Minnesota Supreme Court Decisions 2017

State v. Molnaux  
Date: December 6, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0330

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the totality of the circumstances of this case, the police did not violate the Fourth Amendment when, during their execution of a warrant to search a home, they searched a purse that belonged to a guest at the home...

State v. Luby  
Date: December 6, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1213

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions of first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder in connection with the stabbing death of Defendant’s girlfriend, holding that Defendant was enti...

In re Appeal by Kind Heart Daycare, Inc.  
Date: November 22, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1470

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the Commissioner of Human Services, which affirmed the determination by the Minnesota Department of Human Services that Yasmin Salim...

Ninetieth Minnesota State Senate v. Dayton  
Date: November 16, 2017
Docket Number: A17-1142

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Governor, on May 30, 2017, vetoed line-item appropriations to the Legislature for its biennial budget, the Legislature commenced this action arguing that the line-item veto power cannot be used over the appropr...

State v. Mikulak  
Date: November 15, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1701

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Defendant may withdraw his plea of guilty to “knowingly violat[ing]” a provision of the predatory offender registration statute, Minn. Stat. 243.166(5)(a), because Defendant alleged that he di...

Zornes v. State  
Date: November 8, 2017
Docket Number: A17-0404

Justia Opinion Summary: The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in when it denied Appellant’s second petition for postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first-de...

Johnson v. County of Hennepin  
Date: November 8, 2017
Docket Number: A17-0419

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the tax court’s denial of relief to Ronald and Dee Johnson, who filed this action challenging the property taxes that Hennepin County assessed against their property. The tax court granted the...

Appeal of Krenik to a Vehicle Abatement Order  
Date: November 1, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1566

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Saint Paul City Council upholding an abatement order issued by the City of Saint Paul requiring Appellant to comply with Minn. Stat. 168.10(1)(e), which requires collector v...

State v. Carson  
Date: October 11, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1678

Justia Opinion Summary: The chemical 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE) is not a hazardous substance under Minn. Stat. 169A.03(9) because it is not listed as a hazardous substance in Minn. R. ch. 5206. Appellant was arrested three times on suspicion of...

Burt v. Rackner, Inc.  
Date: October 11, 2017
Docket Number: A15-2045

Justia Opinion Summary: The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA), Minn. Stat. 177.21-.35, provides a private cause of action for an employee who is discharged for refusing to share gratuities. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of t...

State v. Parker  
Date: October 4, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1417

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision to uphold Defendant’s conviction for second-degree intentional murder but reversed the court’s reversal of Defendant’s sentence of 480 months in prison. The court...

Back v. State  
Date: September 27, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1637

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff may file a petition for an order declaring her eligible for compensation under Minnesota’s Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act, Minn. Stat. 590.11, 611.362-.368. Several years after the Supreme Court re...

Senogles v. Carlson  
Date: September 27, 2017
Docket Number: A15-2039

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this action alleging that Defendant, as a landowner, violated his duty of care to his invitee, a four-year-old boy. The boy wandered off d...

State v. Meger  
Date: September 20, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1823

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether State v. Her, 862 N.W.2d 692 (Minn. 2015), applies retroactively to sentences that were imposed and became final before Her was decided. In Her, the Supreme Court ruled that the fact that a defendant...

Halvorson v. B&F Fastener Supply  
Date: September 20, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0920

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) in this workers’ compensation case, holding that the compensation judge applied the wrong legal standard in granting Employer’s...

State v. Hensel  
Date: September 13, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0005

Justia Opinion Summary: The part of Minnesota’s disorderly-conduct statute that prohibits “disturb[ing]” assemblies or meetings, Minn. Stat. 609.72(1)(2), violates the First Amendment. Defendant was convicted of disorderly conduct under secti...

In re Welfare of Child of R.K.  
Date: September 13, 2017
Docket Number: A17-0497

Justia Opinion Summary: The deadline for an appeal in a juvenile protection proceeding is based on the district court’s service of notice by mail. In this case, because the appeal was filed by that deadline, the court of appeals erred in dismis...

State v. Thonesavanh  
Date: September 6, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1716

Justia Opinion Summary: An individual may commit motor vehicle theft without moving the vehicle. Defendant was charged with theft of a motor vehicle under Minn. Stat. 609.52(2)(a)(17) even though he never moved the vehicle. The district court...

Klapmeier vs. Cirrus Industries, Inc.  
Date: August 16, 2017
Docket Numbers: A14-1725, A14-2217

Justia Opinion Summary: The court of appeals reversed the jury verdict for Appellant and awarded Respondent’s request to tax costs and disbursements for the appeal. Most of the award was for the interest that Respondent incurred on a loan that...

