Supreme Court Opinions


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PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED OPINIONS

Please visit the Minnesota State Law Library's Appellate Opinions Archive for previously published Supreme Court Opinions.

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OPINIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT

FILED Thursday, June 20, 2024

NOTICE - MEDIA RELEASE TIME IS 10:00 A.M.


A23-0036   State of Minnesota, by its Commissioner of Transportation, Appellant, vs. David J. Schaffer, et al., Respondents Below, Joseph Hamlin,
                    Respondent.
                    Court of Appeals.
          An award of “reasonable attorney fees” under Minn. Stat. § 117.031(a) (2022) is determined by the lodestar method and thus is not limited to the amount owed pursuant to an attorney fee agreement.
          Affirmed. Justice Anne K. McKeig.
          Took no part, Justice Sarah E. Hennesy.


A22-0829   Nicholas W. Sterry, Respondent, vs. Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), Appellant, and Correctional Officer Ashley Youngberg, in
                    her individual and official capacities, Defendant.
                    Court of Appeals.
          1. For a state employer to be held vicariously liable for an employee’s intentional tort under the Minnesota State Tort Claims Act, Minnesota Statutes section 3.736 (2022), the tort must: (1) be related to the duties of the employee; and (2) occur within work-related limits of time and place - consistent with the common law standard under which the employer, if a private person, would be vicariously liability.
          2. The district court erred when dismissing a complaint against the Minnesota Department of Corrections for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because the facts alleged in the complaint - including a state employee’s perpetration of a sexual assault and sexual harassment - could allow a jury to find that the state employee was acting within the scope of office or employment under circumstances where the Department would be liable under the common law for vicarious liability.
          Affirmed. Justice Anne K. McKeig.
          Took no part, Justice Karl C. Procaccini, Justice Sarah E. Hennesy.

 
ORDERS
 
A22-1548   In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Mitchell J. Ask, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0290634.
                    Supreme Court.
          Reinstated. Justice Margaret H. Chutich.

A24-0077   In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Brooks R. Siegel, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0397925.
                    Supreme Court.
          Reprimanded. Justice Margaret H. Chutich.
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ORDERS ON PETITIONS FOR FURTHER REVIEW

FILED Tuesday, June 18, 2024


(Petitioner indicated in Italic Type)

Granted
 
1.         State of Minnesota vs. Anthony Richard Smeby – A23-0516
 
Issues Granted:  (1) Did the district court prejudicially err by ordering North Memorial Hospital to surrender Smeby’s medical records to police where no statutory exception pierced the privilege?  (2) Did the district court prejudicially err by admitting evidence of statements Smeby allegedly made about the cause of his condition to paramedics who were gathering information to provide to doctors to aid in Smeby’s examination and treatment?
 
 2.         Tescil Romalis Mason-Kimmons vs. State of Minnesota – A23-0914
 
Issues Granted:  (1) Is there a reasonable probability that petitioner would not have pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder but for this deficient advice, where:
 
(1) the attorney’s advice that his client should plead guilty because the attorney was unprepared for trial was inherently likely to influence his client’s plea decision-making;
(2) no plea negotiations occurred until soon after the attorney told petitioner he was unprepared for trial and should plead guilty;
(3) petitioner made statements at the time of plea and sentencing indicating that he was pleading guilty because his attorney was unprepared for trial;
(4) the attorney and petitioner testified that the plea was motivated by the attorney’s advice that petitioner should plead guilty because the attorney was unprepared for trial; and
(5) the perpetrator’s physical description, according to State witnesses and surveillance videos, did not match petitioner’s height, skin tone, age, or body-type, and the State had no direct evidence of the defendant’s guilt?
 
(2) When a district court’s order denying a post-conviction petition rests on clear factual errors, may the reviewing court affirm based on independent factual findings that do not appear in the district court order or anywhere else in the post-conviction record?  (3) Where an attorney instructs a defendant to plead guilty because the attorney is unprepared to represent the defendant at trial, is it a violation of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment-secured autonomy that is structural error and not subject to harmless-error review?
 
 
Granted/Stayed
 
3.         Jon Huseth, et al., d/b/a Clay View Dairy, LLP vs. Goodhue County Cooperative   Electric Association, Kurt Emery, DuraTech Industries
            International, Inc.,  Highline Manufacturing, Ltd. – A23-0307
 
            Issue:  Does jurisdiction exist for GCCEA’s “related appeal”?
 
           Stayed Pending Final Disposition in Reichel v. Wendland Utz, LTD, No. A23-0015.
 
 
Denied
 
4.          1648 Properties, LLC, et al. vs. Morrison Sund, PLLC – A23-0729
5.          Casey Michael Dynan vs. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – A23-0997
6.          Elfi E Janssen, et al. vs. Lommen, Abdo, Cole, King & Stageberg P. A., et al., Sibley Holdings, LLC – A23-0856
7.          In re Joshua Gunnar Olson, State of Minnesota vs. Joshua Gunnar Olson – A23-1869
8.          In re the Estate of Arnold D. Lillo, Deceased – A23-1065
9.          In re the Marriage of: Hortensia Salcedo Abad vs. Jason Matthew Matasovsky – A22-1718
10.         In the Matter of: Bret William Smith vs. Robyn L. Johnson, Terry Allen Johnson – A23-1179
11.        In the Matter of: Kayce Houde vs. David Fryxell – A23-0625
12.        Kenneth Zepeda vs. City of Saint Paul – A23-1210
13.        Kristin M. Schantzen, et al. vs. Charlotte Erdmann, Valley Chiropractic Clinic, Ltd. – A23-0495
14.        Maple Ridge Homeowners Association vs. Hiscox Insurance Company, Inc. – A23-0478
15.        Matthew Lalone, et al. vs. Daniel Joseph Duerst – A23-0523
16.        Ming Le Lu vs. Mohammad Sabri, Muna Sabri AKA Mona Sabri, et al. – A23-0455
17.        Robert Lee Bailey, Damon Halliburton vs. $10,771.00 in US Currency – A24-0027
18.        State of Minnesota vs. Erik Everett Wenzel – A23-0694
19.        State of Minnesota vs. Gerhard Arthur Ziemann – A23-0539
20.        State of Minnesota vs. Jeffrey Velt Murray – A23-0117
21.        State of Minnesota vs. Juan Antonio Ruiz – A23-0457
22.        State of Minnesota vs. Rodney Donta Jackson – A23-0779
23.        State of Minnesota vs. Steven Craig Morrow – A23-0313
24.        State of Minnesota vs. Winlaw Barratt Bramley, III – A23-0458 
25.        State of Minnesota, ex rel. Nicole Rae Cloud vs. Paul Schnell, Commissioner of Corrections – A23-1215
26.        Vernon G. Muggli vs. Leiding Township, Kenneth Brokaw, et al. – A23-1012
27.        Zosha Winegar-Schultz vs. University of Minnesota Board of Regents – A23-0526