Byline: Minnesota Lawyer
In this condemnation action, appellant landowners challenged the District Court's denial of their motion for attorney fees, which was based on the court's determination that appellants' final judgment or award of damages did not exceed the $25,000 threshold for reimbursement of attorney fees under Minn. Stat. 117.031(a). Appellants argued that the District Court erred in concluding that interest accrued under Minn. Stat. 117.195, subd. 1, is not included in the final judgment or award of damages under Minn. Stat. 117.031(a).
The Court of Appeals held that, in eminent-domain proceedings, interest accrued under Minn. Stat. 117.195, subd. 1, is not included in the final judgment or award of damages to determine eligibility for reimbursement of attorney fees under the plain meaning of Minn. Stat. 117.031(a). Affirmed.
A19-0343 State by Comm'r of Transp. v. Schneider (St. Louis County)
Abuse of Process
In this appeal from judgment following a jury trial, appellant/cross-respondent former employer asserted that the District Court erred by (1) granting judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on its abuse-of-process claim and (2) granting a new trial on fraud damages, rather than applying remittitur. Respondent/cross-appellant former employee argued that the evidence did not support the jury's verdict in the new trial on fraud damages. The Court of Appeals concluded that, even if respondent's motivation for initiating the lawsuit was to coerce appellant into agreeing on a smaller settlement amount, this was not outside the scope of lawsuits generally, and would not constitute abuse of process. Affirmed.
A18-1992 Waymouth Farms, Inc. v. Liu (Hennepin County)
In this corporate-shareholder litigation involving 21 different entities engaged in real-estate enterprises, appellant-shareholders challenged the dismissal of (1) their claims seeking a corporate buyout, sale, or dissolution, arguing that they were direct claims and were not subject to Minn. R. Civ. P. 23.09 and (2) their contract-based claims, arguing that they complied with Minn. R. Civ. P. 8.01, and that the District Court erred in dismissing them sua sponte. The Court of Appeals concluded that several of the claims were partly derivative, some were direct, and that the District Court did not err in dismissing other counts for failing to satisfy the notice-pleading requirements of rule 8.01. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
A18-2097 Abuzeni v. Mutschler (Hennepin County)
Dissolution; Child Custody
In this marital-dissolution appeal, father challenges the District Court's physical-custody and parenting-time decisions, and wife challenges the property division. The Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in the granting of sole physical custody of the child to mother or in the determination of parenting time, noting that each of the five challenged factors supported the District Court's custody findings. However, the District Court abused its discretion in dividing the parties' property. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
A18-1526 Ryan v. Ryan (Scott County)
Breach of Agreements
Appellants, a married couple acting in their personal capacities and also on behalf of their closely held businesses, obtained more than a dozen personally guaranteed loans totaling...