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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-1203

Jennifer Lund, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Michael J. Brouillette,
Appellant.

MINGE, Judge
Appellant challenges the issuance of a harassment restraining order. Because we conclude that the district court did not clearly err in finding facts supporting the order and the record supports the breadth of the order, we affirm.

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A07-1735

In re the Marriage of:
Kurt William Schendel, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Karen Sue Schendel,
Appellant.

HUDSON, Judge
In this spousal maintenance dispute, appellant-wife challenges the amount of the district court's spousal maintenance award and argues that the district court (a) understated respondent-husband's ability to pay maintenance by understating his income and overstating his expenses; and (b) understated wife's monthly expenses. Because the district court's decision is unsupported by logic and facts in the record, it abused its discretion in setting spousal maintenance. Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

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A07-1782

In re the Marriage of:

Patricia Ann Norman, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

David Lee Norman,
Appellant.

WORKE, Judge
On appeal from a dissolution-of-marriage judgment, appellant-husband argues that (1) the district court should have classified certain funds received during the marriage as a loan rather than a gift; (2) the record does not support the permanent-maintenance award because respondent-wife has the ability to rehabilitate and support herself; and (3) the division of property is inequitable because the district court failed to value and divide all of the property subject to division. Because we conclude that the funds received during the marriage were a loan and marital debt, and that the findings regarding spousal maintenance and property division are not supported by the record, we reverse and remand.

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A07-1942

In re the Guardianship of: Jennifer Bixley,
Ward,
Jean Bixley, petitioner,
Appellant,
Joyce Wallace (Isanti County Family Services),
Petitioner Below,
Steve Haavisto,
Guardian ad Litem, County of Isanti,
Petitioner Below.

STONEBURNER, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's appointment of Lutheran Social Services as guardian for her adult daughter, arguing that the appointee lacks the knowledge and the desire to treat what appellant considers to be her daughter's primary medical condition. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in appointing Lutheran Social Services, we affirm.

= = = =

A07-2010

Laura Nelson, plaintiff/judgment creditor,
Respondent,

vs.

Randall Voeks,
Defendant/Judgment Debtor,
and
Everest National Insurance Company, garnishee,
Appellant.

STONEBURNER, Judge
In this garnishment action, appellant insurer of a mental-health practitioner challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment awarding the full policy limits of million to a former client of the insured pursuant to a Miller-Shugart agreement. Insurer argues that (1) coverage for the claims asserted against the insured is limited to ,000 under the policy's sublimit for claims involving sexual misconduct or excluded under applicable exclusions in the policy; (2) the Miller-Shugart agreement is unreasonable, unenforceable, and voided the policy; and (3) material fact questions about the reasonableness of the agreement make summary judgment inappropriate. Because we conclude that all of respondent's claims are subject to the unambiguous ,000 sublimit contained in the policy, we reverse.

= = = =

A07-2021

Paul Kulland Allison, petitioner,
Respondent,
vs.

Marcela R. Allison f/k/a Marcela Rosario Soto,
Appellant.

STONEBURNER, Judge
In this dissolution action, wife, by appeal, and husband, by notice of review, challenge the amended judgment. Wife argues that the district court committed reversible error by, over the parties' objections, failing to assign posttrial motions to the referee who was the original fact-finder. Wife also asserts that the referee to whom the motions were assigned erred by concluding that a 1996 note signed by husband is a postnuptial agreement and therefore is invalid under Minn. Stat. 519.11 (2006), abused her discretion by failing to enforce the note under equitable principles, and abused her discretion in eliminating temporary maintenance awarded by the original fact-finder. Husband agrees that the parties were prejudiced by the district court's failure to assign posttrial motions to the original fact-finder, but argues that remand would not be in the best interests of either party. By notice of review, husband challenges the unequal distribution of property and the award of attorney fees to wife. We conclude that (1) assignment of the posttrial motions was not error; (2) the 1996 note is an invalid postnuptial agreement; (3) the division of marital assets and award of attorney fees were not abuses of discretion; but (4) the elimination of temporary maintenance was an abuse of discretion. Therefore, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for reinstatement of temporary maintenance awarded by the original fact-finder.
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A07-2224

Sharon Nelson, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Viola Engbarth Manion,
Appellant.

