Court of Appeals Digest: Jan. 8, 2018.
Civil Published Teaching Licenses Training Programs In this certiorari appeal, relator challenged a decision by the Minnesota Board of Teaching denying her application for a Minnesota special-education teaching license. The Court of Appeals held that Minn. Stat. 122A.23, subd. 2, does not require an applicant to show that the training program underlying her out-of-state teaching license is similar to the training program underlying the Minnesota license for which she applies. Reversed and remanded. A17-0911 In re Application of Baker (Minn. Bd. of Teaching) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/201/opa170911-01.pdf Zoning Manufactured Homes Appellant city challenged the District Courts order granting a permanent injunction against the citys enforcement of its city code within a manufactured home park where respondent resided. The city argued that the District Court erred in enjoining enforcement of its codes because the city was expressly authorized by state law to enforce its codes within manufactured home parks when the codes were not inconsistent with federal or state laws. The Court of Appeals held that neither Minnesota law nor the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401-5426, preempts a local or municipal authority from enforcing zoning, subdivision, architectural, or aesthetic codes applicable to manufactured home parks, provided that they do not involve construction or safety standards related to manufactured housing. Reversed. A17-0496 Eich v. City of Burnsville (Dakota County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/201/OPa170496-01.pdf Civil Unpublished Defamation Conditional Privilege Appellant challenged the District Courts grant of summary judgment in respondents favor on appellants vicarious-liability-for-the-unauthorized-practice-of-law and defamation claims arising out of a mechanics lien filed by defendant on respondents behalf naming appellant as the debtor. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment with respect to the vicarious liability claim, but concluded that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding appellants defamation claim existed, as the statements in the mechanics lien were not protected by conditional privilege. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. A17-15 Dering Pierson Group, LLC v. Rockstar Design LLC (Hennepin County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/opa1715-01.pdf Drivers License Revocation Examination After appellant made odd remarks to a state trooper during a traffic stop, respondent Commissioner of Public Safety asked her to submit a medical statement discussing her ability to safely drive her car. Appellant failed to provide the statement and, as a consequence, the commissioner revoked her drivers license. Appellant asked the District Court to reinstate her drivers license, but, after a reinstatement hearing, the court upheld the commissioners decision. Appellant appealed pro se. The Court of Appeals concluded that the commissioner did not act fraudulently, arbitrarily, unreasonably, or outside the scope of its jurisdiction and powers when it revoked appellants drivers license. Affirmed. A17-0673 Antony v. Commr of Pub. Safety (Scott County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170673-01.pdf Unemployment Benefits Employment Misconduct Relator challenged the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he committed employment misconduct and therefore was ineligible for unemployment benefits. The Court of Appeals concluded that relators early departure from work without permission, his failure to disclose his early departure, and his falsified timesheet constituted misconduct. Affirmed. A17-0767 Elkhatib v. E.A. Sween Co. (Dept of Empt & Econ. Dev.) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170767-01.pdf Criminal Published Interference with Privacy Intent On appeal from his conviction of interference with privacy of a minor by surreptitious intrusion, appellant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence. The Court of Appeals held that a conviction for surreptitious interference with privacy under Minn. Stat. 609.746, subd. 1(a), does not require the defendant to have the intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of a member of the household when he enters the property of another. Affirmed. A17-0474 State v. Pakhnyuk (Scott County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/201/OPa170474-01.pdf Relationship Evidence Jury Instructions In this reinstated appeal, appellant challenged his felony convictions for domestic assault and theft of a motor vehicle. Appellant argued, inter alia, that the District Court committed plain error that affected his substantial rights by allowing relationship evidence to be presented under Minn. Stat. 634.20 without instructing the jury sua sponte on its proper use. The Court of Appeals held that the District Courts failure to give a limiting instruction sua sponte regarding the admission of relationship evidence was not plainly erroneous. Affirmed. A16-1567 State v. Melanson (Anoka County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/201/OPa161567-01.pdf Traffic Offenses Movement from Lane In this consolidated appeal, appellant challenged his conviction of driving while impaired and the revocation of his license to drive. He argued that the underlying traffic stop was unconstitutional and that the District Court therefore erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the stop and by sustaining the attendant license revocation. The Court of Appeals held that driving a vehicle on a marking that delineates a lane for traffic constitutes movement from the lane within the meaning of Minn. Stat. 169.1, subd. 7(a). Affirmed. A17-0552, A17-0564 Kruse v. Commr of Pub. Safety (Renville County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/201/OPa170552-01.pdf Criminal Unpublished Assault Intent Appellant challenged his first- and second-degree-assault (fear) convictions, arguing that the District Court improperly applied the doctrine of transferred intent. The District Court reasoned that appellant assumed criminal liability for his actions by firing a gun into a crowded area and concluded that it was a natural and probable consequence that anyone in the area was both in danger and could reasonably fear immediate bodily harm or death. The Court of Appeals determined that the doctrine of transferred intent was not necessary to resolve the case, and concluded that the circumstantial evidence established that appellant intended to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death to all five victims. Affirmed. A16-2056 State v. Carter (Hennepin County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa162056-01.pdf Illegal Firearms Possession Constructive Possession Appellant appealed from his conviction, after a jury verdict, of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Appellant challenged the sufficiency of the circumstantial evidence that he constructively possessed the