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Gregory v. State 2022 ND 54
Docket No.: 20210307
Filing Date: 3/17/2022
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: A district court order summarily dismissing a petition for post-conviction relief is reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

A district court may not order summary disposition in response to a request in a pleading, including the State’s answer to an application for post-conviction relief.

Hagen v. North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund 2022 ND 53
Docket No.: 20210111
Filing Date: 3/17/2022
Case Type: WRIT OF MANDAMUS (Civil)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Courts have broad discretion when deciding whether to grant leave to amend a complaint. Amendments correcting technical deficiencies relate back to the date of the original pleading.

Agencies of political subdivisions are public entities subject to the open records law. “Agencies” refers to a relationship created by law or contract whereby one party delegates the transaction of some lawful business to another.

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, all records of a public entity are public records. The plain meaning of “provided by law” does not operate to create additional open records exemptions arising from court rules defining privileges and discovery limitations. Rule 502, N.D.R.Ev., is an evidentiary rule applicable to court proceedings, and does not create a specific exception to the open records law. Under N.D.R.Ev. 502(d)(7), there generally is no attorney-client privilege as to a communication between a public officer or agency and its lawyers.

A public entity’s attorney work product must be made available for public disclosure following completion of litigation, unless disclosure would have an adverse fiscal effect on the conduct or settlement of other pending or reasonably predictable civil or criminal litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings, or the attorney work product reflects mental impressions, opinions, conclusions, or legal theories regarding potential liability of a public entity. If the potential for liability is entirely in the past, the record is no longer exempt. Only if the records relate to circumstances for which there remains a genuine potential for liability may the records remain exempt.

Under N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.2(1), awarding costs and attorney’s fees is discretionary and a court’s decision will not be reversed absent an abuse of discretion.

Schmitz v. State Board of Chiropractic Examiners 2022 ND 52
Docket No.: 20210273
Filing Date: 3/17/2022
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: When this Court remands for the district court to review an executive session of a board in-camera, the directive for an in-camera review becomes the law of the case when challenged on appeal.

Section 44-04-19.1(5), N.D.C.C., defining an attorney consultation exemption for open meetings, is unambiguous and provides two separate avenues for a governing body to close an open meeting.

Portions of a meeting recording that do not fit within the definition of “attorney consultation” must be made public.

While attorney’s fees are not mandated when a party brings forth a civil action rather than an administrative action alleging an open records violation, the type of action brought and how much information the party receives are not rational considerations in deciding whether to award attorney’s fees.

Sproule, et al. v. Johnson, et al. 2022 ND 51
Docket No.: 20210235
Filing Date: 3/17/2022
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: When supervising a partnership’s dissolution, a district court has discretion to decide what is fair and equitable under the circumstances.

Valuation is a question of fact. This Court presumes a district court’s valuations are correct, and a valuation within the range of evidence presented at trial is not clearly erroneous.

Rogers v. State 2022 ND 50
Docket No.: 20210260
Filing Date: 3/17/2022
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court order denying a petition for postconviction relief is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2).

State v. Fleck 2022 ND 49
Docket No.: 20210160
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Case Type: THEFT
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: Prosecution of a crime is authorized in any county where part of the offense occurred.

In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to convict, this Court on appeal looks only to the evidence most favorable to the verdict and the reasonable inferences therefrom to see if there is substantial evidence to warrant a conviction.

A conviction may be justified on circumstantial evidence alone if the circumstantial evidence has such probative force as to enable the trier of fact to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Interest of R.S. 2022 ND 48
Docket No.: 20220039
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Case Type: MENTAL HEALTH
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court’s continuing treatment order is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2).

State v. Lusby 2022 ND 47
Docket No.: 20210266
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Case Type: MISC. STATUTORY OFFENSE (FELONY)
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A criminal judgment entered after a jury found the defendant guilty of criminal trespass is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(3) and (7).

State v. McGinnis 2022 ND 46
Docket No.: 20210216
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Case Type: THEFT
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The pre-amendment version of N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-07(6) unambiguously restrains a district court’s authority in probation revocation cases to imposition of the sentence initially imposed, but suspended.

When we reinterpreted N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-07(6) in Dubois v. State, 2021 ND 153, 963 N.W.2d 543, to correct our prior misinterpretation of the statute, we were declaring what the statute has meant at all times before it was amended effective August 1, 2021.

When a defendant is resentenced after revocation of probation, the court imposes an illegal sentence if it resentences the defendant in excess of the suspended sentence imposed in the judgment of conviction.

Harty Insurance v. Holmes, et al. 2022 ND 45
Docket No.: 20210205
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Case Type: TORTS (NEGLIGENCE, LIAB., NUIS.)
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court’s summary judgment is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(1) and (6), and double costs and attorney’s fees are awarded under N.D.R.App.P. 38.

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