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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals declaring the City of Rochester’s competitive bidding process and the resulting contract awarded to First Transit invalid. The City owned a fleet of buses operated by First Transit, Inc. since 2012. Until 2012, those buses were operated by Rochester City Lines Company (RCL). In the instant case, RCL challenged the City’s competitive bidding process, which resulted in the bus operation contract being awarded to First Transit. The City’s appointed moderator rejected RCL’s protest. The court of appeals, however, ruled that the City’s request for proposals (RFP) appeared impermissibly biased against RCL. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that RCL forfeited any appearance-of-bias argument. View "Rochester City Lines Co. v. First Transit, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals declaring the City of Rochester’s competitive bidding process and the resulting contract awarded to First Transit invalid. The City owned a fleet of buses operated by First Transit, Inc. since 2012. Until 2012, those buses were operated by Rochester City Lines Company (RCL). In the instant case, RCL challenged the City’s competitive bidding process, which resulted in the bus operation contract being awarded to First Transit. The City’s appointed moderator rejected RCL’s protest. The court of appeals, however, ruled that the City’s request for proposals (RFP) appeared impermissibly biased against RCL. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that RCL forfeited any appearance-of-bias argument. View "Rochester City Lines Co. v. First Transit, Inc." on Justia Law

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State law did not preempt a proposal to amend the charter of the City of Bloomington to require voter approval before the City can implement organized collection of solid waste. Appellants petitioned the City for a ballot initiative seeking the enactment of an ordinance that would require voter approval before the City could implement organized waste collection. The City declined to place Appellants’ proposed amendment on a ballot on the ground that Minn. Stat. 115A.94 preempted the field of regulation by the process by which a city organizes waste collection. The district court granted summary judgment for the City. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the legislature did not intend to occupy the field of regulation of the process of organizing collection of solid waste; and (2) therefore, Appellants’ proposed charter amendment was not preempted by state law. View "Jennissen v. City of Bloomington" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the district court’s denial of Father’s motion to increase his parenting time to every other week, holding that Father’s proposed modification was a de facto motion to modify physical custody, and therefore, the endangerment standard applied. Father had parenting time every other weekend with his minor child, and, during summer months, the parties alternated weeks with the child. When Father brought a motion to expand the alternating week schedule to the entire year the district court treated the motion as a motion to modify physical custody. The court applied the endangerment standard in Minn. Stat. 518.18(d)(iv) and, finding that Father did not present a prima facie case of endangerment, denied the motion. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Father’s motion was no a motion to modify custody. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Father’s motion was a substantial change that would modify the parties’ custody arrangement. View "Christensen v. Healey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals interpreting Minn. Rev. Stat. 524.3-101 to allow real property to devolve immediately upon a testator’s death to a residual devisee. Plaintiff, in her capacity as personal representative to her father’s estate, sued Defendants to quiet title to residential property owned by her father at his death. Plaintiff’s brother, John, conveyed his interest in the property by quitclaim deed to Minnesota Premier Properties a few days after Wells Fargo bought the foreclosed property at a sheriff’s sale after the decedent’s death. The district court granted summary judgment to Plaintiff, concluding that John did not have an interest to convey to Premier through the quitclaim deed. The court of appeals reversed, holding that, under section 524.3-10, a valid, transferable ownership interest in real property devolves immediately upon a testator’s death to a person to whom the property is devised by the testator’s will. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err in interpreting the statute. View "Laymon v. Minnesota Premier Properties, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the postconviction court’s denial of Petitioner’s second petition for postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. After his first postconviction petition was summarily denied, Petitioner filed his second postconviction petition, alleging the existence of sixteen pieces of newly discovered evidence. The postconviction court denied the second petition without holding an evidentiary hearing, concluding that the petition was untimely because the facts alleged in the petition did not satisfy the statutory newly-discovered-evidence exception. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the postconviction court abused its discretion by making improper credibility determinations without holding an evidentiary hearing; and (2) the facts alleged in support of Petitioner’s remaining claims did not satisfy the newly-discovered-evidence or interests-of-justice exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. View "Anderson v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the postconviction court’s denial of Petitioner’s petition for postconviction relief, holding that the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion. Petitioner was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder. Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release for the murder conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed. Petitioner later filed a petition for postconviction relief, alleging six grounds for postconviction relief. The postconviction court rejected the petition without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Petitioner’s claims were either procedurally barred or failed as a matter of law. View "Fox v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the district court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Father on Son’s personal injury suit, holding that the Recreational-Use Statute, Minn. Stat. 604A.20-.27, did not apply to the facts of this case. Son was injured after he fell from a deer stand on Father’s property. The district court ruled that Father was entitled to recreational-use immunity, which allowed Son to proceed to trial to seek recovery under the trespasser exception to the statute. Based solely on the trespasser theory, the jury concluded that Son was ninety-five percent negligent. The court of appeals remanded the case for a new trial, holding that because Father did not offer his land for use by the public, the Recreational-Use Statute did not apply. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that where the usage of Father’s property was limited to immediate family, section 604A.22 did not apply to this case because the land was not offered for public use. View "Ouradnik v. Ouradnik" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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At issue was the proper method for calculating the quantum meruit value of an attorney’s services when a client terminates the contingent-fee agreement before a matter concludes. Respondent retained Appellant-law firm under a contingent-fee agreement to assist with asbestos litigation. Two months before settling a claim upon which Appellant had worked for about ten years, Respondent discharged Appellant. The district court dismissed Appellant’s attempt to recover a portion of the settlement funds, concluding that Appellant failed to prove the value of the services that it had provided. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the district court applied the incorrect test for determining quantum meruit. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding (1) district courts should use eight factors to determine the quantum meruit value of a discharged contingent-fee attorney’s services; and (2) a remand was necessary so that the district court may consider the contingent-fee argument between the parties, in addition to the other relevant factors identified herein. View "Faricy Law Firm, P.A. v. API, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the shooting deaths of his long-time girlfriend and his girlfriend’s fifteen-year-old daughter. On appeal, Appellant argued that the State failed to present sufficient to establish premeditation and that the district court erred by declining to instruct the jury on first-degree heat-of-passion manslaughter. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence presented at trial to sustain Defendant’s convictions; and (2) Appellant was not prejudiced by the district court’s decision not to instruct the jury on first-degree heat-of-passion manslaughter. View "State v. Galvan" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law