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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-166
Amanda Svendson, individually and o/b/o M.S-S., petitioner, Respondent,
vs. Joshua Allen Strange, Appellant.
Affirmed. Judge Kevin G. Ross.
Crow Wing County District Court, Hon. Frederick J. Casey.
ROSS, Judge
Joshua Strange appeals from a one-year order for protection (OFP)
granted in favor of his daughter, M.S-S., and his daughter?s mother,
Amanda Svendsen. Predicated on the district court?s finding that
Strange domestically abused Svendsen, the OFP bars Strange from any
contact with Svendsen or M.S-S. except for supervised parenting visits
with M.S-S. Strange argues that because there is no record evidence of
any acts of abuse against M.S-S., the district court should not have
restricted his parenting time. And he contends that the district
court?s factual finding that he abused Svendsen is clearly erroneous.
Because the district court?s finding of abuse against Svendsen is not
clearly erroneous, and because a finding of abuse against M.S-S. is not
required to restrict parenting time, we affirm the district court?s
order for protection.


A07-411
Amit Y. Sela, Appellant, vs. The St Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.,
Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Gordon W. Shumaker.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. John L. Holahan.
SHUMAKER, Judge
After being defrauded of his money, appellant sought insurance benefits
under a policy of crime insurance that covered robbery through
?obviously unlawful? acts. The district court ruled that the fraudulent
conduct was not ?obviously unlawful,? and granted summary judgment to
the insurer. Claiming that the court?s interpretation of the term
?obviously? was incorrect, appellant brought this appeal. On de novo
review, the district court did not err in its interpretation of the
insurance policy, and we affirm.


A06-2118
DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc., Relator, vs. St. Paul City Council,
Respondent.
Reversed and remanded. Judge Gordon W. Shumaker.
City of St. Paul.
SHUMAKER, Judge
By writ of certiorari, relator DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc. challenges the
City of St. Paul?s resolution, adopted according to its
nuisance-abatement ordinance, ordering the demolition or removal of
DLJ?s property within 15 days. We conclude that the city failed to
follow its own procedure, which deprived DLJ of its right to due
process, and that the city?s decision is unsupported by the evidence and
is, therefore, arbitrary and capricious. We reverse and remand.


A07-169
Javier Perdomo, petitioner, Appellant, vs. Twila Comes Flying,
Respondent, vs. Christopher Gran, intervenor, Respondent; Cecilia Gran,
intervenor, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Tanja K. Manrique.
HALBROOKS, Judge
Appellant Javier Perdomo challenges the order of the family division of
the district court (family court) that enforces visitation rights with
appellant?s daughter granted to intervenor-respondents Robert and
Cecelia Gran by the juvenile division of the district court (juvenile
court) and establishes a visitation schedule. Appellant argues that the
family court erred in ruling that the amended juvenile court order that
awarded the Grans visitation rights is final because it was not
appealed. Appellant also argues that the family court erred in ruling
that appellant is not entitled to relief under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02.
We affirm.


A07-344
Linda M. Anderson, Relator, vs. American Baptist Homes of the Midwest,
Respondent; Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge David Minge.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
MINGE, Judge
Relator Linda Anderson challenges the decision of an unemployment law
judge that she engaged in employment misconduct and is therefore
disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits from the Department of
Employment and Economic Development. We affirm.


A07-1232, A07-1233, A07-1321
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: D. D., Parent.
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: K. D. and D. F., Parents.
Affirmed. Judge Heidi S. Schellhas.
Becker County District Court, Hon. John E. Pearson.
SCHELLHAS, Judge
In these consolidated appeals, appellants challenge the termination of
their parental rights. Appellants D.D. and K.D. contend that the county
failed to provide adequate services for reunification, and K.D. contends
that the county failed to grant her additional time to comply with the
case plan. Appellant D.F. contends that the district court erroneously
relied on conditions that no longer existed at the time of trial, failed
to review each of the appellants independently when assessing whether
termination is proper, and failed to consider other permanency
disposition options at trial. Because the evidence presented at trial
is sufficient to show that appellants received adequate reunification
services, that the conditions at the time of trial supported parental
termination for all appellants, and that parental termination is in the
children?s best interests, we affirm.


