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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

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Plaintiff may file a petition for an order declaring her eligible for compensation under Minnesota’s Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act, Minn. Stat. 590.11, 611.362-.368. Several years after the Supreme Court reversed Plaintiff’s conviction for second-degree manslaughter Plaintiff filed a petition seeking remuneration as an “exonerated” individual under section 590.11. The district court denied the petition, concluding (1) Petitioner was not “exonerated” under the statute because the prosecutor never dismissed the second-degree-manslaughter charge, and (2) the prosecutorial-dismissal requirement does not violate equal protection. The court of appeals, however, ruled that the prosecutorial-dismissal requirement violates equal protection and severed the requirement from the remainder of the provision rather than invalidating the entirety of section 590.11(1)(1)(i). The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Plaintiff was not “exonerated” under the statute when the Supreme Court reversed her conviction; (2) a statute cannot constitutionally require a prosecutor to dismiss charges that have already been reversed by an appellate court; and (3) the remedy for the as-applied equal-protection violation is to sever section 590.11(1)(1)(i) from the remainder of the statute. View "Back v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) in this workers’ compensation case, holding that the compensation judge applied the wrong legal standard in granting Employer’s petition to discontinue Employee’s rehabilitation services. Relying on the definition of “qualified employee” in an administrative rule, the compensation judge concluded that because Employee had obtained “suitable gainful employment” she was no longer eligible for rehabilitation benefits. The WCCA reversed, ruling that an employer must show “good cause” before terminating rehabilitation benefits. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that when an individual receiving rehabilitation benefits no longer meets the definition of a “qualified employee,” a compensation judge may not terminate benefits without first applying the good-cause standard. View "Halvorson v. B&F Fastener Supply" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether State v. Her, 862 N.W.2d 692 (Minn. 2015), applies retroactively to sentences that were imposed and became final before Her was decided. In Her, the Supreme Court ruled that the fact that a defendant was a risk-level-III offender at the time of the offense of failing to register as a predatory offender must be admitted by the defendant or found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt before a court may impose a ten-year period of conditional release as part of the defendant’s sentence. The district court in this case granted Respondent’s motion to correct his sentence, concluding that Respondent’s ten-year conditional-release term was illegal because Her applied to the sentence. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Her announced a new rule of constitutional criminal procedure that does not apply to the collateral review of Respondent’s sentence. View "State v. Meger" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The part of Minnesota’s disorderly-conduct statute that prohibits “disturb[ing]” assemblies or meetings, Minn. Stat. 609.72(1)(2), violates the First Amendment. Defendant was convicted of disorderly conduct under section 609.72(1)(2) after a jury trial. On appeal, Defendant argued that the statute violates the First Amendment because it is unconstitutionally overbroad, unconstitutionally vague, and unconstitutional as applied. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the constitute was constitutional and was not subject to standard overbreadth analysis. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the statute suffers from substantial overbreadth and that there is no reasonable narrowing construction of the statute. View "State v. Hensel" on Justia Law