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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A08-0136

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of:
Jeremy Neil Bartholomew

LANSING, Judge
In this appeal from an order for indeterminate civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person and sexual psychopathic personality, Jeremy Bartholomew resubmits the two issues that he raised on appeal from his initial commitment. Because Bartholomew's arguments are identical to those raised in his earlier appeal, rely on no new evidence, and, consequently, raise only issues that have previously been resolved on appeal, we affirm.
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A07-2088

Gene Allen,
Appellant,

vs.

N. Bruce Thom,
Respondent,

Varistar Corporation, et al.,
Respondents,

Thomas Mikal Snortland,
Respondent.

ROSS, Judge
This appeal arises from a dispute over ownership interests in the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks baseball team. Gene Allen appeals from the district court's dismissal of his claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Allen's claims arise from a settlement agreement between Allen and Varistar Corporation, which resolved a prior dispute over the value of two Limited Liability Companies (together "the RedHawks") in which Allen owned a minority interest. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Varistar paid Allen for his ownership interest and gave Allen the right to a portion of the sale price of the RedHawks if Varistar sold them for more than .5 million. Allen's complaint asserts that Varistar sold the RedHawks to N. Bruce Thom, Varistar's departing chief executive officer, for .7 million, which is an amount that Allen claims was significantly less than the fair market value of the team. The complaint asserts that Varistar's alleged bargain-price sale to a corporate insider breached the settlement agreement and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The district court dismissed Allen's claims because it concluded that the plain terms of the settlement agreement imposed no duty on Varistar to sell the team for more than .5 million. We have weighed the very well-presented arguments of all parties, and we affirm.
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A07-1805

Jean M. Kavitz,
Relator,

vs.

Prairie Island Indian Community,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

COLLINS, Judge
Relator challenges the determinations of the unemployment-law judge that (1) she did not quit her employment for good reason caused by the employer and (2) she did not fit within the medically necessary exception, and that she is thus disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. We affirm.
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A07-1609

In re the Marriage of:

Deborah Jane Burkhardt-Cotter, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Shane Jary Cotter, Sr.,
Respondent.

SHUMAKER, Judge
On appeal in this property-division dispute, appellant-wife argues that the district court erred by awarding her the insurance proceeds from damage to the marital homestead and treating those proceeds as one of wife's assets, when the court did not treat the insurance proceeds from damage to respondent-husband's house as one of his assets; that the district court's findings regarding the debt owed by wife's sister are inherently inconsistent and thus clearly erroneous; and that the district court abused its discretion by designating ,200 from a trust account and ,000 in insurance proceeds as wife's assets. Because the district court's findings of fact support the conclusions of law, we affirm.
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A07-1568

Dane Robert Peterson, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Commissioner of Public Safety,
Respondent.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
On appeal from the district court's order sustaining the revocation of his driver's license under Minn. Stat. 169A.53, appellant Dane Robert Peterson argues that his due process rights were violated when (1) the wrong date was recorded on the Notice and Order of Revocation and Temporary License; and (2) the district court failed to hold an implied-consent hearing within 60 days after the filing of his petition for judicial review. We affirm.
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A07-1542

Lake State Federal Credit Union,
Respondent,

vs.

Richard Tretsven, a/k/a Richard J. Tretsven, et al.,
Defendants,

Kenneth D. Woodard,
Appellant.

SCHELLHAS, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's ruling depriving him of rights to property against which he extended a mortgage. Because we hold that (1) as an individual, appellant has no standing to appeal the district court's ruling; and (2) appellant's claim to rights in the property fails because the alleged mortgagee was an unregistered limited liability company, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1509

Ameriquest Mortgage Company
n/k/a Ameriquest Mortgage Services, Inc.,
Appellant,

vs.

Charles T. Cleveland, Jr., et al.,
Defendants,

and

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.,
as nominee for Freemont Investment & Loan,
a California corporation,
Respondent.