firearm, and argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction to determine his guilt because the District Court did not comply with the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act (UMDDA). The Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence, which included testimony that a rifle was found inside a shed in which appellant had locked himself, was sufficient to support the conviction, and the UMDDA timeline was tolled by appellants pretrial motions. Affirmed. A17-0070 State v. Reed (Morrison County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170070-01.pdf Miranda Custody In this appeal from second-degree assault and gross-misdemeanor theft convictions and from the District Courts order denying postconviction relief, appellant argued that (1) his counsel was ineffective because he failed to move to suppress evidence of appellants silence or object to it during trial and failed to request an accomplice-testimony jury instruction; (2) the District Court plainly erred in not giving an accomplice-testimony instruction; and (3) the District Court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of the victims prior violent act. The Court of Appeals concluded that, despite fact that an affidavit had been filed in support of a search-warrant application, appellant was not under arrest when he said J.O. doesnt talk to cops and declined to give a statement, and therefore, such admission of such statement did not affect his Miranda rights and counsel was not ineffective for failing to challenge it. Affirmed. A16-140 State v. Comeaux (Le Sueur County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa16140-01.pdf Murder Self-Defense Appellant challenged his conviction of second-degree intentional murder, assigning plain error to the District Courts jury instruction and the prosecutors closing remarks regarding the law of self-defense. He argued that the cumulative effect of the errors affected his substantial rights and that reversal was necessary to ensure the fairness and integrity of the proceedings. The Court of Appeals held that, because caselaw clearly established that an instruction regarding justifiable taking of a life should not be used if a defendant claims self-defense but denies an intent to kill, appellant established an error that was plain. However, the failure to give a general self-defense instruction did not affect appellants substantial rights, as the jury found that the killing was intentional. Affirmed. A17-0315 State v. Davis (Hennepin County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170315-01.pdf Plea Withdrawal Fair and Just The police received a report that appellant pulled a knife on a man in a park and threatened to stab him. Appellant pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats but later moved to withdraw his plea during his sentencing. The District Court denied his motion, and he appealed. The Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court acted within its discretion by finding that it would not be fair and just to allow appellant to withdraw his plea, and allowing him to withdraw his plea was unnecessary to correct any manifest injustice. Affirmed. A17-0470 State v. Thompson (Ramsey County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170470-01.pdf Prosecutorial Misconduct Plain Error Appellant challenged his convictions of felony domestic assault and fleeing a police officer, arguing that he was entitled to a new trial because prosecutorial misconduct constituted plain error. Appellant asserted that during closing arguments the prosecutor belittled and disparaged the defense. The Court of Appeals concluded that the prosecutor was arguing that appellants testimony was not credible and that he was not belittling a particular defense. Affirmed. A17-0501 State v. Cannon (Morrison County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170501-01.pdf Right to Present Defense Evidence On appeal from his conviction of fifth-degree assault, appellant argued that the District Court deprived him of his right to present a defense when it denied his request to present testimony about the conditions of his confinement in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP). The Court of Appeals concluded that any error in excluding the evidence was harmless, noting that evidence pertaining to the conditions of confinement had no bearing on the evidence showing appellant as the aggressor or whether he had a reasonable possibility of retreat. Affirmed. A17-024 State v. Greene (Carlton County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa17024-01.pdf Sentencing Dispositional Departures Appellant pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a prohibited person and faced a presumptive five-year prison sentence under the sentencing guidelines. Appellant moved the District Court to depart dispositionally from the presumptive sentence and order probation instead of prison. The District Court denied appellants motion. Appellant appealed his sentence, arguing that the District Court was required to depart downward because he was particularly amenable to probation. The Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court acted within its discretion by imposing the presumptive sentence rather than departing downward from it. Affirmed. A17-0264 State v. Vener (McLeod County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170264-01.pdf Sentencing Upward Departures In this appeal challenging his sentence for second-degree murder for killing his one-year old daughter, appellant argued that the District Court erred by imposing a 432-month prison sentence, a greater-than-double upward departure, because the sentence was based on conduct from separate behavioral incidents and on evidence relating to first-degree murder charges that were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. The Court of Appeals concluded that the sentence was supported by severe aggravating circumstances and was not excessive. Affirmed. A17-0255 State v. Ramirez (Washington County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa170255-01.pdf Speeding Jurisdiction Appellant challenged his speeding conviction, arguing that (1) the District Court lacked jurisdiction; (2) the District Court abused its discretion in admitting testimony about vehicle speed based on a hand-held laser device; (3) appellants due process and equal protection rights were violated during the trial; and (4) the record evidence was insufficient to establish appellants guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court had jurisdiction over speeding that took place within the county and was cited therein, that evidence from the laser device was relevant and admissible, that appellants constitutional rights were not violated, and that the evidence supported his conviction. Affirmed. A16-2030 State v. Naghash (Freeborn County) https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/201/OPa162030-01.pdf
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|Date:||Jan 11, 2018|
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