Minnesota Supreme Court Decisions 2011

McCaughtry v. City of Red Wing  
Date: December 28, 2011
Docket Number: A10-332

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Red Wing enacted an ordinance requiring inspections of rental property before landlords could obtain operating licenses and allowing the City to conduct inspections by application for and judicial approval of...

Roby v. State  
Date: December 28, 2011
Docket Number: A11-450

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Gary Roby was convicted of aiding and abetting the crimes of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree murder while committing aggravated robbery, and second-degree intentional murder. The Supreme Court af...

State v. Kuhlmann  
Date: December 21, 2011
Docket Number: A09-915

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Brent Kuhlmann was convicted after a jury trial of domestic assault and test refusal. On appeal, Appellant argued that the trial court committed reversible error when it accepted a stipulation on elements of th...

Park Nicollet Clinic v. Hamann  
Date: December 7, 2011
Docket Number: A10-658

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, Doctor informed Employer, a medical clinic, that he planned to exercise his rights under Employer's policy that rewarded length of service by giving benefits to physicians who were sixty years old or older and h...

Limmer v. Swanson  
Date: December 7, 2011
Docket Number: A11-1222

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, including a state senator, filed a petition for writ of quo warranto challenging the authority of the county district court to authorize expenditures by any executive branch agency in the absence of legislat...

In re Individual 35W Bridge Litig.  
Date: November 30, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1776

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W Bridge. Individual plaintiffs commenced lawsuits against a contractor that performed work on the bridge pursuant to a contract entered into with the State. T...

In re Individual 35W Bridge Litig.  
Date: November 30, 2011
Docket Number: A10-87

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W Bridge. Individual plaintiffs commenced lawsuits against two contractors that performed work on the bridge pursuant to contracts entered into with the State....

Savela v. City of Duluth  
Date: November 23, 2011
Docket Number: A09-2093

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the interpretation of approximately sixty collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) between the City of Duluth and its employees. Subject to certain conditions and exceptions, the CBAs guaranteed...

State v. Borg  
Date: November 16, 2011
Docket Number: A09-243

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Brett Borg was found guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The court of appeals reversed Borg's conviction, concluding that the district court erred when it allowed a police officer to testi...

Bearder v. State  
Date: November 16, 2011
Docket Number: A10-101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Minnesota Department of Health, as part of its newborn screening program, collected blood samples of newborn children to test for various disorders. The Department retained the excess blood samples for other uses and...

In re Conduct of Judge Karasov  
Date: November 16, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1746

Justia Opinion Summary: The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards filed a formal complaint against Judge Patricia Karasov, judge of a district court, alleging violations of the Rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Minnesota Constitutio...

KSTP-TV v. Ramsey County  
Date: November 16, 2011
Docket Number: A10-395

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was how sealed absentee ballots that were rejected and never counted during the 2008 general election were classified under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). Several television...

In re Judge Galler  
Date: November 9, 2011
Docket Number: A11-149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Board on Judicial Standards charged Judge Gregory Galler with creating an appearance of impropriety during an omnibus hearing in a DWI case, asserting, among other claims, that Judge Galler ordered a criminal defense...

Domagala v. Rolland  
Date: October 26, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1945

Justia Opinion Summary: After the district court determined that the parties involved in this appeal were not in a special relationship, a jury found Appellants Eric Rolland and Rolland Building Corporation not negligent in an incident in which...

State v. Zais  
Date: October 26, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1020

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Thomas Zais was charged, in part, with disorderly conduct. Before trial, Zais moved to exclude the proposed testimony of his wife on the ground that it was barred by the marital privilege. The district court co...

In re R.S.  
Date: October 26, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1390

Justia Opinion Summary: After parental rights to an Indian child were involuntarily terminated in district court, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe (the Band) petitioned for transfer of the ensuing preadoptive placement proceedings to its tribal c...

State v. Jeffries  
Date: October 19, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1391

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Erik Jeffries pled guilty to felony domestic assault and negotiated an agreement with the State in which he would receive a stayed sentence. The district court indicated at the plea hearing that it was acceptin...

State v. Ferguson  
Date: October 19, 2011
Docket Number: A10-499

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Calvin Ferguson was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred...