A07-369
Matthew J. Hoffman, Relator, vs. Collette Travel Service Inc.,
Respondent; Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Francis J. Connolly.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
CONNOLLY, Judge
Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that
he was discharged for misconduct. Because evidence supports the ULJ?s
findings and we conclude that relator?s conduct violated the standard of
behavior his employer had a right to reasonably expect, we affirm.


A07-17
Jon T. Behrens, Relator, vs. Building Restoration Corp., Respondent;
Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Matthew E. Johnson.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
JOHNSON, Judge
Jon T. Behrens sought unemployment benefits while he was on a five-week
leave of absence from his job because of a broken bone in his heel. The
unemployment law judge (ULJ) determined that he was ineligible for
benefits because, during the period of time for which he sought
benefits, he was not actively attempting to obtain employment that would
have accommodated his work restrictions. We affirm.


A07-160
Marty L. Oldenburg, Relator, vs. BFI Waste Systems of North America
Inc, Respondent; Department of Employment and Economic
Development, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Bertrand Poritsky.*
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
PORITSKY, Judge
Relator Marty L. Oldenburg was fired for employment misconduct. He
challenges the determination of an Unemployment Law Judge (ULJ) that he
was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. We affirm.


A07-1527
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: A.M.R., Parent.
SPECIAL RELEASE OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 15, 2008.
Affirmed. Chief Judge Edward Toussaint, Jr.
Mille Lacs County District Court, Hon. Steven P. Ruble.
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant A.M.R. challenges the district court?s termination of her
parental rights to her child, M.R. Because the district court?s
findings address the statutory criteria, are supported by substantial
evidence, and are not clearly erroneous, we affirm.


A06-2446
In re the Marriage of: Glenna Rae McDaniel n/k/a Glenna Rae Burg,
petitioner, Respondent, vs. Dwayne Bobby McDaniel, Appellant.
Reversed and remanded. Chief Judge Edward Toussaint, Jr.
Lyon County District Court, Hon. Leland Bush.
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant Dwayne Bobby McDaniel challenges the denial of his motion for
modification of his spousal maintenance obligation, arguing that the
Karon waiver in the stipulated judgment dissolving his marriage to
respondent Glenna Rae McDaniel, n/k/a Glenna Rae Burg, is invalid
because the dissolution court did not make the findings required by
Minn. Stat. ? 518.552, subd. 5 (2000). Because the district court erred
in determining that the dissolution court had made the required
findings, we reverse and remand.


A07-129
George Bourcy, petitioner, Respondent, vs. Ravenna Township,
Appellant.
Reversed. Judge Thomas J. Kalitowski.
Dakota County District Court, Hon. Thomas Poch.
KALITOWSKI, Judge
On appeal from the district court?s grant of respondent George Bourcy?s
motion for summary judgment and an alternative writ of mandamus,
appellant Ravenna Township argues that the district court erred as a
matter of law in granting respondent mandamus relief because the
Township (1) did not have a clear legal duty to grant respondent?s
requested zoning variance; (2) was not equitably estopped from denying
the variance; and (3) acted reasonably and was not arbitrary or
capricious in denying the variance. We reverse.


A07-35
Patricia A. Grindle-Benedict, Relator, vs. Emmer and Associates, P.A.,
Respondent; Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Roger M. Klaphake.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
KLAPHAKE, Judge
Relator Patricia A. Grindle-Benedict, n/k/a Patricia Thomson McElroy,
challenges the decision of the Department of Employment and Economic
Development unemployment law judge (ULJ) disqualifying her from
receiving unemployment benefits because she was discharged by her
employer, respondent Emmer and Associates, P.A., for misconduct.
Relator argues that the use of telephone hearings is a violation of
Minn. Stat. ? 268.105 (2006), and of procedural due process and that the
ULJ erred by refusing to accept her written response to the employer?s
appeal letter and by receiving evidence of alleged misconduct that the
employer was unaware of at the time of termination.
Because we conclude that (1) the department has the discretion to
determine the method by which evidentiary hearings are conducted; (2)
the telephone hearings meet at least minimum due process standards; and
(3) the ULJ did not err by refusing to accept relator?s written response
or by considering evidence of alleged misconduct occurring after
termination, we affirm.


