Minnesota Supreme Court Decisions 2014

Medical Staff of Avera Marshall Reg’l Med. Ctr. v. Avera Marshall  
Date: December 31, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2117

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the governing board of Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center notified the hospital’s medical staff that it had approved the repeal of the medical staff bylaws and replaced them with revised bylaws. Avera Marsha...

Cedar Bluff Townhome Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co.  
Date: December 17, 2014
Docket Number: A13-124

Justia Opinion Summary: During a hail storm, all twenty of the townhome buildings managed by Cedar Bluff Townhome Condominium Association (Cedar Bluff) were damaged, with at least one siding panel on each building sustaining damage. Cedar Bluff...

David v. Bartel Enters.  
Date: November 26, 2014
Docket Number: A13-2141

Justia Opinion Summary: Minn. Stat. 176.081(1)(a) requires employers and insurers to pay attorney fees calculated by a statutory formula not subject to judicial review. In this case, Respondent injured his back while working for Employer. Emplo...

Ortega v. State  
Date: November 19, 2014
Docket Number: A14-171

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction. Thereaft...

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR.
Date: October 29, 2014
Docket Numbers: ADM10-8008, C5-84-2139
State v. Kelley  
Date: October 22, 2014
Docket Number: A12-993

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted as an accomplice to first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree assault. Appellant appealed, contending that he was entitled to a new trial because a jury instruction on a...

Larson v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co.  
Date: October 22, 2014
Docket Number: A13-186

Justia Opinion Summary: An Insurer issued a life insurance policy to an Insured. After the Insured died, the Insurer refused to pay the death benefit to Plaintiff, the Insured’s widow, and rescinded the life insurance policy based on its discov...

State v. Soto  
Date: October 22, 2014
Docket Number: A13-997

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct in return for the State recommending the presumptive sentence under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines - twelve years executed. After a sentencing hearing...

State v. Ali  
Date: October 8, 2014
Docket Numbers: A12-173, A13-996

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of one count of first-degree premeditated murder and two counts of first-degree felony murder. The Supreme Court consolidated Appellant’s direct appeal and his postconviction a...

Seagate Tech., LLC v. W. Digital Corp.  
Date: October 8, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1944

Justia Opinion Summary: After Sining Mao left his employment with Seagate Technology, LLC, Mao joined Seagate’s competitor, Western Digital Corporation. Seagate subsequently commenced a district court action alleging that Mao stole Seagate’s tr...

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
Date: October 8, 2014
Docket Numbers: ADM10-8049, C1-84-2137
Caldwell v. State  
Date: September 24, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2301

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder for the benefit of a gang and related offenses and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. In his third petition for postconviction...

State v. Mosley  
Date: September 24, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1494

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a bench trial, Appellant was convicted of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of release. The Supreme Court affirmed Appell...

In re Guardianship of Tschumy  
Date: September 17, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2179

Justia Opinion Summary: A court-appointed guardian had the power to consent to necessary medical treatment for a ward under Minn. Stat. 524.5-313(c)(4)(k). Although all parties agreed that it was in the ward’s best interests to remove him from...

Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud  
Date: September 10, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1575

Justia Opinion Summary: Alice Staab sued Diocese of St. Cloud for negligence. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $224,200, attributing fifty percent of the negligence that caused Alice’s injuries to the Diocese and fifty percent to Alice’...

State v. Eichers  
Date: September 10, 2014
Docket Number: A13-121

Justia Opinion Summary: An airport police narcotics investigator removed a package, which was addressed to Defendant, from a conveyor belt at the UPS mail area at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, and placed the package on the f...

In re Welfare of the Child of R.D.L. & J.W.  
Date: September 10, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1820

Justia Opinion Summary: Minn. Stat. 260C.301(1)(b)(4) provides that parents who previously have had their parental rights to children involuntarily terminated are presumed to be palpably unfit to parent other children. In this case, a few weeks...

LumiData, Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: September 10, 2014
Docket Number: A14-254

Justia Opinion Summary: LumiData, Inc. is a software company that sells a software program called SOLYS to retail suppliers. Between 2005 and 2008, LumiData did not file Minnesota sales tax returns or pay sales tax on its SOLYS sales. The Commi...

Lussier v. State  
Date: September 10, 2014
Docket Number: A14-312

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse. The district court accepted Appellant’s guilty plea, convicted him, and sentenced him to life imprisonment with the...

Housing & Redevelopment Auth. of Duluth v. Lee  
Date: August 27, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2078

Justia Opinion Summary: Minn. Stat. 504B.177 generally places a limitation on late fees for residential housing tenants at eight percent of the overdue rent payment. In this case, Respondent, a tenant living in federally subsidized housing, fai...