State v. Ali  
Date: October 12, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1737

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Mahdi Ali was indicted for murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree for the shooting deaths of three individuals. The indictment alleged that Ali was seventeen years old on the date of the all...

State v. Palmer  
Date: September 28, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1356

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a bench trial, Keonne Palmer was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, second-degree intentional murder, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Palmer appealed. The Supreme Court affirm...

John Miles, petitioner, Appellant, vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent.
Date: September 28, 2011
Docket Number: A10-2168
Plaintiff v. Defendant
Date: September 28, 2011
Docket Number: A11-1584
State v. Borg  
Date: September 21, 2011
Docket Number: A09-243

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Brett Borg was found guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. During the trial, the district court allowed a police officer to testify in the State's case in chief that Borg did not respond to...

In re Estate of Butler  
Date: September 21, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1208

Justia Opinion Summary: Before his death, Patrick Butler designated Appellant Maureen Kissack, one of his natural daughters, as joint owner of five certificates of deposit (CDs) with the right of survivorship. After Butler's death, the district...

Engquist v. Loyas  
Date: September 21, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1760

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Jill Engquist, as parent and natural guardian of minor Amber Engquist, sued Appellants, Steven and Christina Loyas, for injuries Amber sustained as a result of a dog bite that occurred at Appellants' residence...

State v. Jacobs  
Date: September 14, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1400

Justia Opinion Summary: William Jacobs was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct. Jacobs moved to remove the judge assigned to his case for cause, basing his motion on the fact that the judge had not disclosed that his spouse was,...

U. S. Bank N. A. v. Cold Spring Granite Co.  
Date: September 7, 2011
Docket Number: A10-252

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants were trustees of eight family trusts. After stock of closely-held corporation belonging to the trusts was fractionalized in a reverse stock split and Appellants were forced to accept cash in exchange for their...

Wesely v. Flor  
Date: September 7, 2011
Docket Number: A10-478

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Elaine Wesely filed a dental malpractice action, alleging that she received negligent care from dentist A. David Flor. To satisfy the statutory requirement of expert disclosure, Wesely submitted an affidavit di...

Montanaro v. State  
Date: September 7, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1633

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Lawrence Montanaro was convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer. After the statute of limitations for filing a postconviction petition expired, Montanaro filed a petition for postconvi...

State v. Caldwell  
Date: August 31, 2011
Docket Number: A08-1529, A09-2279, A10-1752

Justia Opinion Summary: Lincoln Caldwell was convicted in district court of aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder for the benefit of a gang. Caldwell appealed his conviction and the denial of two postconviction petitions. The Sup...

Latterell v. Progressive N. Ins. Co.  
Date: August 31, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1138

Justia Opinion Summary: Gregory Latterell, on behalf of his stepson Jared Boom's estate, sued Progressive Northern Insurance and AIG Insurance to recover underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits following Boom's death from a motor vehicle accident....

State v. Martinez-Mendoza  
Date: August 31, 2011
Docket Number: A09-2151

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Victor Martinez-Mendoza was charged by complaint with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The State and Appellant reached a plea agreement i...

State v. Hill  
Date: August 24, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1947

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, the district court convicted Ronald Hill of first-degree premeditated murder. The Supreme Court affirmed Hill's conviction, holding (1) because the district court properly and carefully balanced the p...

State v. Hawes  
Date: August 24, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1225

Justia Opinion Summary: Elizabeth Hawes was convicted of aiding and abetting her brother, Andrew Hawes, in the first-degree murder of their brother, Edwin Hawes. The district court sentenced Hawes to life imprisonment. The Supreme Court affirme...

Berry & Co., Inc. v. County of Hennepin  
Date: August 24, 2011
Docket Number: A11-399

Justia Opinion Summary: Berry and Co. petitioned the tax court for relief from the County's property tax assessment of its property for 2007 and 2008. At trial, Berry and the County each offered expert appraiser testimony as to the estimated ma...

State v. Heiges  
Date: August 17, 2011
Docket Number: A09-300

Justia Opinion Summary: Samantha Heiges was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for allegedly drowning her baby daughter in a bathtub immediately after the baby was born. After a jury trial, the district...

Troyer v. Vertlu Mgmt. Co.  
Date: August 17, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1930

Justia Opinion Summary: After suffering a work-related injury, Employee underwent surgery at a hospital owned by HealthEast Care System. The injury required surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. Employer's worker's compensation ins...

