulation. Ahmed subsequently moved to vacate the stipulation, and the district court denied the motion. We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying both the motion for a continuance and the motion to vacate. Because the written order improperly added new terms to the stipulation, however, we affirm as modified.

= = = =

A06-1755





Jared W. Sachs, et al.,

Appellants,



vs.



Illinois Farmers Insurance Company,

Respondent.



LANSING , Judge

Jared Sachs, John Bauer, Ralph Stoeffel d/b/a Spiral Fence Company, and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company (collectively Grinnell), appeal from the district courtís denial of Grinnellís summary-judgment motion and grant of Illinois Farmers Insurance Companyís summary-judgment motion, in this insurance-benefits-recovery action. Grinnell argues that Farmers breached its duty to defend and indemnify, thereby causing Grinnell to pay benefits that it contracted to recover through loan-receipt agreements executed by the insureds. We affirm.

= = = =

A06-1738



In re the Matter of the Petition for the

Annexation of Land to the City of St. Paul Park

Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 414 (A-7212)



Town of Grey Cloud Island ,

Appellant,



vs.



R. Gordon Nesvig,

Respondent,



D. R. Horton, Inc. - Minnesota ,

Respondent,



City of St. Paul Park ,

Respondent.



HUDSON , Judge

Appellant Town of Grey Cloud Island challenges the district courtís order of July 19, 2006, affirming the Administrative Law Judgeís (ALJís) order allowing respondent City of St. Paul Park to annex certain land. Appellant argues that (1) the substantial-evidence test for annexation is not satisfied when only about one-quarter of the land in question is buildable and is part of the national park system; and (2) the ALJís increase in the amount of land to be annexed is contrary to law. Because substantial evidence existed to support annexation, we affirm in part. But because the statutory procedures for annexing additional land were not followed, we reverse in part and remand.

= = = =
A06-1711



Tony Lyle Flatten, et al.,

Respondents,



vs.



Brett Mattson, et al.,

defendants and third party plaintiffs,

Appellants,



vs.



Darrin K. Merrill, et al.,

Third Party Defendants.



HUDSON, Judge

On appeal from a judgment for plaintiffs in this leaky-roof case, appellants-defendants argue that (a) the district court incorrectly used the cost-of-repair measure of damages rather than the out-of-pocket measure when calculating plaintiffís damages; (b) the record lacks the evidence required for application of the correct damage calculation; and (c) plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence of the damages they claimed. Because the district court used the wrong measure of damages, we reverse.

= = = =
A06-1678



In re the Marriage of:

Carole V. Marx, petitioner,

Respondent,



vs.



Robert B. Marx,

Appellant,



and



County of Anoka , intervenor,

Respondent.



ROSS , Judge

This appeal arises from a child-support dispute in which a child-support magistrate ordered Robert Marx to pay 6,776.99 for child-support arrears. Marx argues that the district court abused its discretion by not retroactively modifying his support obligation to forgive the arrearage that accrued during his incarceration, and by not offsetting his support arrearage with amounts that his former wife, Carole Dowling, owed under a contract for deed.

= = = =

A06-1585
A06-2045



Village School of Northfield ,

Relator (A06-1585),

Appellant (A06-2045),



vs.



Independent School District #659,

Respondent,



Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education,

Respondent.



HALBROOKS , Judge

In this consolidated appeal, appellant, a charter school, challenges the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Educationís decision to affirm the school districtís nonrenewal of appellantís sponsorship agreement. Appellant argues that: (1) the commissioner acted arbitrarily in affirming the school districtís nonrenewal decision because the school district failed to issue contemporaneous written findings of fact or a statement of the reasons for its nonrenewal decision; (2) the matter should be remanded to the school district for a determination of its reasons for nonrenewal with interim contract reinstatement; and (3) the district court erred in dismissing the schoolís petition for mandamus. Appellant also moves this court to strike portions of respondentsí briefs on the ground that they refer to matters outside of the record. Because the commissionerís decision is supported by substantial evidence in the record and is not arbitrary or capricious, we affirm. Because the documents referred to in appellantís motion to strike are part of the record, we deny the motion.