Schmitz v. U.S. Steel Corp.  
Date: August 27, 2014
Docket Number: A12-709

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent filed a complaint against his former employer, U.S. Steel Corporation, alleging retaliatory-discharge and threat-to-discharge claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The district court granted U.S. Steel’s...

State v. Devens  
Date: August 20, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2065

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with third-degree assault. Defendant’s defense theory was that he acted in self-defense during a hallway confrontation with a non-resident of his apartment building. Before the case was submitted to...

Garcia-Mendoza v. 2003 Chevy Tahoe  
Date: August 20, 2014
Docket Number: A13-445

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was stopped by police officers while driving in a 2003 Chevy Tahoe on suspicion that he did not have a valid driver’s license. Appellant was subsequently issued a traffic citation. The officers proceeded to con...

State v. Rohde  
Date: August 20, 2014
Docket Number: A13-610

Justia Opinion Summary: Police officers followed a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that drove away from a house suspected of hosting drug trafficking. The officers subsequently stopped the vehicle after learning that the Monte Carlo’s registration had be...

State v. Little  
Date: August 13, 2014
Docket Number: A11-2319

Justia Opinion Summary: The State filed a complaint against Defendant charging him with third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Defendant waived his right to a jury trial during a pretrial hearing. Thereafter, the State filed an amend...

Gamble v. Twin Cities Concrete Prods.  
Date: August 13, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1409

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee was injured in a work-related accident. Employee obtained approval for surgery from a union-sponsored benefit plan (the Fund) and proceeded with the surgery at a Hospital. After a hearing, a workers’ compensatio...

Ekdahl v. Indep. Sch. Dist. #213  
Date: August 13, 2014
Docket Number: A14-89

Justia Opinion Summary: Relator was injured while working for a School District. Relator eventually sought and was awarded permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. Relying on Minn. Stat. 176.101(4) and claiming that the statute authorizes an...

Hartwig v. Traverse Care Ctr.  
Date: August 13, 2014
Docket Number: A14-90

Justia Opinion Summary: Relator was injured while working for Employer. Relator began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in 2010. In 2012, Relator began receiving a retirement annuity from the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA...

Schwanke v. Minn. Dep’t of Admin.  
Date: August 6, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2062

Justia Opinion Summary: The Chief Deputy of the Steele County Sheriff’s Office evaluated the performance of Respondent, a sergeant, and gave him a negative review. Respondent appealed the Sheriff’s decision with the Minnesota Department of Admi...

State v. Rossberg  
Date: August 6, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1241

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted for the first-degree premeditated murder of Devan Hawkinson. Appellant and Hawkinson were friends before Hawkinson was murdered. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court erred by admitt...

Walsh v. U.S. Bank, N.A.  
Date: August 6, 2014
Docket Number: A13-742

Justia Opinion Summary: The question presented in this case was whether the plausibility standard announced in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal applies to civil pleadings in Minnesota state court. Defendant in this case move...

Stevens v. S.T. Servs.  
Date: July 30, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1868

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1984 and 1985, James Stevens injured both shoulders while working for S.T. Services and CNA Insurance Companies (collectively, S.T. Services). In 1994, Stevens and S.T. Services entered into a stipulation for settleme...

State v. Johnson  
Date: July 30, 2014
Docket Number: A13-2353

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated intentional murder. The district court sentenced Appellant to a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of release after thirty...

Braatz v. Parsons Elec. Co.  
Date: July 23, 2014
Docket Number: A13-2320

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee filed an amended complaint seeking indemnity benefits and medical benefits from compensable injuries to his spine. Employee, however, decided not to pursue his indemnity claims at the compensation hearing. The c...

Citizens State Bank Norwood Young Am. v. Brown  
Date: July 9, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1257

Justia Opinion Summary: After Gordon Brown’s debt to Citizens State Bank Norwood Young America (Bank) became delinquent, Gordon petitioned to dissolve his twenty-three-year marriage to Judy Brown. The Browns executed a marital termination agree...

State v. Irby  
Date: July 2, 2014
Docket Number: A11-1852

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant argued that he is entitled to a new trial because the court found that the judge who presided over his conviction and sentencing failed to reside in her judicial district from July 1, 2009, to September 30, 200...

State v. Jones  
Date: July 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1189

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of stalking and violating an order for protection. The district court imposed a sentence for each offense and ordered the two sentences to be served consecutively. The court held that Minn. Stat....

Graphic Communications Local 1B, et al. v. CVS Caremark Corp., et al.  
Date: July 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1555

Justia Opinion Summary: The funds filed suit alleging that, among other things, the pharmacies engaged in fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive practices in connection with the sale of merchandise by failing to pass on the funds the entire diffe...

Lyon Financial Services, Inc. v. Illinois Paper and Copier Co.  
Date: July 2, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1944

Justia Opinion Summary: Lyon filed a breach of contract action against Illinois Paper in federal district court, alleging that Illinois Paper had breached a contractual representation and warranty that all lease transactions presented to Lyon f...