Continental Retail, L.L.C. v. County of Hennepin  
Date: August 17, 2011
Docket Number: A11-345

Justia Opinion Summary: Continental Retail sought certiorari review of the market value determinations by the Minnesota Tax Court for a Continental commercial building for the assessment dates of 2006, 2007, and 2008. Continental filed petition...

State Comm'r of Transp. v. Kettleson  
Date: August 10, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1894

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commission of Transportation requested a condemnation order for a portion of appellant Richard Lepak's land for the improvement and widening of a highway. After a condemnation hearing, the district court concluded th...

Frederick Farms, Inc. v. County of Olmsted  
Date: August 10, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1089

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Olmsted County changed the property tax classification of farmland owned by Frederick Farms from agricultural-homestead to agricultural-nonhomestead property. The tax court denied Frederick Farms' petition to ch...

Johnson v. State  
Date: August 10, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1540

Justia Opinion Summary: Toby Johnson was indicted for intentional murder while committing a kidnapping, murder in the second degree, and kidnapping. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the State amended the first count to aiding and abetting first-de...

Frandsen v. Ford Motor Co.  
Date: August 10, 2011
Docket Number: A11-126

Justia Opinion Summary: George Frandsen was employed by Ford Motor Company when he was injured in the course and scope of his employment. Ford assumed responsibility for the injury and paid Frandsen temporary total disability (TTD) benefits pur...

Miller v. Lankow  
Date: August 3, 2011
Docket Number: A09-244

Justia Opinion Summary: David Miller purchased a home owned by respondents Linda Lankow and Jim Betz. The home had previously been extensively remediated because of moisture intrusion damage. Respondents Donnelly Brothers and Total Service Comp...

Allen v. Burnet Realty, L.L.C.  
Date: August 3, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1963

Justia Opinion Summary: While Timothy Allen worked as a sales associate for respondent Burnet Realty, he executed agreements to participate in respondent's legal administration program (LA Program). Under the LA Program contracts, Allen and res...

State v. Gatson  
Date: August 3, 2011
Docket Number: A10-247

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved the assault of a pregnant woman, who, after the assault, received a cesarean section. The baby, named Destiny, later died. After a jury trial, Dameon Gatson was convicted of first-degree premeditated m...

Martin v. Morrison Trucking, Inc.  
Date: August 3, 2011
Docket Number: A10-446

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee was injured while working in Minnesota for Wisconsin-based Employer. Employee applied for Wisconsin and Minnesota workers' compensation benefits. Employer's insurance company, Travelers Insurance, covered the Wi...

Miles v. State  
Date: August 3, 2011
Docket Number: A10-2168

Justia Opinion Summary: John Miles was convicted of first-degree murder. Miles filed a petition for postconviction relief, alleging that he was entitled to a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence, specifically, the information in...

State v. Dalbec  
Date: July 27, 2011
Docket Number: A09-568

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Dalbec was found guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. At Dalbec's trial, counsel for the State and Dalbec agreed to submit written closing arguments to the trial court, but defense counsel failed to sub...

State v. Hanson  
Date: July 27, 2011
Docket Number: A09-2124

Justia Opinion Summary: Gerald Hanson was found guilty by a jury of first- and second-degree controlled substance crime and possession of drug paraphernalia. The cout of appeals reversed, concluding that the evidence was legally insufficient to...

State v. Matthews  
Date: July 27, 2011
Docket Number: A10-246

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Audie Matthews was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder for a shooting death. When police officers were investigating the shooting, a police dog picked up a "fear scent" near the scene of the shooting...

City of Saint Paul v. Eldredge  
Date: July 27, 2011
Docket Number: A10-528

Justia Opinion Summary: William Eldredge, an honorably discharged veteran and a firefighter employed by the City of Saint Paul, was notified by the City that it intended to terminate his employment. Eldredge challenged the termination under the...

Marlow Timberland, L.L.C. v. County of Lake  
Date: July 27, 2011
Docket Number: A11-138

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Marlow Timberland (MT) filed a tax petition challenging the taxes payable in 2008 on the belief that Lake County's property tax assessment of MT's recently purchased land was too high. MT then filed tax petition...