STONEBURNER, Judge
Appellant, a contract-for-deed vendor, challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment for specific performance of the contract to respondents, assignees of the contract-for-deed vendees. The district court granted specific performance despite the contract vendees' violation of a valid consent-to-transfer clause in the contract for deed. Because the district court erred by holding that vendor's failure to pursue statutory cancellation of the contract for deed entitled respondents to summary judgment, we reverse and remand.

= = = =

A07-2265

Earl E. Wagner,
Respondent,

vs.

Samuel McPhaill, et al.,
Defendants,

Karen Rice Hagerott, et al.,
Appellants.

CONNOLLY, Judge
The district court ruled that respondent Earl Wagner adversely possessed certain land titled in the names of appellants Karen Rice-Hagerott and her husband Jon Hagerott (Hagerotts). On appeal, Hagerotts argue that (a) Wagner's failure to pay property taxes on the disputed parcel precluded adverse possession; (b) the district court considered the wrong time period when addressing whether adverse possession occurred; (c) certain findings of fact are not supported by the record; (d) Wagner is equitably estopped from claiming adverse possession; and (e) the district court should not have awarded Wagner a prescriptive easement over other land owned by Hagerotts. We affirm as modified.

= = = =

A07-2284

In re the Marriage of:
Barry H. Nash, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Cheryl L. Nash,
Respondent.

HUDSON, Judge
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by increasing his monthly spousal-maintenance obligation and by awarding respondent need-based attorney fees. We affirm the increase in appellant's maintenance obligation because the record supports the district court's findings of fact and because the district court did not otherwise abuse its discretion in addressing maintenance. Because appellant's objection to the attorney-fee award was not adequately raised in district court, we decline to address that question.

= = = =

A07-2328

Daniel Pawelk,
Appellant,

vs.

R & B Pit Pumping, Inc.,
Respondent.

HARTEN, Judge
Appellant Daniel Pawelk challenges the judgment for respondent R & B Pit Pumping, Inc., arguing that the district court erred in concluding that no bailment existed between the parties. Because the findings of fact support this conclusion, we affirm.

= = = =

A07-2373

Capital One Small Business,
Appellant,

vs.

James T. Johnson, et al.,
Respondents.

JOHNSON, Judge
Capital One Small Business sued James T. Johnson to collect a debt arising from Johnson's use of a credit card that was issued to him and his business, Minnesota Bulk, Inc. (MBI). The district court granted Johnson's motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Johnson is not personally bound by a written agreement he signed. We conclude that Capital One's complaint stated a claim against Johnson upon which relief may be granted and, therefore, reverse and remand.

= = = =

A07-2377

Quincy Smith,
Appellant,

vs.

Michael Morales, et al.,
Respondents.

LARKIN, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent officers and the district court's denial of appellant's motion to amend the complaint to add a claim for punitive damages. Because a genuine issue of material fact exists with regard to the reasonableness of the officers' initial use of force, we reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment and remand for trial. But because the district court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the evidence submitted in support of appellant's motion to amend the complaint to add a claim for punitive damages did not meet appellant's statutory burden, we affirm the district court's denial of appellant's motion to amend.

= = = =

A08-0596

In the Matter of the Chiropractic License
of Curtis L. Cich, D. C.,
License No. 2369
KLAPHAKE, Judge
Relator, Curtis L. Cich, D.C., seeks review of a decision of the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners (the board) concluding that he engaged in unprofessional conduct, exploited patients for personal gain, engaged in deceptive conduct toward the public, and utilized threatening fee-collection techniques in violation of Minn. Stat. 148.10 (2004). Relator also seeks relief from the board-imposed discipline of a two-year suspension of his license and assessment of a ,000 civil penalty and costs. Because the board's decision was based on substantial evidence and was not arbitrary and capricious with respect to three violation determinations, we affirm in part, but we reverse the finding regarding improper fee collection techniques, and amend the civil penalty imposed to conform to the statutorily defined limits.
= = = =

A08-0896


In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Timothy John Lincoln

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Timothy John Lincoln appeals the district court order indeterminately committing him to treatment in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) as a sexually dangerous person (SDP) and as a sexual psychopathic personality (SPP). Because (1) clear and convincing evidence supports the district court's indeterminate commitment order, (2) the district court's determination that MSOP is the least-restrictive treatment alternative is not clearly erroneous, and (3) the district court did not err in denying appellant's motion to dismiss the commitment proceeding as violating various constitutional protections, we affirm.
 

 
 
 

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