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Campbell v. State 2021 ND 45
Docket No.: 20200227
Filing Date: 3/24/2021
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: The issue of ineffective assistance of counsel presents a mixed question of law and fact and is fully reviewable on appeal.

Ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims are ordinarily unsuited to summary disposition without an evidentiary hearing.

Solberg v. McKennett 2021 ND 44
Docket No.: 20200207
Filing Date: 3/24/2021
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: Determining when a cause of action accrues is normally a question of fact, but it becomes a question of law when the material facts are undisputed.

Under the discovery rule the accrual of a claim is postponed until the plaintiff knew, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, of the wrongful act and its resulting injury.

A party alleging fraud must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.

Breeze v. NDDOT 2021 ND 43
Docket No.: 20200267
Filing Date: 3/24/2021
Case Type: TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: An officer must be in an immediate pursuit of a person who is endeavoring to avoid arrest for hot pursuit to apply.

State v. Moore 2021 ND 42
Docket No.: 20200080
Filing Date: 3/24/2021
Case Type: SEXUAL OFFENSE
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A district court should not automatically approve public trial waivers without considering the broader interests in open courts and public trials by conducting pre-closure Waller analysis. A defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial may be waived if the record reflects a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver. A defendant’s failure to object or acquiescence to a trial closure without a knowing, intelligent, voluntary waiver will be reviewed on appeal as a forfeited error subject only to obvious error review.

A district court may conduct proceedings in chambers in some circumstances, including temporary use of a courtroom as if in chambers. But it is the type of proceeding and not the location of the proceeding that determines the need for the Waller analysis. Jury selection, including proceedings relating to juror questionnaires and challenges for cause, are part of the criminal trial and generally must be held in open court consistent with the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.

A court’s closure of trial proceedings without having obtained a knowing, intelligent, voluntary waiver and without having considered the Waller factors is obvious error.

A speculative risk to a witness’s counseling relationship with the victim is insufficient standing alone to satisfy the Waller requirement for an overriding interest.

State v. Martinez 2021 ND 42
Docket No.: 20190407
Filing Date: 3/24/2021
Case Type: SEXUAL OFFENSE
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A district court should not automatically approve public trial waivers without considering the broader interests in open courts and public trials by conducting pre-closure Waller analysis. A defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial may be waived if the record reflects a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver. A defendant’s failure to object or acquiescence to a trial closure without a knowing, intelligent, voluntary waiver will be reviewed on appeal as a forfeited error subject only to obvious error review.

A district court may conduct proceedings in chambers in some circumstances, including temporary use of a courtroom as if in chambers. But it is the type of proceeding and not the location of the proceeding that determines the need for the Waller analysis. Jury selection, including proceedings relating to juror questionnaires and challenges for cause, are part of the criminal trial and generally must be held in open court consistent with the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.

A court’s closure of trial proceedings without having obtained a knowing, intelligent, voluntary waiver and without having considered the Waller factors is obvious error.

A speculative risk to a witness’s counseling relationship with the victim is insufficient standing alone to satisfy the Waller requirement for an overriding interest.

State v. Molina 2021 ND 41
Docket No.: 20200247
Filing Date: 3/18/2021
Case Type: MISC. STATUTORY OFFENSE (FELONY)
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court order denying a petition for writ of prohibition is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(4).

Interest of L.T.D. 2021 ND 40
Docket No.: 20210034
Filing Date: 3/18/2021
Case Type: TERMINATION/PARENTAL RIGHTS
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: An appeal from a juvenile court order terminating parental rights is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(4) and (7).

WSI v. Sandberg, et al. 2021 ND 39
Docket No.: 20200174
Filing Date: 3/3/2021
Case Type: WORKERS COMPENSATION
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: Claimants must prove by a preponderance of evidence that they have sustained a compensable injury and are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

A claimant must prove that the condition for which benefits are sought is “causally related” to a work injury. To establish a “causal connection,” a claimant must demonstrate the claimant’s employment was a substantial contributing factor to the injury and need not show employment was the sole cause of the injury.

A compensable injury must be established by medical evidence supported by objective medical findings, which may include a physician’s medical opinion based on an examination, a patient’s medical history, and the physician’s education and experience.

Lund v. Swanson, et al. 2021 ND 38
Docket No.: 20200147
Filing Date: 3/3/2021
Case Type: CONTRACTS
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A settlement agreement is a contract between parties, and thus contract law applies.

An agreement to transfer oil interests for valuable consideration is an agreement for the sale of real property, or of an interest therein, under the statute of frauds, N.D.C.C. § 9-06-04(3).

Subsection 9-06-04(3), N.D.C.C., provides that an agreement for the sale of real property, if made by an agent of the party sought to be charged, is invalid unless the authority of the agent is in writing subscribed by the party sought to be charged.

To take a contract out of the statute of frauds, the party seeking to enforce the oral contract must establish part performance that is not only consistent with, but that is consistent only with, the existence of the alleged oral contract.

Cases accepting the doctrine of part performance have recognized three major categories of acts by the purchaser that may make an oral contract enforceable: paying the contract price, taking possession of the property, and making improvements.

A party missing out on the benefit of their contractual bargain does not promote an injustice or perpetrate a fraud as to require an agreement to be removed from the statute of frauds.

Friesz v. State 2021 ND 37
Docket No.: 20200169
Filing Date: 3/3/2021
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: In a post-conviction relief proceeding, a petitioner is entitled to a fourteen-day window to respond to a request for dismissal of their petition for post-conviction relief.

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