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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A08-0506

In re the Marriage of:
Charles Michael Auspos, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Susan Lynn Auspos,
Appellant.

STONEBURNER, Judge
In this dissolution action, appellant mother challenges the award of sole physical custody to respondent father, arguing that the district court failed to make adequate findings and that the record does not support the findings made. Mother also argues that the district court erred by failing to use the Hortis/Valento formula to determine child support. Because the district court's award of sole physical custody to father is not supported by adequate findings and appears to be based on a misapplication of law, we reverse in part and remand for additional findings, consideration of applicable law concerning the labeling of the parties' parenting time, and recalculation of child support that may be necessitated by a change of the label from sole to joint physical custody.
= = = =
A08-0423

Bruce John Weidenborner, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Staci Alayne Weidenborner, n/k/a Staci Alayne Robertson,
Appellant.

COLLINS, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court order denying, without an evidentiary hearing, her motion to modify custody. Because the record supports the district court's determination that appellant did not make a prima facie case to modify custody, appellant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on her motion, and we affirm.
= = = =
A08-0417

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of:
Derek Edward Leach.

WILLIS, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's decision to commit him as a developmentally disabled person. Because we conclude that the evidence was insufficient to support the district court's conclusion that the statutory grounds for civil commitment have been met, we reverse.
= = = =
A08-0090

In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child(ren) of:
T.L.C., Parent.

SHUMAKER, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's termination of her parental rights, arguing that the evidence does not support the three statutory bases upon which the court relied. Appellant also argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the court's conclusion of law that the termination is in the best interests of the child. She further challenges certain evidentiary rulings, and argues that the court erred in its application of the guardian ad litem statute. Because we find that the evidence is sufficient to support the termination of appellant's parental rights, that the court made adequate findings to support its conclusion that termination is in the child's best interests, and that the court did not err in its evidentiary rulings or statutory application, we affirm. Respondents, guardian ad litems, also brought a motion to strike, which we deny.
= = = =
A07-2180

College City Leasing, LLC, et al.,
Plaintiffs,

vs.

River Valley Truck Centers, Inc.,
Appellant,

Stoughton Trailers, LLC,
Respondent.

WORKE, Judge
Appellant, a semi-trailer distributor, challenges summary judgment in favor of respondent manufacturer, arguing that it is entitled to indemnification for defense costs in a breach-of-warranty lawsuit brought by plaintiffs under (1) Minn. Stat. 80E.04, .17 (2006) and Minnesota common law because respondent breached its warranty obligations; (2) Minn. Stat. 80E.05 (2006) as a franchisee; or (3) the theory of promissory estoppel. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-2110

In the Matter of the Petition of V. P. to Adopt H. A. P.

MINGE, Judge
Appellant challenges the decision of the district court affirming respondent Commissioner of Human Services' denial of her petition to adopt her grandchild, H.A.P. Appellant argues that denial of her petition was not in H.A.P.'s best interests, that the district court failed to independently consider the evidence, and that the district court considered improper evidence. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-2057


In re the Marriage of:

Blanca Margarita Zaldivar, n/k/a Castillo, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Luis Roberto Rodriguez Zaldivar, a/k/a Ramiro Lazo,
Appellant.

LANSING, Judge
A child-support magistrate ordered Luis Zaldivar to pay ongoing child support and to reimburse Blanca Castillo for past child support. On appeal, Zaldivar argues that the magistrate improperly ordered retroactive child support and improperly found that he is voluntarily unemployed. By notice of review, Castillo argues that the magistrate failed to order sufficient reimbursement for past child support. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-2028

Siobhan Nash-Marshall,
Appellant,

vs.

The University of Saint Thomas, et al.,
Respondents.

HARTEN, Judge
Appellant Siobhan Nash-Marshall challenges the dismissal of her breach of contract claim against respondent University of St. Thomas (UST). Because her claim does not set forth a legally sufficient claim for relief, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1974

Daniel J. Mammenga,
Relator,

vs.

Rostad and Rostad Partnership,
Respondent,

KLAPHAKE, Judge
Relator Daniel J. Mammenga challenges the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he was disqualified from receiving benefits because he had been discharged for misconduct. Because the ULJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence in the record, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1911

Duane Carlson,
Appellant,

vs.