In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation  
Date: August 16, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0858

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the court of appeals’ reversal of the district court’s grant of Company’s motion to dismiss Shareholder’s class action challenge to a merger transactio...

State v. Stempfley  
Date: August 16, 2017
Docket Numbers: A15-1247, A15-1255

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence imposed by the district court for Defendant’s convictions for third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct on an accomplice-liability theory. The district court granted Defenda...

State v. Wilson  
Date: August 16, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1294

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of first-degree premeditated murder on an accomplice-liability theory. The court held (1) the district court did not commit clear error by d...

United States District Court, District of Minnesota v. Edwards Lifesciences, LLC  
Date: August 9, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1916

Justia Opinion Summary: The 2013 amendment to the Minnesota Whistleblower Act defining the term “good faith” eliminated the judicially created requirement that the putative whistleblower act with the purpose of “exposing an illegality.” Appell...

Ansello v. Wisconsin Central, Ltd.  
Date: August 9, 2017
Docket Number: A17-0340

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals’ (WCCA) reversal of the compensation judge’s dismissal of Respondent’s request for benefits under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act (Minnesota A...

Ashland Inc. & Affiliates v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: August 2, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1257

Justia Opinion Summary: Minnesota’s water’s edge rule, Minn. Stat. 290.17(4)(f), does not prohibit the inclusion in “net income” the income of a foreign entity that elects under federal tax law to be disregarded as a separate entity. At issue...

In re Charges of Unprofessional Conduct in Panel
Date: August 2, 2017
Docket Number: A17-0160
State v. Kirby  
Date: July 26, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0117

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s sentence of 161 months in prison for his conviction of first-degree possession of methamphetamine, holding that resentencing was required under sentencing grid as amended by the Drug...

State v. Schoenrock  
Date: July 26, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1371

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction for two counts of theft by false representation, holding that, even assuming that the trial court’s omission of the phrase “with intent to defraud” from the jury instruct...

State v. Otto  
Date: July 26, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1454

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s sentence of 135 months in prison for his conviction for first-degree possession of methamphetamine, holding that resentencing was required under sentencing grid as amended by the Dru...

State v. Minnesota School of Business, Inc.  
Date: July 26, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0239

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals affirming the district court’s dismissal of the State’s amended complaint against Minnesota School of Business and Globe University (the Schools). The State alleged that th...

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Alan Richard Stewart  
Date: July 26, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1309

Justia Opinion Summary: In a reciprocal discipline case, the identical discipline in Minnesota to “exclusion from practice” before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an indefinite suspension from the practice of law with no right t...

State v. Smith  
Date: July 19, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0570

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Appellant’s conviction of first-degree driving while impaired, holding that Appellant’s 2005 gross-misdemeanor conviction of criminal vehicular operation was not a qualified prior impaired driv...

Poehler v. Cincinnati Insurance Co.  
Date: July 19, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0958

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the permissibility of preaward interest on an insurance appraisal award under the preaward interest statute, Minn. Stat. 549.09, subd. 1(b). Cincinnati Insurance Company issued James Poehler a...

City of Golden Valley v. Wiebesick  
Date: July 19, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1795

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court declined Appellants’ invitation to depart from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967) and hold that Minnesota’s constitution requires that an admini...

Montemayor v. Sebright Products, Inc.  
Date: July 12, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1188

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this products liability action, holding that this was a “close case” in which foreseeability must be resolved by the jury...

State v. Willis  
Date: July 12, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0275

Justia Opinion Summary: Minn. R. Evid. 1101 requires application of the Minnesota Rules of Evidence to restitution hearings. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of aggravated forgery. At a restitution hearing, Defendant objected to...

Mattick v. Hy-Vee Foods Stores  
Date: July 12, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1802

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) to reverse the denial of Respondent's claim for ankle-fusion surgery. Respondent, who was injured during the course of her emp...

Sanchez v. Dahlke Trailer Sales, Inc.  
Date: June 28, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1183

Justia Opinion Summary: Anibal Sanchez, an undocumented worker, brought suit against Dahlke Trailer Sales, Inc. under the workers’ compensation antiretaliation statute, alleging that Dahlke discharged him because he sought workers’ compensation...

Crowley v. Meyer  
Date: June 28, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1471

Justia Opinion Summary: The district court’s denial of Mother’s motion to “reinstate” joint custody of the parties’ children, though appealable, erroneously modified custody without complying with the requirements of Minn. Stat. 518.18. After...

Hohlt v. University of Minnesota  
Date: June 28, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0349

Justia Opinion Summary: The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) was correct in concluding that Respondent’s injury was compensable. Respondent, who was employed by the University of Minnesota, slipped and fell on any icy sidewalk whe...

