EN BANC CALENDAR

Before the Minnesota Supreme Court

April 2004

 

SUMMARY OF ISSUES

Summaries prepared by the Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office

 

Monday, April 5, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol

 

James Donald Juelich, Respondent vs. Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation a/k/a Yamazaki Mazak Minokamo Corporation, Appellant, Mazak Nissho Iwai Corporation, Appellant, Gladwin Machinery & Supply Co., Defendant, Meikikou Corporation, Respondent, and Meikikou Corporation, Third Party Plaintiff vs. Aries Precision Sheet Metal Company, Third Party Defendant – Case Nos. A03-174, A03-228:  Respondent James Juelich was injured at work while performing maintenance work on a scissor lift table manufactured by respondent Meikikou Corporation in Japan that was part of a laser cutting machine system manufactured by appellant Yamazaki Mazak Optonics (YMO).  Respondent sued YMO and Meikikou.  The district court granted Meikikou summary judgment on the ground that Meikikou did not have sufficient minimum contacts within Minnesota to support a finding of personal jurisdiction.  The court of appeals affirmed.  The issue on appeal is whether a foreign manufacturer of a component part of equipment sold in Minnesota has sufficient minimum contacts with the state to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the manufacturer.  (On appeal from Ramsey County District Court.)

 

            Illinois Farmers Insurance Company, et al., Respondents vs. Glass Service Company, Inc., et al, Appellants – Case No. A03-109:  Respondent Illinois Farmers Insurance Company commenced a declaratory judgment action in district court seeking a declaration regarding the parties’ obligation to arbitrate 5,700 disputed claims regarding payment for automobile window glass replacement.  The district court granted respondent Illinois Farmers Insurance Company’s motion for summary judgment and ruled that the claims were subject to arbitration and that each claim for reimbursement must be arbitrated separately.  The court of appeals affirmed.  The issues on appeal are: (1) whether the parties are required to arbitrate their dispute under the No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act or the terms of the insurance policies issued by Illinois Farmers; and (2) if so, whether the parties are required to arbitrate each claim separately.  (On appeal from Ramsey County District Court.)

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 9:30 a.m., Harding High School, St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Thomas Paul Clark, Appellant vs. Dwight R.J. Lindquist, Respondent – Case No. A03-1951:  The United States District Court held that appellant Thomas Clark’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA), which was funded by a rollover contribution from a 401(k) plan with Clark’s former employer, was not exempt from attachment by a creditor under Minn. Stat. § 550.37, subd. 24 (2002) because Clark had unlimited access to the funds.  The Minnesota Supreme Court granted Clark’s petition for review of the following question certified by the federal district court:  Does Minn. Stat. § 550.27, subd. 24 exempt funds in an Individual Retirement Account and/or an Individual Retirement Annuity, each as defined in Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code?  (Review of a certified question from United States District Court, District of Minnesota.)

 

Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol

 

            State of Minnesota, Appellant vs. Alan George Olhausen, Jr., Respondent – Case No. C1-02-1361:  Respondent Alan Olhausen, Jr., was convicted of, inter alia, possession of 25 or more grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine after Olhausen attempted to sell one pound of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer.  Olhausen successfully challenged his conviction on appeal on the ground the state failed to produce scientific evidence on the weight and content of the mixture, which had been disposed of by Olhausen while he fled police.  The issue on appeal is whether Olhausen could be convicted of possession of 25 or more grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine in the absence of scientific evidence on the weight and content of the mixture.  (On appeal from Cottonwood County District Court.)

 

            State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Francisco Garcia, Appellant – Case No. A03-483:  Appellant Francisco Garcia received a stayed 58-month adult sentence and was placed on probation as part of an extended-juvenile jurisdiction adjudication for aggravated robbery.  Garcia violated probation and was ordered to complete a juvenile corrections program at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Red Wing (MCF-Red Wing).  On a subsequent probation violation, the district court revoked probation, executed the 58-month sentence, and denied Garcia’s request for jail credit for the time he spent in the juvenile corrections program at MCF-Red Wing.  The court of appeals affirmed the denial of credit for time spent at MCF-Red Wing.  The issues on appeal are:  (1) whether Garcia is entitled to credit for time spent at MCF-Red Wing because it is the equivalent of an adult correctional facility; and (2) whether denying Garcia credit for time spent at MCF-Red Wing violates the Equal Protection Clauses of the state and federal constitutions.   (On appeal from Clay County District Court.)

