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Krile v. Lawyer 2020 ND 176
Docket No.: 20190367
Filing Date: 7/30/2020
Case Type: TORTS (NEGLIGENCE, LIAB., NUIS.)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: In deciding a motion to dismiss under N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), district courts may consider materials embraced by the pleadings and materials that are part of the public record without converting the motion to a summary judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 56.

Communications made by a state’s attorney while performing an official duty as prescribed in N.D.C.C. § 11-16-01 are entitled to absolute privilege under N.D.C.C. § 14-02-05(1).

A communication made by a state’s attorney while performing his or her official duty to conduct criminal prosecutions under N.D.C.C. § 11-16-01(1) is absolutely privileged if made while performing an act or during an activity “intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process.”

Disclosures made to an administrative agency, at the request of the agency, and during the course of a statutorily authorized investigation by the agency are absolutely privileged under N.D.C.C. § 14-02-05(2).

Sorum, et al. v. State, et al. 2020 ND 175
Docket No.: 20190203
Filing Date: 7/30/2020
Case Type: TAX RELATED
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Where the State has a legal obligation that becomes unenforceable by the passage of a statute of limitations, the Legislative Assembly may waive or extend the limitation period to revive a previously valid claim against the State without making a prohibited “donation” within the meaning of the gift clause.

An action brought by an individual as a taxpayer facially challenging a statute does not fail merely because the statute includes constitutional applications along with potentially unconstitutional applications.

Wald v. Wald 2020 ND 174
Docket No.: 20190159
Filing Date: 7/30/2020
Case Type: DIVORCE/PROPERTY DIV./ALIMONY
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A real property owner may testify about the value of the land without any further qualification or special knowledge.

A district court has broad equitable powers to redistribute property and debts in a postjudgment proceeding if a party fails to comply with an order or judgment.

State v. Greenshields 2020 ND 173
Docket No.: 20190393
Filing Date: 7/27/2020
Case Type: SEXUAL OFFENSE
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: A district court’s dismissal of a criminal complaint with prejudice is reviewed on appeal for an abuse of discretion.

A party may not collaterally attack a final decision that was not appealed in a subsequent proceeding.

Hess Bakken Investments II, et al. v. AgriBank, et al. 2020 ND 172
Docket No.: 20190352
Filing Date: 7/23/2020
Case Type: OIL, GAS AND MINERALS
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: The term “actual drilling operations,” as used in continuous drilling clauses in two oil and gas leases, is ambiguous as a matter of law.

Fredericks, et al. v. Vogel Law Firm, et al. 2020 ND 171
Docket No.: 20190272
Filing Date: 7/22/2020
Case Type: CONTRACTS
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: Res judicata prevents relitigation of claims that were raised, or could have been raised, in earlier actions between the same parties or their privies.

A party with a single cause of action generally may not split that cause of action and maintain several lawsuits for different parts of the action.

City of Fargo v. Wieland 2020 ND 170
Docket No.: 20200100
Filing Date: 7/22/2020
Case Type: REAL PROPERTY
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: A district court’s order denying a request for post-judgment interest is affirmed.

Neither N.D.C.C. §§ 32-15-29 nor 32-15-30 provide for post-judgment interest on an award in an eminent domain proceedings subsequent to the political subdivision’s deposit of the full amount of the judgment in court.

Interest of K.V. 2020 ND 169
Docket No.: 20190275
Filing Date: 7/22/2020
Case Type: JUVENILE LAW (Criminal)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: This Court defers to a juvenile court’s assessment of credibility, but if the court does not make specific findings, this Court is left to speculate as to the law and facts the court relied on in denying a motion.

Beam v. WSI, et. al. 2020 ND 168
Docket No.: 20200067
Filing Date: 7/22/2020
Case Type: WORKERS COMPENSATION
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A party appealing a hearing officer’s decision must file “reasonably specific” specifications of error detailing which matters are at issue, so as to alert the agency, other parties, and the court of the particular errors claimed.

A rehabilitation plan is appropriate if it meets the requirements of N.D.C.C. ch. 65-05.1 and gives the injured worker a reasonable opportunity to obtain substantial gainful employment.

An ALJ’s decision was supported by evidence from which a reasoning mind could have reasonably concluded WSI’s rehabilitation plan would return Beam to substantial gainful employment in light of his injuries.

Schroeder, et al. v. State 2020 ND 167
Docket No.: 20190374
Filing Date: 7/22/2020
Case Type: TORTS (NEGLIGENCE, LIAB., NUIS.)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The State is immune from liability for claims relating to an injury directly or indirectly caused by the performance of a public duty, including the State’s duty to maintain the interstate and keep it in good and safe condition for general public use.

The State is immune from liability for claims resulting from a snow or ice condition on a highway except when the snow or ice condition was affirmatively caused by a state employee’s negligent act.

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