Kubis v. Community Memorial Hospital Ass’n  
Date: June 28, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0361

Justia Opinion Summary: The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) clearly and manifestly erred by rejecting the findings of the compensation judge and overturning the determination that Respondent failed to establish her claim for benef...

State v. Fraga  
Date: June 28, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0726

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s first-degree murder conviction in connection with the death of his two-year-old niece. This appeal followed from Defendant’s third trial, which involved the same five counts of mur...

Dikken v. State  
Date: June 21, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1883

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with two counts of second-degree intentional murder. Defendant filed a petition to plead guilty to both counts, but the petition was denied based on the State’s notice, right before the guilty-plea...

Kelly v. Kraemer Construction, Inc.  
Date: June 7, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1751

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence lawsuit filed against Kraemer Construction, Inc., the Supreme Court held that Kraemer and Ulland Brothers, Inc. were engaged in a common enterprise as a matter of law when Richard Washburn was killed a...

State v. Rund  
Date: June 7, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0133

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to terroristic threats. As part of the factual basis for his plea, Defendant admitted that he posted five threatening tweets directed at law enforcement officers. Defendant filed a motion for a d...

City of Rochester v. Kottschade  
Date: June 7, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1203

Justia Opinion Summary: In this arbitration dispute, the district court erred by directing the entry of final judgment rather than staying the proceeding, and the court of appeals, faced with a final appealable judgment, should have vacated the...

Hudson v. Trillium Staffing  
Date: June 7, 2017
Docket Number: A16-2017

Justia Opinion Summary: The Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) abused its discretion when it granted Eddie Hudson’s petition to vacate an award of workers’ compensation benefits. Hudson was injured while working for Trillium Staffi...

State v. Harris  
Date: May 24, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0711

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was found guilty of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. The State petitioned for review, argu...

Brown v. State  
Date: May 24, 2017
Docket Numbers: A15-1402, A16-0648

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder committed for the benefit of a gang. The Supreme Court affirmed. The day before the postconviction statute of limitations expired, Appellant filed his second petition for po...

Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of Minnesota  
Date: May 24, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0360

Justia Opinion Summary: Minn. Stat. 554.02, a section of Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law, is unconstitutional as applied to claims at law alleging torts. Petitioners sued Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM), a nonprofit organization, seeking to...

State v. Ali  
Date: May 17, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0553

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, a juvenile offender, challenged the district court’s imposition of three consecutive sentences of life imprisonment with the possibility of release after thirty years on each sentence for his three murder conv...

State v. Webster  
Date: May 10, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0894

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for first-degree felony murder rendered after a jury trial. The district court sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment with the possibility of release after thirty years...

Gilbertson v. Williams Dingmann, LLC  
Date: May 3, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0895

Justia Opinion Summary: Based on the plain language of Minn. Stat. 176.101, subd. 1(i), the Supreme Court held that an offer to return to work with the same employer is not “consistent with” an employee’s rehabilitation plan stating that the em...

Harmon v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: May 3, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0973

Justia Opinion Summary: This tax dispute arose out of a failed real estate investment that resulted in significant tax consequences for Germaine Harmon, the widow of one of the original investors. Harmon challenged the Commissioner of Revenue’s...

State v. Boecker  
Date: April 26, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1058

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, Appellant was charged with two counts of first-degree driving while impaired (DWI). Appellant contested the use of his 1998 conviction for criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm to enh...

State v. Mosley  
Date: April 26, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1385

Justia Opinion Summary: After a bench trial, Appellant was convicted of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder. The Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. Appellant then filed a pro se petition for postconviction relief, arguing tha...

Peterson v. City of Minneapolis  
Date: April 12, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1711

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent worked as a police officer for Appellant City of Minneapolis. When the City transferred Respondent from his position with the Violent Offender Task Force to another police unit Respondent was fifty-four years...

State v. Guzman  
Date: April 12, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1773

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury indicted Appellant for first-degree premeditated murder. After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty as charged. The district court sentenced Appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of rele...

Lo v. Commissioner of Revenue  
Date: April 12, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0918

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1999, Yik Lo created H.K.D. Lo, Inc. Yik and his wife, Yau Lo, operated several restaurants through H.K.D., the last of which they sold in 2005. In approximately 2004, Yik and Yau’s son, Kee Lo, opened a restaurant ca...

LaPoint v. Family Orthodontics, P.A.  
Date: April 5, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0396

Justia Opinion Summary: After Nicole LaPoint applied for a job with Family Orthodontics, the company’s owner, Dr. Angela Ross, offered LaPoint a job as an orthodontic assistant. When LaPoint told Dr. Ross that she was pregnant, Family Orthodont...

