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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UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-2047

Robert Lee Fern,
Appellant,

vs.

Robert H. Schlossberg, et al.,
Respondents.

PETERSON, Judge
In this appeal from summary judgment, appellant-contract-for-deed vendor argues that the district court erred in concluding that because the deed granting ownership of property to the vendor had not been recorded when the contract for deed was executed, the vendor had no interest in the property that could be conveyed to respondent-contract-for-deed vendees. We reverse and remand.

= = = =

A07-2408

Bonnie B Holbrook,
Relator,

vs.

Maschka, Riedy & Ries PLLP,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.


PETERSON, Judge
Relator challenges the decision of an unemployment law judge (ULJ) that she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct. We reverse and remand for findings on credibility determinations.


= = = =

A07-2434


Nicholas Ray Swendra,
petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Commissioner of Public Safety,
Respondent.

CRIPPEN, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's denial of his motion for discovery of the source code to the Minnesota Model of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN. Because appellant made an insufficient showing that the code was relevant, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0007


In re the Marriage of:
Stephen L. Persons, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Mary Persons,
Respondent.

BJORKMAN, Judge
In this appeal from a judgment and decree, appellant challenges the district court's division of the parties' property. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the property, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0050

In re the Matter of:
Paul Jerdee, employee,
Relator,

vs.

The City of Albert Lea, employer,
Respondent.

SCHELLHAS, Judge
By writ of certiorari, relator argues that (1) the hearing officer applied an incorrect evidentiary standard at the hearing following his employment termination, (2) he was denied the right to procedural due process, and (3) the hearing officer's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.

= = = =

A08-0091

James Artis Armstrong,
Respondent,

vs.

Commissioner of Human Services, et al.,
Appellants.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
Respondent James Artis Armstrong was disqualified from employment based on an agency determination that a preponderance of the evidence showed that he had committed second-degree assault. Because we conclude that the agency decision is not supported by substantial evidence, we affirm the district court's reversal of the agency decision that disqualified respondent.

= = = =

A08-0095


Scott Tompkins,
Appellant,

vs.

Lake County,
Respondent.

LANSING, Judge
Lake County's planning-and-zoning administrator ordered Scott Tompkins to cease and desist structural repair to a nonconforming structure located on his lakefront property. The Lake County Board of Adjustment twice denied Tompkins's appeal, and the district court affirmed the denial. In this appeal, Tompkins questions the scope of the cease-and-desist order, argues that his construction complies with the county's land-use ordinance, asserts that Minn. Stat. 394.36 (2008) permits repair to the cabin, and requests reversal for errors in the board's administrative procedures. Because the evidence supports the board's determination and Tompkins has not demonstrated either a reversible error of law or procedure, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0168

Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc.,
Appellant,

vs.

Paul Platz, et al.,
Respondents.

CONNOLLY, Judge
Respondents terminated their contract with appellant and appellant sued. After the district court denied appellant's motion for summary judgment, a jury trial was held on whether appellant was entitled to an early termination fee under the terms of the contract. During that jury trial, the district court issued a directed verdict in appellant's favor on the issue of whether appellant had waived that fee and found that a portion of the contract addressing early termination was ambiguous. After the jury resolved that issue in respondents' favor by answering a question on the special verdict form, the district court dismissed appellant's case. We hold that the district court properly issued a directed verdict on the waiver issue, but because the challenged portion of the contract is not ambiguous, appellant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the termination fee. Because reasonable attorney fees owed to appellant were not determined, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

= = = =

A08-0187

In re the Marriage of:
Thomas Joseph Daley, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Anne Elizabeth Daley,
n/k/a Anne Elizabeth Patrick-Daley,
Respondent.

HUDSON, Judge
On appeal after remand in this marital-dissolution proceeding, appellant-father Thomas Daley argues that the district court failed to follow this court's remand instructions, abused its discretion by awarding permanent maintenance to respondent-mother Anne Daley, failed to make the findings required to support an upward deviation from his presumptively appropriate child-support obligation, and abused its discretion by making his support obligation retroactive to January 1, 2006. Father also argues that the district court failed to make the findings necessary to support an award to mother of need-based attorney fees.
Because the district court did not exceed the scope of the remand instructions, we affirm in part. But we reverse in part and remand because we conclude that the findings relating to the maintenance award are incorrect; that the district court did not make findings to support the award of tuition and expenses, which the parties agree is an upward deviation from the presumptively appropriate child-support obligation; that the retroactive award of tuition and expenses was an abuse of discretion; and that the district court did not make findings to support the award of need-based attorney fees. Finally, we also remand mother's motion for appellate attorney fees.