ORDER ADOPTING AMENDMENTS TO THE MINNESOTA GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE RELATED TO SUBMISSION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.
Date: July 2, 2014
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
Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of Minn.  
Date: June 25, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1978

Justia Opinion Summary: Sinuon and Lawrence Leiendecker, husband and wife, were involved in litigation with Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM), a nonprofit organization, for a decade. In this lawsuit, the fifth suit between the parties,the...

JME of Monticello, Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: June 25, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1968

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commissioner of Revenue notified JME of Monticello (JME), a waste management service provider, that it intended to audit JME’s waste management returns for a certain period. After the audit, JME was assessed approxim...

Ouk v. State  
Date: June 11, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1959

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial in 1992, Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Appellant was fifteen years old at the time. Under a mandatory sentencing schem...

Axelberg v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety  
Date: May 21, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1341

Justia Opinion Summary: After she was arrested for driving while impaired, Driver took a urine test, which revealed an alcohol concentration of twice the legal limit. Pursuant to the state’s implied consent law, Driver’s license was revoked. Dr...

Hughes v. State  
Date: May 21, 2014
Docket Number: A13-2169

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. The Supreme Court affirmed on appeal. After Appellant’s first petition for postconviction r...

State v. Moore  
Date: May 14, 2014
Docket Number: A13-4

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction, holding (1) Appellant...

State v. Vang  
Date: May 7, 2014
Docket Number: A12-956

Justia Opinion Summary: The State filed a delinquency petition charging Appellant, who was then fourteen years old, with first-degree felony murder (drive-by shooting), second-degree felony murder (drive-by shooting), and attempted first-degree...

In re Rew  
Date: April 30, 2014
Docket Number: A10-2145

Justia Opinion Summary: James Bergstrom and Vanessa Rew dissolved their marriage in 2008. In 2002, 2007, and 2008, Rew obtained a series of one-year orders for protection (OFPs) against Bergstrom. In 2010, before the extended expiration date of...

State v. 3M Co.  
Date: April 30, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1856

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, the State retained Covington & Burling, LLP (“Covington”) to represent it in a natural resource damages case against 3M Company (“3M”) involving the manufacture and disposal of perfluorochemicals, which are a su...

In re Civil Commitment of Ince  
Date: April 23, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1691

Justia Opinion Summary: One day before Appellant was scheduled to be released from prison, where he served a sentenced imposed following a guilty plea to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Sibley County filed a petition to have Appellant civ...

Interstate Traffic Signs, Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: April 23, 2014
Docket Number: A13-1610

Justia Opinion Summary: Interstate Traffic Signs, Inc. (“Interstate”) rented traffic control equipment to contractors working on road construction projects. Prior to April 2010, Interstate charged sales tax on the equipment rental charge but di...

Roman Nose v. State  
Date: April 16, 2014
Docket Number: A13-483

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Respondent was found guilty of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit criminal sexual conduct and first-degree premeditated murder. Respondent was a juvenile when he committed the crime. Th...

In re Welfare of B.A.H.  
Date: April 9, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1347

Justia Opinion Summary: B.A.H. was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct under Minn. Stat. 609.342(1)(g) for acts he committed with his cousin, then age thirteen, when B.A.H. was age fourteen. After a bench trial on stipulated evide...

Poppler v. Wright Hennepin Coop. Elec. Ass’n  
Date: April 9, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1615

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, owners of a dairy farm, sued Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association for stray voltage that allegedly injured their herd of dairy cows. The jury found that Wright-Hennepin had been negligent, had cre...

Doe v. Brandon  
Date: April 9, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1721

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Paul Alan Brandon, a church volunteer who was an ordained Assemblies of God minister, sexually abused Plaintiff. In 2011, Plaintiff filed a negligence action against the Minnesota District Council of the Assembl...

Minke v. City of Minneapolis  
Date: April 9, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2272

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff applied for a job within the Mounds View Police Department, which commenced a background investigation. Mounds View contacted the Minneapolis Police Department, where Plaintiff previously worked, and interviewe...

Minn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund v. Granite Re, Inc.  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1017

Justia Opinion Summary: The Minnesota Laborers Health and Welfare Fund (“the Funds”) filed a declaratory judgment action against Granite Re, Inc. seeking clarification of their right to payment on a surety bond. The district court granted summa...

State v. Garcia-Gutierrez  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2012

Justia Opinion Summary: The State charged Respondents with first-degree burglary under Minn. Stat. 609.582 for breaking into a home and allegedly stealing a locked safe that contained a handgun. The district court dismissed the first-degree bur...

Gretsch v. Vantium Capital, Inc.  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2270

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant entered into a mortgage with Aegis Lending Corporation. The mortgage was later assigned to Pacifica L. Ninteen, and the servicing rights were eventually transferred to Vantium Capital, Inc. (“Acqura”). After fo...

