Recent Opinions

Estate of Hall 2019 ND 196
Docket No.: 20190009
Filing Date: 7/18/2019
Case Type: PROBATE - WILLS - TRUSTS
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The surviving spouse of a decedent may claim an elective share of the decedent’s testate or intestate estate.

The conveyance of homestead property must be executed and acknowledged by both husband and wife or it is void and ineffective.

Smithberg v. Smithberg, et al. 2019 ND 195
Docket No.: 20180420
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: CONTRACTS
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Courts do not strive to find irreconcilable conflicts between statutory provisions.

A district court’s decision whether to exercise its equitable powers is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard.

Valuation of corporate interests is a question of fact subject to the clearly erroneous standard of review.

Minority discounts are allowed for purposes of gift tax valuations.

State v. Thomas 2019 ND 194
Docket No.: 20180257
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: MISC. STATUTORY OFFENSE (FELONY)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: Granting a mistrial is an extreme remedy and should only be resorted to when a fundamental defect or occurrence in the trial proceedings exists that makes it evident that further proceedings would be productive of manifest injustice.
When a party discovers evidence of juror misconduct, the proper procedure is to cease investigation to reduce the possibility of juror taint from extraneous pressures and to notify the district court so it can conduct appropriate questioning.

Newfield Exploration Company, et al. v. State, et al. 2019 ND 193
Docket No.: 20190088
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: OIL, GAS AND MINERALS
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: District court erred in its interpretation of an oil and gas lease.

Gross proceeds from which royalty payments were calculated could not be reduced by an amount that either directly or indirectly accounted for post-production costs incurred to make the gas marketable.

State v. Blaskowski 2019 ND 192
Docket No.: 20190002
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: DUI/DUS
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: A chemical breath test was not “fairly administered” under N.D.C.C. § 39-20-07 because evidence failed to establish compliance with the approved method for conducting the test.

State v. Norton 2019 ND 191
Docket No.: 20190003
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: MISC. STATUTORY OFFENSE (FELONY)
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: The district court did not err by failing to require the State to name a specific individual who was threatened to establish a prima facie case of terrorizing.

The district court did not err by failing to require the State to name a specific individual who was threatened in jury instructions regarding the crime of terrorizing.

The evidence was sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction of terrorizing, and the court did not err in denying his motion for acquittal.

McCarthy v. Getz 2019 ND 190
Docket No.: 20180418
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: MALPRACTICE
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A patient’s suicide is an objectively obvious fact that the goal of psychological treatment for symptoms relating to anxiety and depression had not been reached as planned and is sufficient to put parents with knowledge that their child was receiving treatment on notice that a potential claim against the psychological treatment provider exists.

Tarver v. Tarver 2019 ND 189
Docket No.: 20190073
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: District court did not err in not enforcing conditional stipulation read onto the record.

District court erred in failing to apply Ruff-Fischer guidelines and analyze parties’ need for and ability to pay spousal support.

State v. Shipton 2019 ND 188
Docket No.: 20190040
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: This Court will treat a petition for writ of error coram nobis as one for post-conviction relief under the Uniform Post-Conviction Procedure Act.

Appellant failed to meet his burden of establishing grounds for post-conviction relief.

Caster v. State 2019 ND 187
Docket No.: 20190043
Filing Date: 7/11/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: District court order summarily denying application for post-conviction relief remanded with instructions for further proceedings.

Reliance on proposed orders containing no factual findings, conclusions of law, or support from the record does not satisfy the requirements of N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-11.

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