 

Thursday, April 8, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol

 

            Allan J. Dailey, as trustee for the heirs and next of kin of Kamyab Aghai Tabriz, Appellant vs. Sports World South, Inc., d/b/a Scuba Center, et al., Respondents – Case No. A03-127:  Appellant Allan J. Dailey commenced a wrongful death action on behalf of the heirs and next of kin of Kamyab Aghai Tabriz against respondent Sports World South after Tabriz drowned during a scuba diving class provided by Sports World South.  The complaint alleged negligent supervision and instruction.  The district court granted Sports World South summary judgment on the ground that the contract Tabriz signed released Sports World South “from all liability or responsibility whatsoever for personal injury or wrongful death however caused” and was enforceable.  A divided panel of the court of appeals affirmed.  The issues on appeal are: (1) whether a release that is not limited to negligent conduct and appears to apply to willful, wanton reckless, or intentional conduct is enforceable; (2) whether the release signed was ambiguous because it failed to inform a uniformed scuba diving student of all of the dangers associated with scuba diving; and (3) whether a disparity in bargaining power exists between a scuba diving school and its students such that the release is contrary to public policy and is unenforceable.  (On appeal from Hennepin County District Court.)

 

            Daniel Edward Angus, Appellant vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent – Case No. A03-1690:  On appeal from his conviction for first-degree murder for his role in a drive-by shooting of bicyclist, appellant Daniel Angus presents the following issues for review: (1) whether the district court erred in its application of the test for determining whether Angus’ use of a peremptory challenge to remove a minority person from the jury pool was racially motivated; and (2) whether the district court erred in admitting evidence that Angus had previously participated in the crimes of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, burglary, and terroristic threats.  (On appeal from Ramsey County District Court.)

 

Monday, April 12, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Courtroom 300, Minnesota Judicial Center

 

Wayne Hauschildt, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Respondents vs. Dennis Beckingham, et al., Appellants – Case No. A03‑218:  Respondents Wayne Hauschildt and others commenced a class action challenging distributions made from West Publishing Employees Preferred Stock Association (WPSA) against appellants, who are or were executives of West Publishing Company or officers or directors of WPSA.  The district court granted appellants’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that the class claims were barred by res judicata because similar claims had been raised in an unsuccessful class action filed directly against West Publishing Company and WPSA.  The court of appeals reversed.  The issue on appeal is whether respondents’ claims are barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel.  (On appeal from Dakota County District Court.)

 

State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Tyrone James White, Appellant – Case No. A03-502:  On appeal from his convictions for two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, appellant Tyrone White presents the following issues for review: (1) whether the district court erred in allowing the state to use one of its peremptory strikes to remove one of three minorities in the jury pool; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for first-degree murder based on accomplice liability where appellant did not intend to kill anyone; (3) whether it was reasonably foreseeable that White’s accomplice would shoot two people during the course of the robbery and therefore there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions based on accomplice liability; and (4) whether the district court erred in its instructions to the jury on the issue of White’s accomplice liability.  (On appeal from St. Louis County District Court.)

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 9:00 a.m., Courtroom 300, Minnesota Judicial Center

 

State of Minnesota, Appellant vs. Tyrone S. McCoy, Respondent – Case No. C4-02-1788:  At respondent Tyrone McCoy’s trial on charges of domestic assault and interference with an emergency call, the district court ruled that the victim’s statements to the police regarding the incident as well as a prior report of a domestic assault made by the victim would be admissible after the victim wrote letters to the court recanting her report to the police.  McCoy was found guilty on both charges and the court of appeals affirmed.  The issues on appeal are: (1) whether the district court abused its discretion in allowing the state to impeach the victim by questioning her about her earlier report of prior abuse by McCoy; and (2) whether Minn. Stat. § 634.20 (2002), which permits the admission of “similar conduct” by the accused against a victim of domestic abuse unless the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, is constitutional.  (On appeal from Ramsey County District Court.)


Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Appellant vs. Torrey Westrom and Dennis Westrom, et al., Respondents – Case Nos. C9-03-128 and C0‑03-129:  Respondents Torrey Westrom and Dennis Westrom commenced suit against appellant, the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), for damages arising out of DOLI’s release and publication of data collected as part of a civil investigation relating to the Westroms that the Westroms allege was not subject to disclosure under the Government Data Practices Act (GDPA).  The district court granted DOLI’s motion for summary judgment on the ground the data was “public” under the GDPA.  The court of appeals reversed.  The issue on appeal is whether orders to comply and written objections issued and collected by DOLI as part of an active civil investigation are “private data,” “confidential data,” or “protected nonpublic data” under the GDPA.  (On appeal from Ramsey County District Court.)