= = = =

A06-1578





In the Matter of the Commission Inquiry Regarding Potential

Proscribed Ex Parte Contacts Regarding Commissioner Scott



In the Matter of the Complaint of the Minnesota Department of

Commerce Against Qwest Corporation Regarding Unfiled Agreements



In the Matter of the Complaint of AT&T Communications

of the Midwest, Inc. against Qwest Corporation



HALBROOKS , Judge

Relator Qwest Corporation challenges the June 30, 2006, and July 24, 2006, orders issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, arguing that (1) the Commissionís determination that former Commissioner Greg Scott did not engage in prohibited ex parte communications with Mary Tribby, counsel for respondent AT&T Corporation, is not supported by substantial evidence and (2) the Commissionís determination that Scottís code-of-conduct violations did not unduly and improperly influence the outcome of a claim against Qwest filed with the Commission is not supported by substantial evidence. Because we conclude that the Commissionís determination that the communications between Scott and Tribby did not constitute impermissible ex parte communications is supported by substantial record evidence, we affirm in part. But because we conclude that the Commissionís determination that Scott did not improperly influence the outcome of the claim filed against Qwest is not supported by substantial evidence, we reverse in part and remand.

= = = =
A06-1557



Associated Bank,

National Association,

Respondent,



vs.



Daniel J. Larscheid,

Appellant.



HUDSON, Judge

Respondent Associated Bank sued appellant Daniel J. Larscheid to enforce the terms of two promissory notes. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of respondent. Appellant argues that the district court misapplied the law and that his obligation to pay the notes was either suspended or partially discharged. Because the district court did not err in its application of the law, we affirm.

= = = =
A06-1461



Bradley G. Tafs,

on his own behalf and on

behalf of his dependents,

Mary Tafs, William Tafs, and Lindsay Tafs,

Appellant,



vs.



City of Proctor ,

Respondent.



HUDSON, Judge

Appellant Bradley G. Tafs brought a declaratory-judgment action to establish that he and his dependents are entitled to receive continued health-insurance benefits from respondent City of Proctor , for which appellant previously worked as a police officer. The district court denied relief to appellant who now argues that the district court erred in its application of the law. Because the district court did not err by concluding that the grant of a duty-related disability pension by the Public Employees Retirement Association under Minn. Stat. ß 353.656 (2004) did not preclude respondent from challenging, in a separate proceeding to determine the right to continued health-insurance coverage under Minn. Stat. ß 299A.465 (2004), whether the officerís disabling injury occurred in the course and scope of duties as a peace officer, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-1449





In the Matter of the License Revocation of

Woodlyn Court , L.L.P.



LANSING , Judge

The commissioner of health revoked Woodlyn Court , L.L.P.ís license to operate a manufactured-home park and imposed a ,000 administrative penalty. Because the record establishes that Woodlyn Court violated sewage regulations and that the imposition of the ,000 penalty was not arbitrary and capricious, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-1359





In re the Marriage of:

Gerald Ernest Jeschke, petitioner,

Appellant,



vs.



Kirsten Jean Libby,

Respondent.



TOUSSAINT , Chief Judge

On appeal in this child-support dispute, appellant Gerald Ernest Jeschke argues that the record does not support the imputation of income to him, the allocation of private school tuition, or the attorney-fee award to respondent Kirsten Jean Libby. Respondent moves for dismissal of parts of the appeal and attorney fees. Because the district court properly exercised its broad discretion, we affirm. Because appellant waived review of the denial of his modification motion, we grant the respondentís motion to dismiss that part of the appeal, but we deny respondentís motion for attorney fees.

= = = =

A06-1887





In re the Marriage of:

Jennifer Marie Gran, f/k/a Jennifer Marie-Gran Barkley, petitioner,

Respondent,



vs.



Craig William Barkley,

Appellant.



TOUSSAINT , Chief Judge

In this postdissolution action, appellant Craig William Barkley challenges the award of sole physical custody of the partiesí children to respondent Jennifer Marie Gran, f/k/a Jennifer Marie-Gran Barkley, the calculation of appellantís income for child-support purposes, and the distribution of marital property. Because we see no abuse of discretion in the calculation of appellantís income, we affirm; because the custody award lacks supporting findings, we reverse and remand; and because we see an abuse of discretion in the division of the marital property, we reverse and remand for further proceedings in accord with this opinion.
 

 
 
 

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