State v. Hentges  
Date: April 2, 2014
Docket Number: A12-794

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of felony failure to pay child support. After Defendant filed his notice of appeal, the district court issued a warrant for Defendant’s arrest because Defendant failed to ap...

Gieseke, on behalf of Diversified Water Diversion, Inc., v. IDCA, Inc.  
Date: March 26, 2014
Docket Number: A12-713

Justia Opinion Summary: John Gieseke, on behalf of Diversified Water Diversion, Inc., filed a complaint against IDCA, Inc., asserting claims for, inter alia, tortious interference with Diversified’s prospective economic advantage. The district...

State v. Melchert-Dinkel  
Date: March 19, 2014
Docket Number: A11-987

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of aiding suicide in violation of Minn. Stat. 609.215(1), which makes it illegal to intentionally “advise, encourage, or assist another in taking the other’s own life.” Defendant had...

In re Welfare of J.H.  
Date: March 19, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1405

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent was charged by juvenile petition, as both a principal and an accomplice, with criminal sexual conduct and other crimes arising out of the rape of a fourteen-year-old girl. After a hearing, the juvenile court c...

City of Duluth v. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa  
Date: March 12, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1324

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1986, the City of Duluth and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (the Band) entered into several agreements establishing a joint venture to operate gaming activities in Duluth. The agreements required that...

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF CIVIL APPELLATE PROCEDURE.
Date: March 12, 2014
Docket Numbers: ADM09-8006, C4-84-2133
State v. Lemert  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: A12-50

Justia Opinion Summary: Law enforcement officers stopped a truck driven by Thomas Anthony, a suspected drug dealer. Charles Lemert was a passenger in Anthony’s car. Officers ordered Lemert to get out of the truck and proceeded to conduct a pat...

Schuette v. City of Hutchinson  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: A13-840

Justia Opinion Summary: After Scott Schuette, who was working as a police officer at the time, responded to an accident at the local high school he began experiencing mental health problems. Schuette was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stre...

Gulbertson v. State  
Date: March 5, 2014
Docket Number: A13-901

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree while committing domestic abuse and with a past pattern of domestic abuse. Defendant subsequently filed a petition for postconviction relief, arguing, among other thi...

Soyka v. Comm’r of Revenue  
Date: February 19, 2014
Docket Number: A13-434

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commissioner of Revenue informed Sharon Soyka by a notice that it would file a tax return on her behalf for the 2008 tax year and asserting that Soyka owed $2,201 in income taxes, interest, and penalties. Exactly six...

State v. Nelson  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: A12-71

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of felony-level failure to provide care and support to his children due to his omission and failure to pay court-ordered child support. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction, concluding (1)...

Vassallo v. Majeski  
Date: February 12, 2014
Docket Number: A12-859

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent was injured when Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Lee Majeski’s emergency vehicle struck Respondent’s vehicle as Majeski was responding to an emergency call. Respondent commenced a personal injury lawsui...

State v. Fairbanks  
Date: February 5, 2014
Docket Number: A11-2164

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of first-degree murder of a peace officer, four counts of first-degree assault, and other offenses connected with the shooting death of a county deputy sheriff officer. The...

State v. Williams  
Date: February 5, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1719

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent, a criminal defendant, successfully filed a motion to suppress, which the State appealed. The court of appeals reversed the order granting the motion to suppress. Defendant filed a motion for attorney fees, re...

Erickson v. State  
Date: February 5, 2014
Docket Number: A13-349

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Defendant subsequently filed two petitions for postconviction relief, both of which were denied. The instant appeal conc...

Staunton v. State  
Date: January 22, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1971

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of several offenses, including first-degree felony murder. Appellant subsequently filed several petitions for postconviction relief. This appeal concerned the denial of Appella...

Inquiry into the Conduct of Judge Perez  
Date: January 15, 2014
Docket Number: A12-2118

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards issued a formal complaint against Judge George Perez, a former judge of the Minnesota Tax Court, a three-member fact-finding panel found that Judge Perez had violated the C...

State v. Yarbrough  
Date: January 8, 2014
Docket Number: A12-1872

Justia Opinion Summary: Law enforcement officers obtained a warrant to search Appellant and Appellant’s residence after Appellant allegedly threatened a woman for stealing his drugs. At the apartment the officers seized gun and drug evidence. A...

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE MINNESOTA CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT.
Date: January 8, 2014
Docket Number: ADM08-8004
Dukowitz v. Hannon Sec. Servs.  
Date: January 2, 2014
Docket Number: A11-1481

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant applied for unemployment benefits after she learned her temporary daytime position would be unavailable after the holiday season. Employer subsequently terminated Appellant from her position. Appellant filed an...

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