Opinions

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State v. Norton 2019 ND 174
Docket No.: 20180378
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: SEXUAL OFFENSE
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Individuals convicted of specified offenses against children have a statutory duty to register as offenders against children regardless of a prior court order or instructions by a court to register.

State v. Overholt 2019 ND 173
Docket No.: 20190033
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: MISC. STATUTORY OFF. (MISDEMEANOR)
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: For purpose of appeal, an order deferring imposition of sentence is equivalent to a judgment under N.D.R.Crim.P. 32(b).
Under N.D.R.Crim.P. 32.1, a case is automatically dismissed sixty-one days after a defendant’s probation has ended, unless the court has ordered otherwise before that date.
A district court errs in modifying an order deferring imposition of sentence on the basis of an case automatically dismissed under N.D.R.Crim.P. 32.1 without further evidence.

French v. N.D. Dep't of Transportation 2019 ND 172
Docket No.: 20180410
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: The Department’s driving record, including its notations, for a driver is a regularly kept record and is prima facie evidence of its contents.

A hearing officer is not precluded from drawing inferences from the evidence presented based on common sense and experiences.

A district court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to a prevailing claimant when an administrative agency has acted without substantial justification.

W.C. v. J.H., et al. 2019 ND 171
Docket No.: 20180387
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: PATERNITY
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Parties may obtain discovery regarding nonprivileged matters that are relevant to a party’s claim.
The district court abuses its discretion when it acts in an arbitrary, unreasonable, or unconscionable manner, or when its decision is not the product of a rational mental process leading to a reasoned determination.

Markegard v. Willoughby 2019 ND 170
Docket No.: 20180445
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: DIVORCE/PROPERTY DIV./ALIMONY
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A party moving to terminate spousal support under N.D.C.C. § 14-05-24.1(3) has the initial burden to prove habitual cohabitation for a period of one year or more, and the party opposing the motion has the burden to prove any exceptions apply.

A spousal support provision of a marital termination agreement entered into after N.D.C.C. § 14-05-24.1(3) became effective that does not include language stating spousal support will continue even if the receiving spouse cohabits does not preclude termination of spousal support under the statute.

The district court has discretion in deciding when a spousal support obligation will terminate if the court finds the spouse receiving support is habitually cohabiting.

Matter of R.A.S. 2019 ND 169
Docket No.: 20190016
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: CIVIL COMMIT OF SEXUAL PREDATOR
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: The district court must state the specific factual findings used as a base for determining an individual has serious difficulty controlling personal behavior, and errs as a matter of law if the findings are insufficient or does not support the legal conclusion.

Taszarek, et al. v. Lakeview Excavating, Inc., et al. 2019 ND 168
Docket No.: 20180303
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A district court’s decision on whether to pierce a corporation’s corporate veil is heavily fact-specific.
Under N.D.R.Civ.P. 52(a)(1), in an action tried on the facts without a jury, a district court must find the facts specially to allow the reviewing court to adequately understand the basis of the district court’s decision.
Conclusory, general findings do not comply with N.D.R.Civ.P. 52(a), and a finding of fact that simply states a party has failed in or has sustained its burden of proof is inadequate under the rule.

Interest of T.A.G. 2019 ND 167
Docket No.: 20180374
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: CIVIL COMMIT OF SEXUAL PREDATOR
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: The case is remanded for additional findings of fact on whether a person was likely to reoffend and had serious difficulty controlling behavior, as required to deny sex offender discharge from civil commitment as a sexually dangerous individual.

Morris v. State 2019 ND 166
Docket No.: 20180369
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: Accomplice to commit extreme indifference murder is a cognizable offense.

District court’s finding that petitioner’s post-conviction claim failed to establish trial counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness was not clearly erroneous.

District court did not abuse its discretion in denying post-conviction petitioner’s request to withdraw his guilty plea where petitioner failed to show a manifest injustice existed necessitating the withdrawal of his guilty plea.

Johnston Land Company, LLC v. Sorenson, et al. 2019 ND 165
Docket No.: 20180443
Filing Date: 6/27/2019
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A party opposing a motion for summary judgment cannot simply rely on the pleadings or on unsupported allegations, but must present competent admissible evidence that raises a genuine issue of material fact in support of their claim.

The mandate rule requires the trial court to follow pronouncements of an appellate court on legal issues in subsequent proceedings of the case and to carry the appellate court’s mandate into effect according to its terms.

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