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New opinions: Sept. 15 Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Supreme Court has issued 10 new opinions. The summaries are below.

To see an opinion, click on the "View Opinion" button. Opinions display in a printable format. Hyperlinks to all North Dakota opinions and rules cited in an opinion are included in the text: hover over the citation and click to follow the hyperlink.

See other Supreme Court opinions at: 

State v. Edwards 2020 ND 200
Docket No.: 20200044
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Failure to assert a claim of obvious error on appeal does not warrant review under the obvious error standard.

Velasquez v. State 2020 ND 199
Docket No.: 20200043
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: The order denying post-conviction relief is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2) and (7).

State v. Tolbert 2020 ND 198
Docket No.: 20200029
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: The criminal judgment entered after a jury verdict is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(4) and (7).

Woelfel v. Gifford 2020 ND 197
Docket No.: 20190331
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Post-judgment modification of residential responsibility is governed by statute which provides the standard for a court to apply.

When a prior judgement establishes joint or equal residential responsibility, modification first requires a determination to award primary residential responsibility.

A residential responsibility order provision that automatically transfers primary residential responsibility on the happening of a condition is against public policy.

Cass County Joint Water Resource District v. Aaland, et al. 2020 ND 196
Docket No.: 20200171
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Under Rule 8, N.D.R.App.P., the Court has the authority to grant a stay pending appeal.

The Court considers four criteria when deciding whether to grant an application for a stay: 1) a strong showing that the appellant is likely to succeed on appeal; 2) that unless the stay is granted, the appellant will suffer irreparable injury; 3) that no substantial harm will come to any party by reason of the issuance of the stay; and 4) that granting the stay will do no harm to the public interest.

Interest of J.F. 2020 ND 195
Docket No.: 20200088
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: An appeal from a juvenile court order finding two children to be deprived is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2).

Sadek, et al. v. Weber, et al. 2020 ND 194
Docket No.: 20190216
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: For the tort of deceit, one who willfully deceives another with intent to induce that person to alter that person’s position to that person’s injury or risk is liable for any damage which that person thereby suffers.

While there must be a false representation of a material fact that either exists in the present or has existed in the past, a mere expression of an opinion in the nature of a prophecy as to the happening or non-happening of a future event is not actionable as deceit.

Negligence consists of a duty on the part of an allegedly negligent person to protect the plaintiff from injury, a failure to discharge the duty, and a resulting injury proximately caused by the breach of the duty.

A proximate cause is a cause which, as a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any controlling intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which it would not have occurred.

Jorgenson v. NDDOT 2020 ND 193
Docket No.: 20190411
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: To preserve an issue for appeal, an argument must be raised before the administrative hearing officer and identified in the specifications of error on appeal to the district court.

Environmental Law & Policy Center, et al. v. N.D. Public Svc. Commission, et al. 2020 ND 192
Docket No.: 20190220
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The Administrative Agencies Practice Act governs an appeal from a decision of the Public Service Commission.

The Public Service Commission’s authority to regulate is limited to that authority provided to it by the legislature.

For an administrative agency, the term “jurisdiction” has three components: (1) personal jurisdiction, referring to the agency’s authority over the parties and intervenors involved in the proceedings; (2) subject matter jurisdiction, referring to the agency’s power to hear and determine the causes of a general class of cases to which a particular case belongs; and (3) the agency’s scope of authority under statute.

The Commission’s regulatory authority is limited to projects that meet the definition of “gas or liquid energy conversion facility” found in N.D.C.C. § 49-22.1-01(6). A refinery not designed for or capable of refining 50,000 bpd is not a “gas or liquid energy conversion facility” as that term is defined. A project proponent may avoid the time and expense of the Commission’s regulatory review that comes with a larger project by deciding to reduce the scale of a project to a size just below the regulatory threshold.

State v. Silk 2020 ND 191
Docket No.: 20200035
Filing Date: 9/15/2020
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Order revoking defendant’s probation and amended criminal judgment is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(4) and (7).