= = = =

A08-0271

In the Matter of Nina Gorokhova & Vladimir Barkhudarov

PETERSON, Judge
Relator challenges respondent agency's calculation of family income for public-housing-subsidy purposes, arguing that the agency (1) should have given relator a standard exclusion and (2) should not have included a state-funded dietary allowance in income. We affirm with respect to the exclusion and reverse and remand with respect to the dietary allowance.

= = = =

A08-0338


Valley Oil, Inc.,
Respondent,

vs.

2002 Chevy Tahoe, VIN: 1GNEK13212J222521,
MN License Plate #NUW688,
Appellant.

HALBROOKS, Judge
Appellant City of New Prague (the city) challenges the district court's dismissal of its forfeiture action. The city argues that the district court erred in finding that respondent Valley Oil, Inc. is the owner of the 2002 Tahoe and that Valley Oil is entitled to an innocent-owner defense. We affirm.

= = = =

A08-0344

Haven Chemical Health Systems, L. L. C.,
Appellant,

vs.

Castle Rock Township,
Respondent.

HALBROOKS, Judge
On appeal in this zoning dispute from denial of its motion for summary judgment and dismissal of its claims, appellant Haven Chemical Health Systems, L.L.C., argues that (1) it is entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) because its request was reasonable and respondent Castle Rock Township did not show unreasonableness or undue hardship arising from the accommodation; (2) the denial of the variance violated Minn. Stat. 462.357 (2008); and (3) the denial of the variance violated appellant's right to substantive due process of law. Because we conclude that appellant did not establish that the variance was reasonable and necessary for purposes of the FHAA and because denial of the variance did not violate state law or appellant's rights to substantive due process, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0367

Andrew J. Bloomquist, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Wisdom Development Group, LLC,
a/k/a Acquisition Services, et al.,
Defendants,

Teena G. Pham, et al.,
Appellants.

HUDSON, Judge
This is an appeal from default judgment and summary judgment in favor of respondents in their tort claims against appellants. We affirm and grant respondents' motion to strike.

= = = =

A08-0391

Alan J. Roers, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

Michael B. Pierce,
Respondent,

Robert P. Hare, et al.,
Respondents,

The Real Estate Nexus, Ltd.,
Respondent.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
In this dispute over the purchase of real property, the buyers, appellants Alan J. Roers and Cynthia J. Roers, challenge the district court's grant of summary judgment to respondent seller Michael B. Pierce and respondent real estate agent Robert P. Hare.1 Appellants argue that the district court (1) erred in dismissing appellants' misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and consumer fraud act claims on the ground that appellants' reliance on the alleged misrepresentations was unreasonable as a matter of law; (2) erred in granting summary judgment on appellants' breach-of-contract claim against Pierce; and (3) erred in granting summary judgment on appellants' claim that Pierce breached the seller disclosure requirements of Minn. Stat. 513.55 (2008). We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

= = = =

A08-0511

Sirius America Insurance Company,
as subrogee of Josephine Gagne,
Appellant,

vs.

Stephanie Hauer,
Respondent.

LANSING, Judge
In a negligence action arising from slippery road conditions, Sirius America Insurance Company, as subrogee of its insured, appeals the district court's determination that Stephanie Hauer was not negligent and therefore not liable for damages to the car insured by Sirius. Because the district court applied the appropriate standard of care and the evidence supports its conclusion that Hauer was not negligent, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0582

Susan Lammle, et al.,
Appellants,

and

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, et al., plaintiff intervenors,
Appellants,

Product Alternatives, Inc.,
Plaintiff Intervenor,

vs.

Gappa Oil Company, Inc., et al.,
Defendants,

Ellingson Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning,
Respondent,

Trane U. S., Inc., f/k/a American Standard, Inc. and d/b/a Trane Corporation,
Respondent,

Ferrellgas, Inc.,
Respondent,

Enterprise Products Operating, L. P.,
Respondent.

BJORKMAN, Judge
Appellants challenge the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing their negligence, strict liability, and breach-of-warranty claims related to a propane gas explosion. Because there are no genuine issues of material fact and the district court properly applied the law, we affirm.

= = = =

A08-0781

In re the Marriage of: Francisco Puga, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Lucia Vaglienti, respondent,

Estate of Lucia Vaglienti, deceased,
Appellant.

LARKIN, Judge
In this post-dissolution appeal, wife's estate argues that the district court abused its discretion by ordering termination of a term life-insurance policy that was mandated by the parties' dissolution decree. Appellant argues that the life-insurance policy was awarded to wife as an asset in the decree's property division and that the district court improperly modified the property division when it terminated the policy. We conclude that the life-insurance policy was security for respondent's spousal-maintenance obligation, not an award of property, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion by terminating the policy after wife's death. We affirm.
 

 
 
 

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