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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-1047

David Ericson, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Kathleen Hallaway,
Appellant.

HUDSON, Judge
This is an appeal from judgment entered against appellant following a jury trial on claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Appellant argues that the district court erred by (1) granting judgment as a matter of law on liability with respect to the defamation claim when there were factual issues as to the authorship and truth of the anonymous-e-mail communications; (2) allowing respondents to amend their complaint at trial to allege the existence of additional defamatory e-mails; and (3) allowing the jury to find liability and award damages based on respondent's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, without requiring proof of the elements of that claim. By notice of review, respondents assert that the district court abused its discretion by reducing the amount of damages awarded by the jury. Although the district court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the complaint to be amended, the district court erred by issuing judgment as a matter of law on the issue of defamation, and we reverse that determination and remand for a new trial.

A07-1284

Teisha Long,
Relator,

vs.

Gina M. Benassi Chiropractic Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
Relator Teisha Long challenges the unemployment-law judge's (ULJ) decision that she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she engaged in employment misconduct. Relator argues that (1) the ULJ's factual findings are not supported by substantial evidence; (2) the ULJ erred in failing to explain his credibility determinations; and (3) the ULJ abused his discretion by denying relator an additional evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

A07-1358

Pamela A. Matyi,
Relator,

vs.

Cahill Salon & Tan Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

PETERSON, Judge
Relator challenges the decision by an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she was discharged for misconduct after she scheduled a hair appointment with a salon client at relator's home. Relator argues that (1) the receptionist, not relator, suggested this as a way to accommodate the client's busy schedule; and (2) the ULJ did not contact relator's witness. We affirm.

A07-1454

Joseph Okrakene,
Appellant,

vs.

Governing Board of Directors of the Minnesota FAIR Plan,
a statutorily-created entity,
Defendant,

Nila Grant Agency, Inc.,
Respondent,

Dean Burrington Agency, Inc.,
Respondent.

CONNOLLY, Judge
In this case involving a dispute over whether there was insurance coverage on appellant's home after it was damaged in a fire, appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of each respondent, arguing that it erred because genuine issues of material fact exist. Because we conclude that there are no genuine issues of material fact concerning the claim against Dean Burrington Agency, Inc., we affirm in part. But, because there are genuine issues of material fact concerning one claim against Nila Grant Agency, Inc., we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

A07-1487

Lucas L. Roggeman,
Relator,

v.

Shaky Town Express,
Respondent

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

ROSS, Judge
In this certiorari appeal, relator Lucas Roggeman challenges an unemployment law judge's determination that he was discharged from Shaky Town Express for employment misconduct. Roggeman argues that the actual reason his employer discharged him was to retaliate for his lawsuit against Shaky Town over a paycheck allegedly owed to him. Roggeman also contends that his hearing was unfair and that he was unfairly denied a new evidentiary hearing based on new evidence. We affirm.

A07-1546

Antoine Daniels,
Relator,

vs.

Cover All Services LLC,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

ROSS, Judge
This appeal arises from an employee's decision to leave his employment and move out of state because he could not afford to pay rent with reduced work hours. Antoine Daniels appeals from an unemployment law judge's decision that he was not qualified to receive unemployment benefits because he did not quit his job with Cover All Services for good reason caused by his employer. Daniels argues that the ULJ's decision was in error because the ULJ failed to find that when Cover All refused to rent an apartment to him after it reduced his hours from 40 per week to 25-30, it caused him to quit. Because we find that substantial evidence supports the ULJ's decision that Daniels did not quit for good reason caused by his employer, we affirm.

A07-1582

Superior Lake Street Properties, LLC,
Appellant,

vs.

Wayzata Bay Center, LLC,
Respondent.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
Appellant Superior Lake Street Properties, LLC, purchaser of subject property pursuant to a right-of-first-refusal agreement, challenges the district court's determination that (1) respondent-seller Wayzata Bay Center, LLC was entitled to receive .25 million pursuant to the right-of-first-refusal contract and (2) respondent was not unjustly enriched. We affirm.

A07-1599

DRJ, Inc.,
d/b/a Diva's Overtime Lounge,
Relator,

vs.

City of St. Paul,
Respondent.

HARTEN, Judge
Relator DRJ Inc., d/b/a Diva's Overtime Lounge (Diva's), challenges the revocation of its licenses by respondent City of St. Paul (the city). Because evidence supports the city's findings of fact and conclusions of law and because the revocation was not arbitrary or capricious, we affirm.

A07-1706

Midwest Pipe Insulation, Inc., d/b/a MPI, Inc.,
Appellant,

vs.

MD Mechanical, Inc.,
Defendant,

Minneapolis Pipefitters Union, Local 539,
Respondent.


SHUMAKER, Judge
Appellant non-union contractor challenges the district court's entry of judgment on the pleadings in favor of respondent union. The district court determined that appellant's claims are preempted by federal labor law. Because appellant's complaint is based primarily on alleged violations of federal and state prevailing wage statutes, the interpretation of which does not require invoking federal labor law, federal preemption does not apply to preclude the state court's jurisdiction over this matter. We reverse and remand.

