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

 Saint Paul Lawyer
 
 mdouglas@injurylawtwincities.com

 

UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A06-2108


A07-562



KALITOWSKI, Judge
Appellants Kirk and Linda Sander challenge the district
court's award of sole legal and physical custody of their biological son
to respondents, his maternal aunt and uncle, as de facto custodians
under Minn. Stat. ? 257C.01, subd. 2(a) (2006). Appellants argue that:
(1) respondents' custody petitions were deficient; (2) respondents
failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that they were the
child's de facto custodians; (3) the child was placed with respondents
for the purposes of adoption, which would exclude them from the
definition of de facto custodians; (4) the district court improperly
applied the best-interest-of-the-child factors for third-party custody;
and (5) the district court abused its discretion by denying appellant's
motion for a new trial. We affirm.
= = = =

A06-2449



Mick Niess,
Respondent,

Jack Volz,
Respondent,

Todd Seitz,
Respondent,

Brian Staska,
Respondent,

Chris Hultengren,
Respondent,

George Magdal,
Respondent,

Mike Dobesh,
Respondent,

Jeremiah Anderson,
Respondent,

Unknown Defendant X, Y and Z, et al.,
Defendants.

KLAPHAKE, Judge
In December 2005, appellant Thomas Pressler brought this
action alleging defamation and related claims against respondents, Fire
Instructors of Minnesota (FIAM) and its individual board members, after
he was terminated from his position as "service chairman" of FIAM. In
July 2006, respondents moved for summary judgment on all claims;
Pressler moved to amend the scheduling order and compel discovery.
The district court thereafter granted summary judgment to
the individual board members, determining that they were protected from
suit by statutory immunity under Minn. Stat. ? 317A.257, subd. 1 (2004)
(providing statutory immunity to unpaid volunteers of nonprofit
organizations). The court further determined that FIAM was entitled to
summary judgment on Pressler's claims of defamation, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, injunctive relief,
and conversion, as it related to compensation for Pressler's services.
The court denied respondents' motion for summary judgment on Pressler's
remaining claims, which related to reimbursement of Pressler's credit
card expenses. Finally, the court granted in part Pressler's motion to
amend the scheduling order to allow him to depose respondents Douglas
Thies and Mick Niess, but only on the reimbursement claims; the parties
have since entered into a settlement on those reimbursement claims,
which are not part of this appeal.[1]
Because the district court did not abuse its discretion or
otherwise err in denying Pressler's request to amend the scheduling
order, in determining that the individual board members were entitled to
statutory immunity and in concluding that FIAM is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law on Pressler's defamation claim, we affirm.[2]

= = = =



KLAPHAKE, Judge
Pro se relator Robert F. Medek challenges a decision by an
unemployment law judge (ULJ) affirming an earlier decision that relator
quit employment without good reason caused by the employer and was
therefore disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Relator,
who had been receiving unemployment benefits for his prior work in the
steel fabrication industry, accepted a job with respondent St. Peter
Church & School (St. Peter) as a maintenance supervisor, but quit
because he lacked computer skills necessary for the work. Because
relator informed St. Peter that he wished to quit the unsuitable work
within the period required by statute and, at St. Peter's request,
continued to work until the position could be filled, we reverse.

= = = =

A06-2043



KLAPHAKE, Judge
Appellants, Cash-N-Pawn of Minnesota, Ltd. and Pawn America
Minnesota, LLC, brought this declaratory judgment action against
respondent City of St. Paul, challenging the city's decision to increase
the fee imposed on pawnshop transactions from .50 to .00 per
transaction. On appeal from the district court's grant of summary
judgment to the city, appellants challenge the validity of the ordinance
increasing the fee, arguing: (1) the city council failed to consider
any evidence regarding "the costs of processing transactions" when it
decided to increase the fee, as required by St. Paul, Minn., Legislative
Code ? 344.02 (2007); and (2) the fee represents an invalid tax on
pawnshops because it is used to finance general law enforcement.
Because our review of the city's exercise of its legislative authority
is limited and because the increased fee is neither unreasonable nor
excessive, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-1720



KLAPHAKE, Judge
In this certiorari appeal, pro se relator Gary L. Modlin
challenges the unemployment law judge's (ULJ) decision that he quit his
employment without good reason caused by his employer, respondent
Faithful and Gould, Inc. Because the evidence reasonably shows that
continuing employment was available to relator in Louisiana following
his initial 90-day commitment, but that relator chose to return to
Minnesota, we affirm the ULJ's decision.

= = = =

A07-808


In the Matter of the Welfare of
the Child of: S.H., Parent.


WILLIS, Judge
Appellant mother challenges the district court's termination of her
parental rights, arguing that the record does not support termination
and that termination is not in the best interests of the child. We
affirm.

= = = =

A06-2162


In re: Conservatorship of
Dewey P. Wallace.

WILLIS, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's order of
appointment of a conservator for the estate of her long-time companion.
Because we determine that the district court did not abuse its
discretion, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-2158



HALBROOKS, Judge
By writ of certiorari, relator challenges the decision of
the Minnesota Department of Human Services that she is disqualified from
working in positions allowing direct contact with children, youth, and
individuals receiving services from certain state

= = = =


A06-2300

Eugene J. Carda,
Appellant,

vs.

Kanabec County,
Respondent.

CRIPPEN, Judge
Appellant Eugene Carda seeks a writ of mandamus to compel
respondent Kanabec County to grant his wetland replacement plan
application; he argues that respondent failed to "approve or deny" his
application within the 60-day period permitted by statute. Appellant
further argues that the proceedings before the Board of Water and Soil
Resources (BOWSR) did not create an additional 60-day period for action
by respondent.
Because respondent's rejection of appellant's application
was a denial under the statute and because respondent was given an
extension under the statute after BOWSR remanded the matter, we affirm
summary judgment for respondent.

= = = =

A06-2143

Gregory C. Dalton,
Relator,

vs.

Highway 18 Collision Center, Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

CRIPPEN, Judge
Relator Gregory C. Dalton challenges the unemployment law
judge's decision that he is disqualified from receiving unemployment
benefits because he was discharged by his employer, respondent Highway
18 Collision Center, Inc., for employment misconduct. Because the
evidence reasonably supports the disqualification decision, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-2182



HARTEN, Judge
Relator Mary Lund, pro se, challenges the conclusion of an
unemployment law judge (ULJ) that relator was disqualified from
receiving unemployment benefits because she quit her employment without
good reason caused by the employer. There being adequate evidentiary
support for the ULJ's conclusion, we affirm.

= = = =

A06-2113



HARTEN, Judge
Appellants challenge the district court's summary judgment
determination that res judicata and collateral estoppel bar their
action. Because we conclude that res judicata and collateral estoppel
do not bar this action, we reverse the summary judgment and remand.

 

 
 
 

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