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State v. Gaddie 2022 ND 44
Docket No.: 20210187
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: The purpose of jury instructions is to correctly and adequately advise the jury of the applicable law. Jury instruction must not be misleading or confusing. A conviction will be reversed based on an erroneous jury instruction only if it relates to a central subject in the case and affects a defendant’s substantial rights.

When a defendant faces multiple counts of the same offense, the jury instructions must identify the act underlying each count and factually distinguish between the counts or instruct the jury to unanimously agree on the act for each offense.

The elements of a crime may require different mental states. The term “willfully,” as defined by N.D.C.C. § 12.1-02-02(1)(e), is not necessarily inconsistent with a crime requiring a specific intent.

Malloy, et al. v. Behrens 2022 ND 43
Docket No.: 20210155
Filing Date: 3/3/2022
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: An appeal is not moot when the appellant fails to request a stay on an order directing the sale of homestead property if the property was sold to a party interested in the action and the sale is not yet final.

In proceedings to force the sale of homestead property to satisfy a judgment, there must be an execution levied upon the property at the time of the petition for an appraisal of the property.

Vacancy in Judgeship No. 6, ECJD 2022 ND 42
Docket No.: 20220042
Filing Date: 2/25/2022
Case Type:
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Judgeship retained at Fargo.

Baker v. Autos, Inc., et al. 2022 ND 41
Docket No.: 20210202
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: A district court’s decision on a motion for a new trial is reviewed for abuse of discretion.

The law of the case doctrine and the mandate rule restrict proceedings on remand to the district court.

Jury instructions should fairly inform the jury of the law applicable to the case.

City of Jamestown v. Kastet 2022 ND 40
Docket No.: 20210170
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Case Type: ASSAULT
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: A defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on a legal defense if there is evidence to support it.

In determining whether the jury should have received an instruction on a particular defense, this Court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the defendant.

If the district court evaluates the evidence supporting a proposed defense and declines to charge on that defense, it dilutes the defendant’s jury trial by removing the issue from the jury’s consideration.

Taylor v. Taylor 2022 ND 39
Docket No.: 20210214
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: An attempted appeal from an order for judgment will be treated as an appeal from a subsequently entered consistent judgment, if one exists.

A district court is generally not required to do a line-by-line best-interest analysis for each individual child, but factual findings should be stated with sufficient specificity for reviewing court to understand basis for its decision.

Expert testimony is unnecessary for a showing that physical or emotional harm is likely to result from parenting time, and general testimony of a parent may suffice.

Visitation with a noncustodial parent may be temporarily suspended where it is likely to endanger the children’s physical or emotional health.

District court order granting sole decisionmaking authority to custodial parent must be in the children’s best interests.

Visitation provisions controlled by custodial parent should be utilized only in exceptional circumstances and when custodial parent demonstrates willingness to foster parent-child relationship. Custodial parent may be permitted to monitor visitation between children and noncustodial parent.

State v. Samaniego 2022 ND 38
Docket No.: 20210252
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: The force required for gross sexual imposition is that which compels the victim to submit.

The location of the crime is not a statutory element of a criminal offense. The North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure provide for venue in the county where the crime occurred.

A defendant’s objection on one specified ground did not preserve the appeal for another, unspecified ground.

When prosecutorial misconduct is alleged for the first time on appeal, the standard of review is obvious error.

Lovett v. Lovett, et al. 2022 ND 37
Docket No.: 20210198
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: An issue is moot when the determination sought will not have any practical legal effect upon a then-existing controversy.

Whetsel v. State 2022 ND 36
Docket No.: 20210180
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: An applicant for post-conviction relief has a statutory right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings, but an applicant may not claim he received ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel.

Pavlicek v. American Steel Systems, Inc., et al. 2022 ND 35
Docket No.: 20210116
Filing Date: 2/18/2022
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Property damage caused by faulty workmanship is a covered occurrence under an insurance policy to the extent the faulty workmanship causes bodily injury or property damage to property other than the insured’s defective work product.

Exclusions from coverage in an insurance policy must be clear and explicit and are strictly construed against the insurer.

When a conflict exists between the provisions of an insurance policy and an attached endorsement, the provisions of the endorsement prevail.

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