A07-1718

Audrey L. Broome,
Relator,

vs.

Dobbs Temporary Services Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

WORKE, Judge
Relator challenges the decision by the unemployment-law judge that she was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she quit without good reason caused by the employer, arguing that she had good reason because (1) the temporary-employment definition of quit does not apply because she had not signed a current version of the "Requesting a New Assignment upon Completion of an Assignment" form; (2) the findings of facts are not supported by the evidence; (3) she did not quit and instead was terminated; and (4) the employer did not show that she was terminated for misconduct. Because we conclude that relator was never given a current form to sign, she did not quit her employment, and the record shows that relator was discharged for reasons other than employment misconduct, we reverse.

A07-1749

Tenneh Johnson,
individually and o/b/o
Walker Methodist Health Center, Inc., et al., petitioners,
Respondents,

vs.

Beverley Jean Berg,
Appellant.

WORKE, Judge
On appeal from the district court's grant of a harassment restraining order, appellant argues that (1) the record does not support the initial grant of a temporary restraining order; (2) the record does not support the harassment restraining order; (3) the conduct on which the harassment restraining order was based is protected by state and federal law; and (4) she was not afforded a full and fair hearing. We affirm.

A07-1773

TNT Properties, Ltd.,
Appellant,

vs.

Donald P. Jacobs, et al.,
Respondents.

SHUMAKER, Judge
Appellant real estate buyer challenges the district court's denial of its action for specific performance, arguing that the court erred in concluding that appellant had not entered into a purchase agreement through its authorized agent. Because the evidence supports the conclusion that appellant's agent bound appellant to the purchase, we reverse, and we remand for further proceedings.

A07-1773

TNT Properties, Ltd.,
Appellant,

vs.

Donald P. Jacobs, et al.,
Respondents.

SHUMAKER, Judge
Appellant real estate buyer challenges the district court's denial of its action for specific performance, arguing that the court erred in concluding that appellant had not entered into a purchase agreement through its authorized agent. Because the evidence supports the conclusion that appellant's agent bound appellant to the purchase, we reverse, and we remand for further proceedings.

A07-1797

Megan Gordon,
Appellant,

Gregory Sutton,
Appellant,

vs.

First Franklin Financial,
Respondent.


KALITOWSKI, Judge
Pro se appellants Megan Gordon and Gregory Sutton challenge the district court's judgment dismissing their complaint against respondent First Franklin Financial with prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(a). We affirm.

A07-1859


Trisha Geist-Miller, petitioner,
Appellant

vs.

Ronald Mitchell, et al.,
Respondents.

WORKE, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing her sexual-harassment and reprisal claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. We affirm the district court's decision with respect to appellant's quid-pro-quo theory of sexual harassment and her reprisal claim. But because the legal standard the district court applied to appellant's hostile-work-environment claim is no longer viable following the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision in Frieler v. Carlson Mktg. Group, Inc., ___ N.W.2d ___, 2008 WL 2229478 (Minn. May 30, 2008), we reverse and remand that aspect of the district court's decision for further consideration in accordance with Frieler.

A07-1907

Cook Sign Company, a North Dakota corporation,
Respondent,

vs.

Daniel Combs, et al.,
Appellants.

CONNOLLY, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of a temporary injunction prohibiting him from violating his noncompete agreement with respondent. Although the term of the agreement has now expired and the appeal is arguably moot, we will nevertheless consider it in the interests of justice. Because we conclude that the noncompete agreement was supported by consideration, Minnesota law was the proper choice of law, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the temporary injunction, we affirm.

A08-0395

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of:
Robert James Tolbert.

JOHNSON, Judge
Olmsted County petitioned to have Robert James Tolbert committed as a sexually dangerous person. The district court found that Tolbert is a sexually dangerous person but also found that a less-restrictive alternative was available, namely, a sexual-offender treatment program of the department of corrections. Thus, the district court revoked Tolbert's supervised release and ordered that he be confined in a correctional facility and receive sex-offender treatment in the department's existing treatment program. The county appealed, and the commissioner of corrections intervened. Both the county and the commissioner argue that the district court did not have authority to revoke Tolbert's supervised release and to order his re-imprisonment at a correctional facility. We agree and, therefore, reverse and remand to the district court with instructions to enter an order committing Tolbert.

A08-0416

In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of:
H.S. and E.M., Parents.

WORKE, Judge
On appeal from the permanent transfer of a child's legal custody to the child's maternal grandmother, appellant-father argues that (1) the district court failed to consider the rebuttable presumption favoring a biological parent over a third party in a custody dispute; and (2) the record does not support the findings that transferring legal custody to grandmother is in the child's best interests. Because the district court failed to consider the rebuttable presumption that father is entitled to custody, we reverse and remand.
 

 
 
 

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