Arrowhead Concrete Works, Inc.,
Respondent.

HARTEN, Judge
Appellant Duane Carlson challenges the summary judgment granted to his former employer, respondent Arrowhead Concrete Works, Inc., dismissing appellant's claims under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, Minn. Stat. 181.932 (2006) and the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act, Minn. Stat. 182.654 (2006). Because appellant has not shown genuine fact issues on the elements of a prima facie case for either claim, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1895

Jeffrey V. Fischer,
Respondent,

vs.

Western National Mutual Insurance Company,
Appellant.

MUEHLBERG, Judge
Appellant insurer challenges the district court's denial of its motion for a collateral-source offset for the difference between the amount respondent's medical providers billed for medical expenses and the amount respondent's health insurer actually paid, arguing that respondent insured should not be awarded the difference. Because the collateral-source statute is inapplicable and any windfall amount should be awarded to the insured and not the insurer, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1870

Ambor Corporation d/b/a Hanson Medical Center Pharmacy, Inc.,
Appellant,

vs.

Allina Medical Group n/k/a Allina Medical Clinic, et al.,
Respondents.

MUEHLBERG, Judge
On appeal from the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of respondents in this breach-of-lease dispute, appellant tenant argues that (1) respondents have abandoned their summary judgment claims on certain counts alleged in the complaint; (2) there are material fact questions regarding interpretation of the lease agreement; (3) respondents' admission that they are engaged in a joint enterprise and joint venture makes them jointly and severally liable for damages due to breach of the lease, or that this is at least a question for the jury; (4) the district court erred in finding that there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding appellant's claims that the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil applies to respondents; (5) respondents have breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (6) respondents have interfered with appellant's prospective business relations. Because appellant's arguments are largely based on speculation and mere assertion, we conclude that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to respondents in this case.
= = = =
A07-1769

Phillip Ransom, individually
and as father and natural guardian
of Jeremiah Ransom, a minor,
Plaintiff,

vs.

Bethany Academy,
Respondent,

Brenton Glover,
Appellant.

WRIGHT, Judge
In this appeal from summary judgment in a negligence action, appellant argues that respondent owed a duty to protect against the injury that occurred and that there are genuine issues of material fact as to proximate cause. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1740

Tracy Dahlstrom,
Appellant,

vs.

Susanne Engler Robbinson, et al.,
Respondents.

SHUMAKER, Judge
In this action for breach of contract in the sale of real estate, the district court granted summary judgment to the sellers because appellant-buyer failed to satisfy certain conditions precedent. Claiming the ruling was error and that she was denied due process, appellant-buyer appealed. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1737

Bradley A. Hoyt,
Appellant,

vs.

Piper Jaffray & Co.,
Respondent.

KLAPHAKE, Judge
Appellant Bradley A. Hoyt challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent Piper Jaffrey & Co. on Hoyt's claims of breach of contract and promissory estoppel. Because conditions precedent to the formation of a contract were not satisfied and the record does not establish a promise definite enough to reasonably support Hoyt's claim of promissory estoppel, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1581

Lisa M. Bates,
Relator,

vs.

Accu-Tronics Mfg. Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment law judge that relator was discharged for employment misconduct and, therefore, is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1557

Richard Wise for MGA Susu, Inc. d/b/a 418 Club & Whispers,
Relator,

vs.

City of Minneapolis Regulatory Services, Licensing Division,
Respondent.

COLLINS, Judge
Relator appeals a citation for violation of the Minneapolis smoking-ban ordinance, arguing that there was no factual basis for the citation and, even if there was, the application of the smoking ban to its facility is a violation of its equal-protection rights. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1537

Gebregziabher G. Seretse,
Relator,

vs.

Doherty Employment Service,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

JOHNSON, Judge
An unemployment-law judge (ULJ) found that Doherty Employment Service terminated the employment of Gebregziabher Seretse because he had engaged in misconduct. Accordingly, the ULJ determined that Seretse was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Seretse appeals by a writ of certiorari, arguing that the ULJ's findings are erroneous, that he did not receive a fair hearing, and that the ULJ should have reopened the evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1481

Doreen Anderson,
Appellant,

vs.

