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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the Commissioner of Human Services, which affirmed the determination by the Minnesota Department of Human Services that Yasmin Salim wrongfully obtained public assistance for Kind Heart Daycare, Inc. in violation of Minn. Stat. 256.98(1)(3). Kind Heart had submitted bills to Blue Earth County under the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) representing that children from low-income families were present at Kind Heart when they were, in fact, absent or no longer enrolled in the daycare. The Department disqualified Salim from providing daycare services and revoked Kind Heart’s license. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the Commissioner erred in determining that Salim and Kind Heart were not entitled to CCAP payments; and (2) any errors on the part of the Department or the Commissioner were corrected, independently re-evaluated, or harmless. View "In re Appeal by Kind Heart Daycare, Inc." on Justia Law

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After the Governor, on May 30, 2017, vetoed line-item appropriations to the Legislature for its biennial budget, the Legislature commenced this action arguing that the line-item veto power cannot be used over the appropriations to itself without violating the Separation of Powers clause. The Governor argued in response that the line-item veto power is expressly conferred on the Executive under Minn. Const. IV, 23. The district court agreed with the Legislature, concluding that the line-item vetoes were unconstitutional under Minn. Const. art. III. The Supreme Court reversed in part and vacated and remanded in part, holding (1) the line-item vetoes did not violate article IV, section 23; (2) the line-item vetoes did not violate Article III by effectively abolishing the Legislature; and (3) this court declined to decide whether those vetoes nonetheless violated Article III as unconstitutionally coercive because the parties failed to resolve their dispute throughout the legislative process contemplated by the Constitution. View "Ninetieth Minnesota State Senate v. Dayton" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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The Supreme Court held that Defendant may withdraw his plea of guilty to “knowingly violat[ing]” a provision of the predatory offender registration statute, Minn. Stat. 243.166(5)(a), because Defendant alleged that he did not recall his responsibility under the law at the time of the offense. The court of appeals affirmed Defendant’s conviction, noting that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) ignorance of the law is a defense when the charged offense prohibits a knowing violation of a statutory provision; and (2) Defendant’s factual basis failed to satisfy the accuracy requirement for a valid plea because he made statements, never withdrawn or corrected, that negated the mens rea element of the charged offense. View "State v. Mikulak" on Justia Law

Posted in: Education Law

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The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in when it denied Appellant’s second petition for postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of release. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions on direct appeal. In his first petition for postconviction relief, Appellant raised claims of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. The Supreme Court affirmed the postconviction court’s summary denial of the first petition. After hiring a private investigator to look into his case, Appellant filed a second postconviction petition. The Supreme Court affirmed the postconviction court’s summary denial of the petition, holding that even if Appellant proved the facts alleged in the petition at an evidentiary hearing, the petition, files, and records of the proceedings conclusively showed that Appellant was not entitled to relief. View "Zornes v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the tax court’s denial of relief to Ronald and Dee Johnson, who filed this action challenging the property taxes that Hennepin County assessed against their property. The tax court granted the County’s motion to dismiss the petition for tax years 2007 through 2012 because those claims were not filed in compliance with Minn. Stat. 278.01-.02 and dismissed the Johnson’s constitutional claims for lack of jurisdiction. The tax court then granted judgment in favor of the County on the Johnsons’ remaining claims challenging the assessment for the 2013 tax year. Thereafter, the tax court denied the Johnsons’ five post-trial motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence in the record adequately supported each of the tax court’s decisions at issue. View "Johnson v. County of Hennepin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Saint Paul City Council upholding an abatement order issued by the City of Saint Paul requiring Appellant to comply with Minn. Stat. 168.10(1)(e), which requires collector vehicles to be “screened from ordinary public view.” Although Appellant covered his collector vehicles with tarps and constructed a portable fence across the front of the area where he parked the vehicles, the vehicles were still partially visible from public areas. The City Council concluded that the tarps and fence did not satisfy the screened-from-ordinary-public-view requirement. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant violated the collector-vehicle-storage statute by failing to screen his collector vehicles and their outdoor storage areas from ordinary public view; and (2) the City Council’s decision to uphold the abatement order was not unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious. View "Appeal of Krenik to a Vehicle Abatement Order" on Justia Law

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The chemical 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE) is not a hazardous substance under Minn. Stat. 169A.03(9) because it is not listed as a hazardous substance in Minn. R. ch. 5206. Appellant was arrested three times on suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI). An analysis of her blood showed the presence of DFE. Appellant was convicted of three counts of third-degree DWI for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a hazardous substance. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that DFE is not a hazardous substance under the definition provided in section 169A.03(9). View "State v. Carson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA), Minn. Stat. 177.21-.35, provides a private cause of action for an employee who is discharged for refusing to share gratuities. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the dismissal of Employee’s complaint alleging a violation of the MFLSA for Employer’s decision to terminate him for not “properly sharing his tips.” In dismissing the complaint, the district court concluded that the MFLSA does not recognize a wrongful-discharge cause of action. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the MFLSA, by express wording, provides a cause of action for an employee who is terminated for refusing to share tips. View "Burt v. Rackner, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision to uphold Defendant’s conviction for second-degree intentional murder but reversed the court’s reversal of Defendant’s sentence of 480 months in prison. The court of appeals concluded that the district court abused its discretion when it imposed the sentence, which reflected an upward durational departure from the presumptive range for 312 to 439 months, and remanded for resentencing. The Supreme Court held (1) the court of appeals properly affirmed Defendant’s conviction; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that there was a sufficient basis to enhance Defendant’s sentence from the presumptive guidelines range. View "State v. Parker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this action alleging that Defendant, as a landowner, violated his duty of care to his invitee, a four-year-old boy. The boy wandered off during a family party on Defendant’s property and suffered severe brain damage from a near-drowning in the Mississippi River. The district court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the harm to the boy was not foreseeable to Defendant. The court of appeals affirmed on the ground that Defendant was not liable because the danger was “obvious” to the boy. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) there were disputed facts regarding whether the danger of swimming in the river should have been obvious to the boy; and (2) the issue of foreseeability was one to be decided by a jury. View "Senogles v. Carlson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury