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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-1206
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: J.M.B. and J.J.C.,
Parents.
Affirmed. Judge Harriet Lansing.
Concurring specially, Judge Kevin G. Ross.
Itasca County District Court, Hon. John Hawkinson.
LANSING, Judge
The district court terminated JJC's parental rights in April 2007,
finding that clear-and-convincing evidence established two statutory
criteria for termination and that termination was in the best interests
of the child. On appeal, JJC argues that the district court's decision
is not supported by sufficient evidence and that it erred when it
relieved the county from making reasonable efforts to reunify JJC with
his child. Because the district court's findings are supported by
substantial evidence, the court's conclusions are not clearly erroneous,
and the district court properly applied statutory criteria when it
relieved the county from making reasonable efforts to reunify JJC with
his child, we affirm.

A06-2433
In re the Marriage of: Jennifer Louise Weiss, petitioner, Respondent,
vs.
William John Weiss, Appellant.
Affirmed. Judge Thomas J. Kalitowski.
Washington County District Court, Hon. David Doyscher.
KALITOWSKI, Judge
Appellant William J. Weiss challenges the district court's order denying
his motion to modify his child-support obligation. We affirm.

A06-1860
Whitebox Advisors, LLC, et al., Respondents, vs. Brocade Communications
Systems, Inc., Appellant.
Affirmed in part and reversed in part. Judge Thomas J. Kalitowski.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Robert H. Lynn.
KALITOWSKI, Judge
Appellant Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. challenges the district
court's grant of summary judgment for respondents, Whitebox Advisors,
LLC, et al., on their breach-of-contract claim. By notice of review
respondents dispute the applicable prejudgment interest rate under the
terms of the parties' indenture. We affirm in part, concluding that the
district court properly determined the interest rate. But because
appellant properly and timely discharged the indenture prior to the
occurrence of an event of default, we reverse both the district court's
grant of respondents' motion for summary judgment on their
breach-of-contract claim and the court's denial of appellant's motion
for summary judgment.

A06-2164
Ann Louise Mathisen, Respondent, vs. Drew Prescott Simpson, Appellant.
Reversed and remanded. Judge Roger M. Klaphake
Lake County District Court, Hon. Kenneth A. Sandvik.
KLAPHAKE, Judge
The parties, who were not married, cohabited on land titled in the name
of the brother of appellant Drew Simpson. The parties improved that
land. Later, appellant's brother transferred title to the property to
respondent Ann Mathisen, and appellant alleges that respondent orally
gave him an option to acquire the property. After the parties'
relationship ended, respondent moved off the property, appellant filed a
mechanics' lien on the property, and respondent sued appellant, seeking
to regain possession of the property and to have the mechanics' lien
discharged. Appellant counterclaimed for a constructive trust,
alleging, among other things, that (1) he had purchased and paid for the
property but titled it in the name of his brother, and later respondent,
for tax reasons; (2) respondent breached the oral option contract; (3)
the mechanics' lien was valid; and (4) respondent should not be allowed
to unjustly enrich herself by retaining title to the property. The
district court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment, ruling
that appellant's mechanics' lien was unenforceable, that respondent owns
the property free and clear of appellant's claims, and that appellant
must vacate the property. We reverse and remand.

A07-4
Ivan Merlin Johnson, Appellant, vs. Minnesota Department of Public
Safety, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks.
Ramsey County District Court, Hon. Paulette K. Flynn.
HALBROOKS, Judge
Appellant Ivan Merlin Johnson brought a civil complaint in district
court, seeking a declaratory judgment that Minn. Stat. ? 171.04 (2004)
and Minn. R. 7503.1300 (2003) are unconstitutional because the statute
and rule violate appellant's due-process rights and are vague and
overbroad. Appellant sought reinstatement of his driver's license and
injunctive relief, prohibiting the state from enforcing Minn. Stat. ?
171.04 and from applying Minn. R. 7503.1300. Respondent Minnesota
Department of Public Safety moved to dismiss appellant's complaint on
the ground that the review procedure, including the 180-day limitation
in Minn. Stat. ? 171.19 (2004), is the exclusive remedy for review of
appellant's driving privileges and that a declaratory-judgment action is
inappropriate. The district court granted respondent's motion to
dismiss, concluding that the 180-day limitation bars appellant's claim,
that revocation of appellant's license is proper, and that section
171.04 and rule 7503.1300 are constitutional. We affirm.

