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WSI v. Cherokee Services Group, et al. 2021 ND 36
Docket No.: 20200166
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: Tribal sovereign immunity protects Indian tribes against lawsuits, even ones brought by the State.

Extension of tribal sovereign immunity to businesses relies on a test to determine if they qualify as arms of the tribe.

A manager or governor of a limited liability company cannot be held liable under N.D.C.C. § 65-04-26.1(1) for unpaid premiums and reimbursements when the limited liability company itself is not liable for the amounts.

Workforce Safety and Insurance has no statutory authority to order an insurance company cease and desist from writing coverage in North Dakota.

AE2S Construction v. Hellervik Oilfield Technologies, et al. 2021 ND 35
Docket No.: 20200180
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: CONTRACTS
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: An appearance for purposes of N.D.R.Civ.P. 55(a) is any response sufficient to give the plaintiff or his or her attorney notice of an intent to contest the claim.

A party’s disregard of service of process does not constitute mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1).

Atkins v. State 2021 ND 34
Docket No.: 20200172
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: If an applicant files a N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) motion for relief following an order denying post-conviction relief, the motion will be treated as another post-conviction relief application and will not toll the time for appealing the order denying post-conviction relief.

An applicant for post-conviction relief may not allege ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel.

Orwig v. Orwig 2021 ND 33
Docket No.: 20200123
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: DIVORCE/PROPERTY DIV./ALIMONY
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: In a court trial, any error in admitting a deposition is harmless unless the deposition testimony induced the court to make an essential finding which would not otherwise have been made or otherwise affected a party’s substantial rights.

A district court’s property valuation in a divorce case is not clearly erroneous if it is within the range of evidence presented.

An award of attorney’s fees must generally be supported by evidence upon which the court can determine whether the requested fees are reasonable and legitimate.

Paulson v. Paulson 2021 ND 32
Docket No.: 20200163
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A district court’s decision on whether to vacate a divorce judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) will not be overturned on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. A party seeking to vacate a divorce judgment entered pursuant to a settlement agreement under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances justifying relief. When considering whether a divorce judgment based on a settlement agreement should be vacated, the district court should inquire: (1) whether the agreement is free from mistake, duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence; and (2) whether the agreement is unconscionable. The party seeking relief from judgment based on fraud has the burden to establish fraud by clear and convincing evidence. Unconscionability may be considered as a ground for relief under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). To vacate a divorce judgment as unconscionable, there must be a showing of both procedural and substantive unconscionability. A disparate settlement is not necessarily substantively unconscionable, particularly in a short-term marriage

Burr v. N.D. State Board of Dental Examiners 2021 ND 31
Docket No.: 20200219
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: PERSONAL INJURY
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The test we apply when determining governmental liability and discretionary acts distinguishes between immune discretionary acts and non-immune ministerial acts. In examining the nature of the challenged conduct, the first inquiry a court must consider is whether the action is a matter of choice for the acting employee. Even if ‘the challenged conduct involves an element of judgment or choice, the second inquiry a court must consider is whether that judgment or choice is of the kind that the discretionary function exception was designed to shield.

Oden v. Minot Builders Supply, et al. 2021 ND 30
Docket No.: 20200187
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: Foreign judgments are not entitled to full faith and credit under certain circumstances such as when the rendering court lacks jurisdiction.

Res judicata, or claim preclusion, prevents relitigation of claims that were raised, or could have been raised, in prior actions between the same parties or their privies even if the subsequent claim is based on a different legal theory.

The court was not precluded from giving another judgment res judicata effect because the judgment was final and remained final regardless of a pending appeal.

Grand Prairie Agriculture v. Pelican Township Board of Supervisors 2021 ND 29
Docket No.: 20200226
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A township’s decision on a petition for approval of a proposed site for an animal feeding operation may be reversed on appeal if the township misinterprets or misapplies the law.

Under N.D.C.C. § 58-03-11.1, townships only have authority to regulate the setback distance between an animal feeding operation and the nearest residence, building used for nonfarming or nonranching purposes, or land zoned for residential, commercial, or recreational purposes.

Whetsel v. State 2021 ND 28
Docket No.: 20200262
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: Once the State has responded to a petition for post-conviction relief, sua sponte summary disposition by the court is no longer available, and the State is required to move for summary disposition.

A petitioner is entitled to a fourteen-day window to respond to a request for dismissal of their petition for post-conviction relief.

Thompson-Widmer v. Larson, et al. 2021 ND 27
Docket No.: 20200173
Filing Date: 2/18/2021
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A publication or communication must be false to be defamatory.

Fulfilling an open records request is a privileged communication and not subject to liability for defamation.

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