State v. Leathers  
Date: July 20, 2011
Docket Number: A09-926, A09-934

Justia Opinion Summary: Steven Leathers was convicted of five counts of first-degree assault against a peace officer pursuant to Minn. Stat. 609.221, 2(a). The district court sentenced Leathers to concurrent sentences totaling 189 months with e...

In re Civil Commitment of Johnson  
Date: July 20, 2011
Docket Number: A09-2225, A09-2226

Justia Opinion Summary: Two tribal members (Appellants) were committed as sexually dangerous persons under Minn. Stat. 253B.02, 18c and committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Appellants moved to dismiss their commitments for lack of s...

Kern v. Janson  
Date: July 20, 2011
Docket Number: A10-355

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michelle Kern was involved in an accident with Cody Janson, whose vehicle was owned by Jessica Gerwing. A year later Kern was involved in an accident with Jennifer Torborg, whose vehicle was owned by James Torb...

State v. Randolph  
Date: July 20, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1557

Justia Opinion Summary: After Walter Randolph was convicted for misdemeanor domestic assault, the district court issued an order appointing private counsel to represent Randolph on appeal and required Rice County to cover the cost of appointed...

Graff v. Robert M. Swendra Agency, Inc.  
Date: July 13, 2011
Docket Number: A09-173

Justia Opinion Summary: After meeting with Robert Swendra, an insurance agent selling American Family Insurance products, Curtis Graff purchased an automobile policy and an umbrella policy. Based on Swendra's representations, Graff wrongfully b...

State v. Prtine  
Date: July 13, 2011
Docket Number: A09-702

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Andy Prtine was convicted of first-degree felony murder for the stabbing death of Brent Ward. On appeal, Appellant argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his attorney conceded in his...

State v. Nissalke  
Date: July 13, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1829

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Jack Nissalke was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Nissalke was not entitled to a new trial based on...

Buckingham v. State  
Date: July 6, 2011
Docket Number: A10-2240

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, appellant Justin Buckingham was convicted of attempted first-degree premeditated murder and attempted first-degree drive-by-shooting murder. The Supreme Court affirmed appellant's convictions but modi...

Tucker v. State  
Date: June 29, 2011
Docket Number: A09-666

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Clemmie Tucker pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional felony murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the district court sentenced Tucker to 225 months in prison. The sentence represented an upward...

Order Promulgating Amendments to Rules for Admission to the Bar.
Date: June 29, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM10-8008, C5-84-2139
Order Promulgating Amendments to Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.
Date: June 22, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM09-8006, C4-84-2133
State v. Cox  
Date: June 15, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1958

Justia Opinion Summary: Diane Cox was charged with issuing dishonored checks with a value of more than $500 in violation of the dishonored-check statute, which is a felony. Cox filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the sentencing disparity be...

State v. Koppi  
Date: June 8, 2011
Docket Number: A09-136

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant John Koppi was convicted of second-degree refusal to submit to chemical testing. Under state laws, refusing a chemical test is not a crime unless an officer had probable cause to believe the person was operatin...

City of Cohasset v. Minnesota Power, an Operating Division of Allete, Inc.  
Date: June 1, 2011
Docket Number: A09-572

Justia Opinion Summary: After respondent was granted a permit by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“MPUC”) for routing and construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas to an energy center within appellant’s city limits, appellant...

State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Danny Ortega, Jr., Appellant.  
Date: June 1, 2011
Docket Number: A10-507

Justia Opinion Summary: In district court, appellant was convicted of aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder. At issue was whether the district court erred when it denied appellant’s pretrial motion to suppress statements made to...

Bonga v. Minnesota  
Date: May 25, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1376

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Dario Bonga pled guilty to first-degree premeditated murder less than one day after he confessed to killing Carlos San Miguel and attempted to kill himself while in custody awaiting trial. The district court ac...

Western National Insurance Co. v. Thompson  
Date: May 18, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1506

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Bruce and Cindy Thompson filed a claim for basic economic loss benefits against their insurer, Respondent Western National Insurance Company (Western National), arising from injuries they sustained in an autom...

City of North Oaks v. Sarpal  
Date: May 11, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1961

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondents Dr. Rajbir Sarpal and his wife Carol purchased a parcel of property in 2003 on which they built their home. The property was encumbered by two easements reserved by the City of North Oaks for a future trail....