Wilbur v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.  
Date: April 5, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1438

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant suffered injuries after being hit by another driver. The at-fault driver’s liability insurer paid Appellant $100,000, the full amount available under the policy. Appellant made a settlement demand on State Farm...

Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. v. County of Hennepin  
Date: April 5, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0044

Justia Opinion Summary: At dispute in this case was the taxable value of Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc.’s downtown Minneapolis property. Macy’s challenged the Minneapolis Assessor’s valuation of the property for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 tax years...

State v. Thomas  
Date: March 22, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0708

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with gross misdemeanor second-degree driving while impaired. The matter proceeded to trial. After the State rested, Defendant made a motion for judgment of acquittal, arguing that there was insuffic...

State v. Osorio  
Date: March 22, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0921

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged in May 2013 with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. When Defendant failed to appear for his first appearance, the district court issued a warrant for his arrest. In February 2015, D...

Loving v. State  
Date: March 22, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1111

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder, and three drive-by-shooting counts. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment...

Pearson v. State  
Date: March 22, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0882

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. The district court sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment without the possibility of release for...

State v. S.A.M.  
Date: March 15, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0950

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Appellant pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, a felony. When Appellant was released from probation the conviction was deemed a misdemeanor. In 2015, Appellant filed a petition for expungement. The district...

Webster v. Hennepin County  
Date: March 15, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0736

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant submitted several requests for public government data from Hennepin County and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (collectively, Respondents) under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. Respondents res...

Bicking v. City of Minneapolis  
Date: March 15, 2017
Docket Number: A16-1379

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants, members of a Minneapolis citizen group, submitted a petition to the Minneapolis City Council for consideration of a question regarding a proposed amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter. The proposed amendm...

State v. Muccio  
Date: March 8, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1951

Justia Opinion Summary: The State charged Defendant under Minn. Stat. 609.352, subd. 2a(2) with felony communication with a child describing sexual conduct after she sent sexually explicit images and messages to a fifteen-year-old boy. Defendan...

Sanchez v. State  
Date: February 22, 2017
Docket Number: A14-1679

Justia Opinion Summary: After Appellant pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, removal proceedings were initiated against him. In an attempt to avoid deportation, Appellant filed an emergency motion to withdraw his guilty plea,...

Howard v. Svoboda  
Date: February 15, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0896

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued Defendants, health care providers, alleging professional negligence. Defendants filed a motion to compel authorization of an informal discussion with the surgeon who performed the Plaintiff’s surgery. The...

State v. deLottinville  
Date: February 15, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1481

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested and charged with drug-related crimes. The district court ordered Defendant’s pretrial release. The district court later found probable cause that Defendant had violated the conditions of her releas...

Hannon v. State  
Date: February 8, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0498

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Supreme Court overturned Petitioner’s first conviction on direct appeal, Petitioner was tried a second time and convicted of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping. Petitioner...

Gianotti v. Independent School District 152  
Date: February 8, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0629

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent received a head injury during the course of her employment. Respondent filed a request with the workers’ compensation division seeking coverage for various treatments she was receiving for her injuries, includ...

State of Minnesota v. Lilienthal  
Date: February 1, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1713

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. The court concluded that the district court did not commit plain error in admitting evidence...

Rushton v. State  
Date: January 25, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0584

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Defendant was ultimately sentenced to life with the possibility of release along with a specified 216-month minimum term of imprisonment. Def...

Madison Equities, Inc. v. Crockarell  
Date: January 25, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0769

Justia Opinion Summary: Madison Equities, Inc. brought an action against Robert Crockarell for repayment of an overdue promissory note. Crockarell filed a separate action against Madison Equities and others alleging that Madison Equities filed...

State v. Vasko  
Date: January 18, 2017
Docket Number: A15-1172

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of a petty misdemeanor for violating Lester Prairie Municipal Code section 5.5.1.2, which prohibits certain blight conditions on residents’ property, including the open storage of unregistered or...

Stand Up Multipositional Advantage MRI, P.A. v. American Family Insurance Co.  
Date: January 11, 2017
Docket Number: A15-0843

Justia Opinion Summary: American Family Insurance Company (American Family) issued automobile insurance policies to policyholders that were later injured in automobile accidents. The policy contained an anti-assignment clause, but, in order to...

In re Leslie, Dakota County Sheriff  
Date: January 11, 2017
Docket Number: A16-0283

Justia Opinion Summary: John David Emerson was arrested and charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. Upon Emerson’s motion, the district court issued an order restraining the Dakota County Sheriff from collecting Emerson’s DN...

State v. Zumberge  
Date: January 4, 2017
Docket Number: A15-2013

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, and other crimes. The district court sentenced Appellant to consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibi...

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