Supreme Court Opinions


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FILED Wednesday, July 18, 2018


A17-1410        State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Antionette Rie Johnson, Appellant.
                         Ramsey County.
            1.   Assuming, without deciding, that appellant’s statement to police should not have been admitted into evidence because it was obtained in violation of her constitutional rights, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
            2.   It was plain error for the district court to give the jury a no-adverse-inference instruction without appellant’s consent, but the error was not prejudicial.
            3.   Assuming, without deciding, that prosecutorial misconduct occurred during closing argument and was plain error, the error was not prejudicial.
            Affirmed.  Justice David L. Lillehaug.

A17-1177        William Fielding, Trustee of the Reid and Ann MacDonald Irrevocable GST Trust for Maria V. MacDonald, et al., Respondents,
                         vs. Commissioner of Revenue, Relator.
                         Tax Court.
            1.   When evaluating whether an income tax statute’s residency classification violates the Due Process Clause as applied to a taxpayer, all relevant contacts between the taxpayer and the State during the tax year at issue are considered.
            2.   Because the taxpayers’ relevant contacts with Minnesota during the tax year at issue are insufficient to permit Minnesota to tax those taxpayers as “resident trusts,” Minn. Stat. § 290.01, subd. 7b(a)(2) (2016), is unconstitutional as applied to the taxpayers.
            Affirmed.  Justice Natalie E. Hudson.
            Dissenting, Justices David L. Lillehaug and Anne K. McKeig.
            Took no part, Justice Paul C. Thissen.

A17-2064        Janet Hufnagel, Respondent, vs. Deer River Health Care Center and MHA Insurance Co., Respondents, and Essentia
                         Health - Deer River and Berkley Risk Administrators Co., Relators, and Midwest Spine & Brain Institute and Essentia Health, Intervenors.
                         Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
            1.   Where the evidence demonstrated that a dispute exists between two or more employers or insurers as to which employer or insurer is liable in a proceeding regarding an employee’s claim for benefits for a work-related injury, it was error for the compensation judge to deny a request for an award for reasonable attorney fees under Minn. Stat. § 176.191, subd. 1 (2016).
            2.   An award of reasonable fees should adequately compensate the employee’s attorney for the representation provided, recognizing the attorney’s obligation to be appropriately prepared to address alternative theories. 
            Affirmed.  Justice Natalie E. Hudson.
            Took no part, Justice Paul C. Thissen.

A16-1645        Thomas Funk, et al., Appellants, vs. Thomas O’Connor, et al., Respondents.
                         Court of Appeals.
            Public officials could not be removed from office for violating the Open Meeting Law, as provided by Minn. Stat. § 13D.06, subd. 3 (2016), because their violations were not proven in three separate, sequential adjudications.
            Affirmed.  Justice Anne K. McKeig.
            Took no part, Justice Paul C. Thissen.

A17-1478        Lake Country Power Cooperative, Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative, Peoples
A17-1479        Energy Cooperative, Relators, vs. Commissioner of Revenue, Respondent.
A17-1481        Tax Court.
            Appeals taken by electricity distribution cooperatives from notices of value issued by the Commissioner of Revenue were governed by the 60-day deadline established by Minn. Stat. § 271.06, subd. 2 (2016).  Because those appeals were filed more than 60 days after the date of the Commissioner’s notices, the appeals were untimely.
            Affirmed.  Justice Anne K. McKeig.
            Took no part, Justice Paul C. Thissen.



A18-0951        In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Mary Elizabeth Lockwood, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0308535.
                         Supreme Court.
            Suspended.  Justice David L. Lillehaug. 

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FILED Wednesday, June 27, 2018

(Petitioner indicated in Italic Type)

1.      In re the Marriage of: Linde Anne Sayen vs. Michael Stephen Sayen – A17-1173 – Denied
2.      State of Minnesota vs. John Lee Bowen – A17-0331 – Granted
3.      State of Minnesota vs. Lamar Terrelle Warren – A17-0961 – Denied
4.      State of Minnesota vs. Song John Vue – A17-0771 – Denied
5.      In re the Matter of the Annexation of Certain Real Property to the City of Proctor From Midway Township – A17-1210 – Granted
6.      State of Minnesota vs. Daniel Howard Stanke – A17-0852, A17-0853 – Denied
7.      State of Minnesota vs. Bradley Justin Miles – A17-0839 – Denied
8.      Central Housing Associates, LP vs. Aaron Olson – A17-1286 – Granted
9.      In the Matter of the Welfare of: A.J.B. – A17-1161 – Granted
10.    Marcus Fultz vs. State of Minnesota – A17-0675 – Denied
11.    Nicole LaPoint vs. Family Orthodontics, P. A. – A17-1333 – Denied
12.    State of Minnesota vs. Hiram Abdul Langston – A17-1136 – Denied
13.    State of Minnesota vs. Wayne Alan Menter – A17-0225 – Denied
14.    State of Minnesota, ex rel. Steven Leino vs. Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections – A17-1278 – Granted
15.    State of Minnesota vs. Brandon Joseph Rossbach – A17-0406 – Denied
16.    State of Minnesota vs. Cameron Faheem Bonds – A17-1226 – Denied
17.    Herbert B. Fick vs. Eric J. Edwardson, et al. – A17-1388 – Denied
18.    State of Minnesota vs. Cesar Rosario Lopez-Ramos – A17-0609 – Granted
19.    State of Minnesota vs. Curt Matthew Craven – A17-0879 – Denied
20.    Byron Kenneth Anderson vs. State of Minnesota – A17-1104 – Denied
21.    State of Minnesota vs. Thomas Brian Sobtzak – A17-1655 – Denied
22.    Demiteras Al Cooper vs. State of Minnesota – A17-0994 – Denied
23.    Lee Charles Bloomquist vs. Jennifer Lynn Kimlinger – A17-0789 – Denied
24.    State of Minnesota vs. Alex Gordon Sillerud – A17-0930 – Denied
25.    State of Minnesota vs. Harry Maddox, III – A17-0814 – Denied
26.    State of Minnesota vs. Lloyd Edward Pugh – A17-0598 – Denied
27.    Peter K. Butler vs. City of Saint Paul, et al. – A18-0655 – Accelerated review denied