Eden Prairie Mall, LLC v. County of Hennepin  
Date: May 11, 2011
Docket Number: A09-2229

Justia Opinion Summary: Eden Prairie Mall (EPM) challenged the assessed value determinations of one of its anchor tenants. For the tax years 2005 and 2006, the court concluded that the market values of EPM and the tenant should have been assess...

In re the Custody of: D.T.R.  
Date: May 4, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1098

Justia Opinion Summary: D.T.R., a minor, was born in 2004 to Lynette Marthe and her then-husband Derek Reiter. At the time, both believed Reiter was D.T.R’s biological father. However, in 2007, genetic testing would prove that Michael Richards...

Minnesota v. Hester  
Date: April 27, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1784

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue for the Supreme Court to resolve in this case stems from the arrest of Appellant Brian Hester. Appellant was arrested by a Lower Sioux Indian Community Police officer on DWI charges. The temperature was between...

Dahlin vs. Kroening  
Date: April 27, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1800

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1988, Respondent Linda Dahlin obtained a judgment for unpaid spousal support against Appellant Randall Kroening. In 1998, the judgment was extended for an additional ten years pursuant to state law. In 2008, Responden...

Minnesota vs. Vue  
Date: April 27, 2011
Docket Number: A10-453

Justia Opinion Summary: A Hennepin County grand jury indicted Appellant Gary Vue with several gang-related felonies. A jury found Appellant guilty, and the district court convicted him and imposed a life sentence with the possibility of parole...

PROMULGATION OF AMENDMENT TO THE MINNESOTA GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE FOR THE DISTRICT COURTS REGARDING AUDIO AND VIDEO COVERAGE OF DISTRICT COURT PROCEEDINGS IN CIVIL CASES.
Date: April 27, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM04-8001, ADM09-8006, ADM09-8009, ADM10-8011, ADM10-8050, ADM10-8051, C4-84-2133, C4-85-1848, C4-94-1646, C6-84-2134, CX-89-1863, CX-89-1963
Stagg vs. Vintage Place Inc.  
Date: April 20, 2011
Docket Number: A09-949

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Ronald Stagg was discharged from employment by Respondent Vintage Place, Inc. for excessive absenteeism and tardiness. Stagg applied for unemployment benefits. An unemployment law judge (ULJ) determined that S...

LeAnn Taylor, Respondent, vs. LSI Corporation of America, Appellant.
Date: April 13, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1410
Order Promulgating Corrective Amendment to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Date: April 13, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM10-8005, C8-84-1650
State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Erika Lynn Diede, Appellant.
Date: March 30, 2011
Docket Number: A09-1120
State of Minnesota, Appellant, vs. Nathan Obeta, Respondent.
Date: March 24, 2011
Docket Number: A10-1349
Jeremy Grant Rickert, Respondent, vs. State of Minnesota, Appellant.
Date: March 23, 2011
Docket Number: A08-2269
Promulgation of Amendments to the Minnesota General Rules of Practice for the District Courts and Implementation of a Pilot Project to Allow More Extensive Audio and Video Coverage of District Court Proceedings in Civil Cases.
Date: March 16, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM04-8001, ADM09-8006, ADM09-8009, ADM10-8011, ADM10-8050, ADM10-8051, C4-84-2133, C4-85-1848, C4-94-1646, C6-84-2134, CX-89-1863, CX-89-1963
Order Amending E-Filing Project.
Date: March 16, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM04-8001, ADM09-8006, ADM09-8009, ADM10-8011, ADM10-8050, ADM10-8051, C4-84-2133, C4-85-1848, C4-94-1646, C6-84-2134, CX-89-1863, CX-89-1963
ORDER EXTENDING INCREASE IN LAWYER REGISTRATION FEES.
Date: March 9, 2011
Docket Numbers: ADM10-8002, C9-81-1206
William Paul Vickla, Respondent, vs. State of Minnesota, Appellant.
Date: January 26, 2011
Docket Number: A09-830
State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Adolphus Brown, Appellant.
Date: January 5, 2011
Docket Number: A07-599
State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Cody Adam Bauer, Appellant.
Date: January 5, 2011
Docket Number: A08-1698
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