A06-2430, A07-255
Doug Johnson, Washington County Attorney, Respondent, vs. One
1994 Honda Civic Serial #1HGEJ1124RL003666, License Plate
#KND039, et al., Defendants (A06-2430); One 1996 Chevrolet Blazer,
Serial #1GNDT13W5T2170630, License Plate #LLP 307; et al.,
Defendants (A07-255); Soua Vang, Appellant.
Affirmed in part and remanded. Judge David Minge.
Washington County District Court, Hon. B. William Ekstrum.
Minge, Judge
In this consolidated appeal from the judicial forfeiture of a 1996
Chevrolet Blazer and a 1994 Honda Civic, appellant Soua Vang contends
that because the mere presence of controlled substances in an automobile
is not sufficient to associate a vehicle with criminal activity, the
district court erred in granting respondent's summary judgment motion.
Because we conclude that the Blazer and Civic were used to transport
controlled substances, in violation of Minn. Stat. ? 609.5311, we affirm
the forfeiture of the Civic and affirm the forfeiture of appellant's
ownership interest in the Blazer. But because the district court found
that there may be another person with a partial ownership interest in
the Blazer who has not been notified of the forfeiture of that vehicle,
we remand the Blazer forfeiture.

A07-1234
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: R. E. R., Parent.
Affirmed. Judge Natalie E. Hudson.
Clay County District Court, Hon. Steven J. Cahill.
HUDSON, Judge
In this termination-of-parental-rights appeal, mother argues that the
district court violated the doctrines of collateral estoppel and res
judicata by focusing on evidence involved in a prior, failed attempt to
terminate her parental rights; improperly used mother's relationship
with a third party as a basis for termination when the third party has
not harmed the children and offered to undergo any treatment the county
deems necessary; and made findings of fact that are unsupported by the
record. We affirm.

A06-2467
Vicky L. Stewart, Relator, vs. Executive Affiliates Inc, Respondent;
Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Natalie E. Hudson.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
HUDSON, Judge
On writ of certiorari from an order affirming the dismissal of relator's
appeal from the unemployment-compensation-disqualification
determination, relator argues that her appeal should not have been
dismissed as untimely. Because an unemployment-law judge under Minn.
Stat. ? 268.101, subd. 2(e) (2006), has no jurisdiction to review an
untimely appeal, we affirm.

A06-2323
Richard A. Born, Appellant, vs. Donald E. Berg, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Natalie E. Hudson.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Robert H. Lynn.
HUDSON, Judge
This is an appeal from summary judgment on appellant's action against
respondent for breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and
reformation to recover money appellant loaned to respondent pursuant to
a promissory note. Appellant argues that he is entitled to rely on
parol evidence to ascertain the parties' intent regarding two release
agreements appellant signed after execution of the promissory note and
because there are factual disputes regarding the execution of the
release agreements. By notice of review, respondent argues that the
district court abused its discretion by denying his motion for rule 11
sanctions. The release agreements are unambiguous and preclude
appellant's claims against respondent. In addition, the district court
did not abuse its discretion by denying respondent's motion for
sanctions. Accordingly, we affirm.

A06-2134
Pamela D. Hunt, Appellant, vs. Nosratollah Mazaharirvesh, Respondent.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. Judge Christopher J.
Dietzen.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Kevin S. Burke.
DIETZEN, Judge
Appellant challenges a district court order and resulting judgment
denying her claims arising out of the purchase of a motor vehicle from
respondent, arguing that the district court erred in its application of
the law. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

A06-1897
Sylvester Devereaux Holmes, petitioner, Appellant, vs. Elaine Marie
Holmes, Respondent.
Affirmed as modified. Judge Doris Ohlsen Huspeni.*
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Regina M. Chu.
HUSPENI, Judge
In seeking review of several decisions of the trial court in a
dissolution judgment, appellant challenges (a) the custody award,
claiming that the court erred in adopting a written stipulation between
the parties; (b) the classification of certain intra-family transactions
as loans rather than gifts; (c) the division of marital property and
debts; (d) the allocation of retirement accounts; (e) the trial court's
order for the parties to file separate tax returns for the years 2004
and 2005; (f) the requirement that appellant maintain adequate life
insurance to cover any future maintenance or child-support obligations;
and (g) the court's failure to address respondent's alleged squandering
of marital assets. Because we conclude that the trial court did not err
in accepting the written custody stipulation between the parties,
because evidence in the record supports each of the contested decisions
of the trial court, and because there was no abuse of discretion in
those decisions, we affirm.


A05-2014
Commandeur LLC, et al.,
Appellants,
vs.
Howard Hartry, Inc.,
Respondent.
WILLIS, Judge
Appellants challenge the district court's grant of summary judgment to
respondent, arguing that the district court erred by applying
California's statutes of limitations to appellants' claims. Because we
conclude that Minnesota's limitations period applies, we reverse and
remand.


A07-1263
In re the Petition of P.L. and T.L.
to adopt D.L.S.
WILLIS, Judge
Appellants challenge the order of the district court dismissing for lack
of standing their petition to adopt D.L.S. Appellants argue that the
district court erred by (1) concluding that an adoptive placement of
D.L.S. with appellants was required before their petition to adopt her
could proceed, and (2) failing to consider whether it would be in
D.L.S.'s or appellants' best interests to waive the requirement of an
adoptive placement. Additionally, appellants argue that due process and
other considerations require that their adoption petition be considered
on its merits. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
 

 
 
 

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