CONNOLLY, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent, arguing that it erred in concluding that an "affidavit of rescission of mistaken satisfaction of mortgage" is legally insufficient to reinstate an extinguished mortgage under the laws of Minnesota. Because this document lacks the mortgagor's signature and is not recognized as being legally sufficient under Minnesota law to reinstate the mortgage that appellant voluntarily extinguished, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1499

Bruce S. Smith,
Relator,

vs.

City of Minneapolis,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

CONNOLLY, Judge
Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge's (ULJ) decision that he was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was unable to work at his previous position, and because he was not actively seeking suitable employment. Because the ULJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence in the record, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1393

In re the Marriage of:
Debra Leigh Thomasson Higgins, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Michael James Higgins,
Appellant.

PETERSON, Judge
In this appeal from a spousal-maintenance award, appellant husband argues that the district court (1) abused its discretion by awarding respondent wife maintenance in an amount that exceeds wife's established need and (2) erred by reopening the record to accept affidavits submitted by wife without providing an opportunity for husband to respond. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
= = = =
A07-1374

Timmothy E. Dimascio,
Relator,

vs.

W. N. Cardozo Furniture Co.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

LANSING, Judge
Timmothy Dimascio appeals, by writ of certiorari, an unemployment law judge's determination that he is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. The determination was based on findings that Dimascio engaged in employment misconduct when, within a thirty-three-day period, and, despite a final warning, he was absent from work on three separate days without providing proper notice. Because the findings are supported by substantial evidence and the decision is not affected by error of law, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1247

Gary Thomas, et al.,
Plaintiffs,

vs.

Richard A. Widseth, defendant and third party plaintiff,
Respondent,

vs.

Kenneth Perreault, third party defendant,
Appellant.

COLLINS, Judge
In this real-property dispute, appellant Kenneth Perreault contends that the district court erred in determining that he no longer owned an interest in a parcel (home parcel) within a tract of real property due to a reversionary clause in his deed specifying that Perreault's interest would revert to the grantors, Gary and Patricia Thomas, if he ceased to reside on the home parcel. Perreault argues that the district court's findings are clearly erroneous because the Thomases orally waived the reversionary clause before he moved from the home parcel, and respondent Richard Widseth, who obtained a quit-claim deed to the entire tract from the Thomases after Perreault moved, was not a good-faith purchaser because he had actual and implied notice of the waiver. Perreault also argues that equitable estoppel bars enforcement of the reversionary clause. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1227

In re the Marriage of:

Susan E. Plaisted, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Gerald E. Plaisted,
Respondent.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
Appellant Susan E. Plaisted challenges the district court's order granting a motion to enforce a settlement agreement, resulting in a judgment dissolving her marriage to respondent Gerald E. Plaisted. Appellant argues that the district court erred in determining that the July 29, 1999 agreement resolved all issues regarding the parties' dissolution. Because the agreement was executed during a prior, dismissed dissolution proceeding, and is not a valid postnuptial agreement, we reverse and remand to the district court.
= = = =
A07-1208

Althea D. Galligan,
Relator,

vs.

Whalen Woods,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
In this unemployment benefits action, relator challenges (1) the denial of her request for a new evidentiary hearing after failing to participate in the original hearing, and (2) the determination that she quit her employment without a good reason caused by her employer and, therefore, is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1157

Caryn L. Columbus,
Relator,

vs.

Apex Print Technologies, Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

HALBROOKS, Judge
Pro se relator Caryn Columbus challenges the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she was discharged from employment due to misconduct. Relator also asserts that the ULJ improperly denied her subpoena request and that she was denied a fair hearing because her employer failed to disclose its witnesses. Because the ULJ correctly determined that relator was discharged because of employment misconduct and because relator was not denied a fair hearing, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1141

Richard L. Long,
Relator,

vs.

Joyner's Die Casting and Plating, Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Relator appeals the determination that he was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits, arguing that the unemployment law judge (ULJ) abused his discretion by refusing to hear all the witnesses that relator called to testify and that, because he was subjected to a hostile work environment and was not given the computer resources required to perform his job duties, he had good reason caused by his employer to quit. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1138

Jerry L. LaMaack,
Relator,

vs.

