Stenehjem, ex rel. v. National Audubon Society, Inc.

20130279 Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General, ex rel.,
State of North Dakota, Plaintiff, Appellant
and Cross-Appellee
v.
National Audubon Society, Inc., Defendant, Appellee
and Cross-Appellant

Appeal from: District Court, Southeast Judicial District, Stutsman County
Judge John E. Greenwood
Nature of Action: Real Property
Counsel:
Appellant: Matthew Arnold Sagsveen , Att. General Office
Appellee: Sarah Andrews Herman
Appellee: Ross Allen Nilson
Term: 01/2014   Argument: 01/03/2014
ND cite: 2014 ND 71
NW cite: 844 N.W.2d 892

Listen to recording of oral argument in MP3 format

Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
1. The district court erred by allowing the Audubon Society to invoke the equitable doctrine of laches when the State enforces the corporate farming laws in its sovereign capacity.
2. Laches is not available to the Audubon Society to defend its ownership of land which was acquired contrary to N.D.C.C. ch. 10-06.1.
3. The district court erred when it failed to cancel the conflicting statutory presumptions applicable to the Stutsman County Recorder and Attorney General.
4. The State rebutted the presumption that the Stutsman County Recorder regularly performed her official duty to notify the Attorney General of the Audubon Society's purchase.
5. The district court erred when it determined the Audubon Society rebutted the presumption the Attorney General performed his official duty regularly.
6. The Audubon Society would not be prejudiced if it was ordered to divest itself of the tract of land in question.

Appellee's Statement of the Issues:
1. Whether the District Court properly determined that N.D.C.C.  10-06.1-02 did not violate the Commerce Clause.
2. Whether the District Court properly determined that N.D.C.C.  10-06.1-02 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
3. Whether the District Court properly allowed National Audubon Society, Inc. to invoke the equitable doctrine of laches.
4. Whether National Audubon Society, Inc. can assert the defense of laches even if it acquired land in violation of N.D.C.C. ch. 10-06.1.
5. Whether the District Court's conclusion that the statutory presumptions applicable to the Stutsman County Recorder and Attorney General did not conflict was clearly erroneous.
6. Whether the District Court's determination that the State failed to rebut the presumption that the Stutsman County Recorder performed its official duty was clearly erroneous.
7. Whether the District Court's decision finding that National Audubon Society, Inc. had rebutted the presumption that the Attorney General performed its regular duty was clearly erroneous.
8. Whether the District Court's conclusion that National Audubon Society, Inc. would be prejudiced by divesture was clearly erroneous.

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Docket entries:
109/11/2013 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 09/10/2013
209/25/2013 NOTICE OF CROSS APPEAL FILED IN TRIAL COURT 9/24/2013
310/04/2013 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED October 3, 2013 (ENTRY NOS.1-112)
410/07/2013 AMENDED ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED October 7, 2013 (ENTRY NOS.1-87 to 89-113) Not sent #88
510/18/2013 APPELLANT BRIEF
610/18/2013 APPELLANT APPENDIX-Volume I & II
710/18/2013 DISK (ATB)(e-mailed)
811/19/2013 DISK (AEB)(e-mailed)
911/20/2013 APPELLEE BRIEF
1012/02/2013 Appellant's Motion for Enalrgment of Word Limit (for reply brief)
1112/03/2013 ACTION BY CHIEF JUSTICE (granted in part -- addt'l 2,000 words). Granted
1212/05/2013 REPLY BRIEF
1312/05/2013 DISK (RYB) (e-filed)
1412/17/2013 ANNOUNCED DISQUALIFICATION: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair
1512/17/2013 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
1612/18/2013 SITTING WITH THE COURT: Schmalenberger, Allan L.
1712/20/2013 REPLY BRIEF
1812/20/2013 DISK (RYB) (e-mailed) (Appellee)
1912/26/2013 Request for Radio/TV Coverage (Great Plains Examiner & Prairie Public Radio)
2001/03/2014 APPEARANCES: Matthew A. Sagsveen; Sarah A. Herman
2101/03/2014 ARGUED: Matthew A. Sagsveen; Sarah A. Herman
2201/04/2014 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST
2304/08/2014 DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED
2404/08/2014 SPLIT OPINION: VandeWalle, Gerald W.
2504/08/2014 DISSENTING: Sandstrom, Dale V.: DISSENT
2604/08/2014 Costs on appeal taxed in favor of Appellee
2704/08/2014 Corrected/Substitute Opinion Page (Para 48, Line 5 to include ", as opposed to presumed")
2804/09/2014 Judgment Sent to Parties
2904/21/2014 PETITION FOR REHEARING
3004/21/2014 DISK (RYB) (emailed)
3105/05/2014 Rec'd signed Order from Sitting Judge
3205/05/2014 ACTION BY SUPREME COURT. Denied
3305/16/2014 MANDATE

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