A07-24
Steven M. Lee, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic
Development, Respondent.
Reversed and remanded. Judge Roger M. Klaphake.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
KLAPHAKE, Judge
In his pro se appeal, relator Steven M. Lee challenges the determination
of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) for respondent Minnesota Department
of Employment and Economic Development affirming his earlier decision
that (1) Lee did not have good cause to fail to file bi-weekly requests
for unemployment benefits for the period of October 2, 2005, through
April 22, 2006, and (2) because Lee did not ?actively seek[] suitable
employment,? he was ineligible for unemployment benefits for that
period. Recent legislation renders the first issue?failure to file
bi-weekly requests for benefits?moot. With respect to the remaining
issue, because we conclude that the ULJ acted arbitrarily by failing to
rule on Lee?s request for an additional evidentiary hearing, we reverse
and remand.


A06-2417
In re the Marriage of: Susanne C. Clay, f/k/a Susanne C. Dvorak,
petitioner, Respondent, vs. Christopher A. Dvorak, Appellant.
Affirmed. Judge Roger M. Klaphake.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Regina M. Chu.
KLAPHAKE, Judge
Appellant Christopher A. Dvorak challenges the district court?s
distribution of property in his dissolution from respondent Susanne C.
Clay, f/k/a Susanne C. Dvorak, arguing that the district court abused
its discretion by (1) adopting a date for valuation of marital property
that was different from the date to which the parties stipulated; (2)
determining that appellant had failed to adequately trace a nonmarital
interest in the townhouse awarded to respondent; and (3) rejecting the
financial neutral?s valuation of stock awarded to respondent, while
accepting the valuation of the company?s board chairman.
Because the district court explained its basis for selecting a new
valuation date in order to make an equitable distribution and accepting
the board chairman?s opinion over that of the financial neutral, in
findings that are supported by the record, and because appellant failed
to sustain his burden of tracing his nonmarital interest in the
townhouse, we affirm.


A07-64
Jessica J. Johnson, Relator, vs. Sky Ventures LLC, Respondent;
Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Randolph W. Peterson.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
PETERSON, Judge
In this appeal from a decision by an unemployment law judge (ULJ) that
relator is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she
was discharged for employment misconduct, relator argues that the ULJ?s
findings of fact are not supported by the record. Because the ULJ?s
findings are supported by substantial evidence and support the
determination that relator was discharged for misconduct, we affirm.


A07-315
Sally M. Soberg, petitioner, Appellant, vs. State of Minnesota,
Respondent.
Affirmed. Judge Roger M. Klaphake.
Clay County District Court, Hon. Steven J. Cahill.
KLAPHAKE, Judge
Appellant Sally M. Soberg appeals from a postconviction order denying
her petition to withdraw her guilty plea to a second-degree controlled
substance offense under Minn. Stat. ? 152.022, subd. 1(1) (2006). She
claims that her guilty plea was not knowing and intelligent because her
plea was induced by ?undue pressure and fear? and ignorance regarding
?other options for negotiations, including requests for downward
departures.? She claims that her ?fear and mistaken beliefs were a
direct result of conversations with her defense attorney,? who ?told her
that if she went to trial, she would lose and go to prison for 86
months.? Finally, appellant claims that the postconviction court
improperly weighed her nine-month delay in filing the postconviction
petition because the petition was timely. Because the underlying record
does not provide evidentiary support for appellant?s claims and the
postconviction court did not err in considering her delay in seeking the
plea withdrawal as a factor in denying her petition, we conclude that
the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in denying
appellant?s petition, and affirm.
 

 
 
 

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