Adecco USA Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

LANSING, Judge
An unemployment law judge determined that Jerry LaMaack was ineligible for unemployment benefits for eight weeks because he refused suitable employment without good cause. Because the findings of fact do not, as a matter of law, support the conclusion that the employment was suitable, we reverse.
= = = =
A07-1019

Eagle Ridge Homeowners' Association, Inc.,
Relator,

vs.

Lac qui Parle Board of Commissioners,
Respondent,

Karian Peterson Power Line Contracting, L.L.C.,
Respondent.

JOHNSON, Judge
The board of commissioners of Lac qui Parle County granted a conditional use permit (CUP) to Karian Peterson Power Line Contracting, L.L.C., permitting Karian to build and use two commercial buildings on land that is zoned for agricultural use. On appeal by writ of certiorari, a group of nearby residents, the Eagle Ridge Homeowners' Association, argues that the county improperly granted the CUP because Karian's proposed use does not satisfy the applicable criteria in the county's land-use ordinance. We conclude that the county did not act unreasonably, arbitrarily, or capriciously and did not abuse its discretion in granting the CUP and, therefore, affirm.
= = = =
A07-1001

In re the Marriage of:
Jana Kim Goldenman-Haakenson, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Jon Arthur Haakenson,
Appellant.

HALBROOKS, Judge
In this appeal from a dissolution judgment, appellant challenges the district court's property division, valuation of certain financial accounts, conclusion that respondent retained a nonmarital interest in certain assets, and the award for child-care costs. Because we conclude that the district court properly determined the value of appellant's stock options and the amount of the child-care costs, we affirm in part. But because we conclude that the district court abused its discretion in the property division and clearly erred in the valuation of various other assets and that these errors likely influenced its determination that a portion of these assets are nonmarital in nature, we reverse in part and remand.
= = = =
A07-0950

In re the Marriage of:
Timothy Kevin Ransom, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Gail Mary Ransom,
Appellant.

SCHELLHAS, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's denial of her motion to reopen the judgment in a dissolution proceeding. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's motion, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-0947

In re the Matter of:
Thomas C. Dukowitz, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Diane M. Dukowitz,
Respondent.

HALBROOKS, Judge
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in the dissolution judgment on the following issues: (1) the award of spousal maintenance; (2) the district court's imputation of income on the ground that he is voluntarily underemployed; (3) the referral of the issue of his income to a child-support magistrate; (4) the district court's distribution of nonmarital assets; and (5) the award of attorney fees to respondent. Because we conclude that the district court properly exercised its discretion, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-0860, A07-1174

Jodi Lynn Holstad,
Appellant,

vs.

John Paul Calderon,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
In this child-support matter, appellant argues that the district court (1) violated the "law of the case" doctrine by failing to abide by the terms of a previously affirmed child support stipulation; (2) impermissibly altered the terms of a child-support stipulation by adding enforcement language; (3) misapplied Minn. Stat. 518A.41, subd. 15(d) (2006), by failing to order respondent to forward reimbursement for medical and dental expenses; (4) misapplied Minn. Stat. 256.045, subd. 7 (2006), regarding the review of decisions made by the department of human services; (5) erred by awarding attorney fees to respondent; and (6) failed to abide by the "safe harbor" provisions of Minn. Stat. 549.211 (2006). We affirm.
= = = =
A07-0557

Wilderness Resort Villas, LLC,
Respondent,

vs.

Thomas G. Miller, et al.,
Appellants.

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellants Thomas G. and Beverly L. Miller challenge the district court's decision to enjoin them from traveling across the land of respondent Wilderness Resort Villas, LLC, to deny them an easement across respondent's land for the portion of a driveway providing access to their land that encroaches on respondent's land, and to give appellants a choice between requiring respondent to adjust the driveway to remove the encroachment or an award of ,250. Because the district court's findings of fact are supported by the record and because the court did not otherwise abuse its discretion, we affirm.
 

 
 
 

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