Nelson, et al. v. Nelson, et al.

Docket No. 20180421
Oral Argument: Monday, June 24, 2019 1:30 PM

Docket Info

Title
Steven Nelson, individually, and in the right
of and for the benefit of J & S Nelson Farms, LLP, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
James Nelson, Brian Nelson, David Nelson, and
J & S Nelson Farms, LLP, Defendants and Appellees
Case Type
CIVIL APPEAL : OTHER (Civil)
Appeal From
Case No. 2015-CV-01513
Northeast Central Judicial District, Grand Forks County
John A. Thelen

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    I. The District Court committed error by striking important claims from Steven’s Complaint as a discovery sanction -- where the plaintiff had disclosed and identified to the defendants literally all of the more than 2,000 transactions in which defendant James had improperly diverted (and converted) partnership funds for his personal use – and where the defendants made no showing in the record of what more the plaintiff could possibly have done to explain these transactions – transactions which defendant James had conducted in the first place.
    II. The District Court committed error by assessing Steven Nelson the offset sum of $63,113.37 subtracted from the “total sum due Steven” of $173, 397.00 pursuant to the Court’s “inherent power to sanction” without having any legal or factual authority to do so.
    III. The District Court committed error in calculating the value of Steven’s interest and specifically by refusing to accept the gift tax valuation on calculation of the Fair Market Value of the partnership as a going concern.
    IV. The District Court committed error by denying Steven Nelson’s post-trial motions under Rule 52, Rule 59 and Rule 60 of the North Dakota Pules of Civil Procedure.

  • Appellee 1

    1. Did the district court err by striking portions of the appellant’s claims as sanctions for failing to comply with discovery?
    2. Did the district court err by awarding attorney’s fees as sanctions to the appellees and against the appellant and was it appropriate for that amount to be offset from the total award granted to the appellant?
    3. Did the district court err in making its findings of fact as to the valuation of the partnership as determined at trial?
    4. Did the district court err in denying the appellant’s post-trial motions under Rule 52, Rule 59, and Rule 60 of the North Dakota Rules of Civil procedure?


Summary

Steven Nelson, individually and for the benefit of J&S Nelson Farms, LLP, appeals from a judgment and order denying post-judgment motions.
Steven Nelson sued James Nelson, Brian Nelson, David Nelson, and J&S Nelson Farms, LLP, seeking declaratory judgment and damages for numerous claims related to operation of a farming partnership. Steven Nelson alleged he was a partner of J&S Nelson Farms, the defendants were also partners in the partnership, he was wrongfully disassociated from the partnership through the defendants’ wrongful actions, and the defendants were responsible for the improper diversion of approximately $2,000,000 in partnership funds for their personal use. The defendants moved to officially dissociate Steven Nelson from the partnership. The district court granted the motion and ordered Steven Nelson shall no longer be a partner of J&S Nelson Farms. The defendants moved for partial summary judgment, and the court granted the motion and ordered the trial would be limited to certain issues, including valuation of the partnership. A bench trial was held. The court determined the value of the partnership and Steven Nelson’s interest in the partnership, found the partnership previously paid Steven Nelson a portion of the value of his interest and found the balance owed was $173,397, but ordered that amount would be reduced by the costs Steven Nelson caused in other litigation and by a sanction for vexatious litigation. Judgment was entered in favor of Steven Nelson against J&S Nelson Farms for the remaining value of his share of the partnership in the amount of $128,919.49. Steven Nelson moved for a new trial and relief from the judgment. The court denied his motions.
On appeal, Steven Nelson argues the district court erred by striking some of his claims as a discovery sanction, the court erred by awarding sanctions for frivolous claims and motions, the court erred in calculating the value of the partnership, and the court erred by denying his post-judgment motions.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
04/17/2019 APPELLANT BRIEF View
05/17/2019 APPELLEE BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLEE PRIVATE PRACTICE Patrick John Sinner - 08345
APPELLANT PRIVATE PRACTICE David C Thompson - 03921
APPELLANT PRIVATE PRACTICE DeWayne Alan Johnston - 05763
APPELLEE PRIVATE PRACTICE Kip M Kaler - 03757

(Note: Attachments may not be available for recently filed cases and/or confidential documents.)

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 11/26/2018 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 11/26/2018
2 11/26/2018 ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT : 12/07/2018
3 12/06/2018 Rec'd $125 filing fee
4 12/07/2018 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
5 12/07/2018 Notice served on DeWayne A. Johnston, Kp M. Kaler and Patrick J. Sinner
6 12/13/2018 ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT BY MICHELLE BREDEMEIER
7 12/27/2018 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED DECEMBER 26. 2018 (ENTRY NOS. 1 - 630)
8 01/14/2019 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT DATED DECEMBER 28, 2015 & C.O.S.
9 02/05/2019 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT DATED NOVEMBER 23, 2015 & C.O.S.
10 02/05/2019 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT DATED OCTOBER 18, 2017 & C.O.S.
11 02/05/2019 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS DATED APRIL 28, 2016, JUNE 23, 2016, OCTOBER 27, 2016,
12 02/05/2019 NOVEMBER 7, 2016, MARCH 8, 2017, JULY 14, 2017, JULY 31, 2017, AUGUST 21, 2017,
13 02/05/2019 SEPTEMBER 18, 2017, OCTOBER 11, 2017, NOVEMBER 6, 2017, NOVEMBER 7, 2017, NOVEMBER 8,
14 02/05/2019 2017, NOVEMBER 9, 2017, AUGUST 13, 2018, & C.O.S.
15 03/06/2019 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
16 03/06/2019 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 04/01/2019
17 03/28/2019 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
18 04/05/2019 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 04/05/2019
19 04/05/2019 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
20 04/05/2019 ACTION BY CHIEF DEPUTY CLERK - Granted : 04/17/2019
21 04/16/2019 MOTION FOR Deferred Filing of the Appellant's Appendix
22 04/17/2019 ACTION BY CLERK (AX due 14 days after service of AEB) - Granted
23 04/17/2019 MOTION FOR extension of word limits for Appellant's brief
24 04/17/2019 ACTION BY CHIEF JUSTICE (1,600 additional words) - Granted
25 04/17/2019 APPELLANT BRIEF View
26 04/22/2019 Rec'd 6 copies of ATB back from Central Duplicating
27 04/22/2019 Rec'd $25 filing fee for ATB (receipt #27022)
28 05/17/2019 APPELLEE BRIEF View
29 05/22/2019 Rec'd 6 copies of AEB from Central Duplicating
30 05/22/2019 Rec'd proof of service from AEB on all parties
31 05/22/2019 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
32 05/23/2019 Rec'd $25 surcharge for AEB (receipt #27083)
33 06/03/2019 MOT. EXT/TIME REPLY BRIEF and Appendix
34 06/03/2019 Response Filed to MOT. EXT/TIME REPLY BRIEF and Appendix
35 06/04/2019 ACTION BY CHIEF JUSTICE - Granted : 06/14/2019