Fairview Health Services, Inc.,
d/b/a Fairview Ridges Hospital,
Respondent.

WORKE, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing her reverse-discrimination and reprisal claims, arguing that the district court erred in concluding, as a matter of law, that appellant failed to present evidence sufficient to support the determinations that the employer's legitimate reason for discharging her was a pretext for (1) reverse-racial discrimination, and (2) retaliation based on her complaint of discrimination. Because we conclude that the district court did not err in determining that appellant failed to show genuine issues of material fact of pretext in her discrimination and her retaliatory-discharge claims, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1432

In re the Marriage of:
Bruce E. Carlson, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.


Kathleen A. Carlson,
n/k/a Kathleen M. Carlson,
Respondent.

WRIGHT, Judge
Appellant-husband challenges the district court's award of spousal maintenance to respondent-wife, arguing that the district court (1) lacked jurisdiction to award continued spousal maintenance and (2) abused its discretion with regard to the amount and duration awarded. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1407


Christian M. Sande, et al.
Respondents,

vs.

HD Vest Investment Securities, Inc.,
a Texas corporation,
Defendant,

SeonaCherie Sande,
Appellant.

WRIGHT, Judge
In this appeal, appellant challenges the summary judgment enforcing the dissolution judgment from the first marriage of appellant's late husband and awarding her late husband's Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to his sons. Appellant argues that the district court erred because its action violates her statutory right to an elective share of her late husband's estate. We affirm.
= = = =
A07-1376

Sandra M. McDonald, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

Robert Lyle Cahlander, et al.,
Respondents.

SCHELLHAS, Judge
Appellants challenge the district court's findings that properties titled in appellant-cohabitant's name were held in a constructive trust, that appellant-cohabitant and respondent-cohabitant were entitled to equal shares of the proceeds of the sale of the properties, and that rent that appellant-LLC owed respondent-LLC should not be offset by funds that appellant-LLC claimed it had paid respondents. Because we conclude that the district court's findings were not clearly erroneous, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-1255

Martin M. Pomphrey, Jr., et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

State of Minnesota ex rel. St. Louis County,
Appellant.

PETERSON, Judge
In this boundary dispute, appellant county argues that the district court erred in concluding that respondents established a boundary by practical location by estoppel where respondents did not possess the disputed tract in good faith, the county did not fail to object to valuable improvements to the disputed tract, and the county did not commit affirmative or unequivocal acts that demonstrate an intent to abandon the disputed tract. We reverse and remand.
= = = =
A07-1158

Scenic Title and Abstract, Inc.,
Relator,

vs.

Stephanie E. Hann,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Relator employer challenges the determination of an unemployment law judge (ULJ) that respondent employee was discharged from her employment and accordingly qualified for unemployment benefits. Relator argues that respondent quit and was not discharged. Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ's finding that relator would no longer allow respondent to work for it in any capacity and because this constitutes a discharge, we affirm.
= = = =
A07-0693

Rozanne Rector, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Karlstad Farmers Elevator,
Appellant.

SHUMAKER, Judge
In an action involving claims for damages for both breach of contract and Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) breach of warranty, appellant contends that the district court erroneously submitted its common-law breach-of-contract claim to the jury because claims relating to sales of goods are governed exclusively by the U.C.C. We agree and reverse as to that issue. Respondents challenge the district court's refusal to allow preverdict interest on their award of damages under Minn. Stat. 549.09, subd. 1(b) (2006). Because the court correctly applied that statute, we affirm that issue. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
= = = =
A07-0445

Wells Fargo Bank,
National Association,
Respondent,

vs.

Thomas R. Terres,
Appellant,

KLAPHAKE, Judge
In this real property mortgage foreclosure dispute, pro se appellant Thomas Terres challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent Wells Fargo Bank. Appellant argues that the district court erred in reforming a sheriff's certificate rather than invalidating a foreclosure sale when the foreclosure documents misstated the redemption period. Under the unique facts of this case and because the party seeking reformation was the only party prejudiced, we affirm.
 

 
 
 

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