Recent Opinions

Keller v. State 2019 ND 116
Docket No.: 20180391
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Summary affirmance of district court’s denial of post-conviction relief.

State v. Peterson 2018 ND 140
Docket No.: 20180422
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: THEFT
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A district court found a sufficient factual basis to support the defendant’s guilty plea based on the record and the State’s offer of proof.

An attorney does not actively misinform a defendant by failing to inform the defendant of the application of the eighty-five percent rule under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-09.1.

Manifest injustice requiring withdrawal of a guilty plea does not exist where a defendant does not provide evidence that he did not understand the nature of his plea agreement.

Interest of T.A.G. 2019 ND 115
Docket No.: 20180374
Filing Date: 5/6/2019
Case Type: CIVIL COMMIT OF SEXUAL PREDATOR
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: The case is remanded for additional findings of fact on whether a person was likely to reoffend and had serious difficulty controlling behavior, as required to deny sex offender discharge from civil commitment as a sexually dangerous individual.

Ayling v. Sens, et al. 2019 ND 114
Docket No.: 20180231
Filing Date: 4/25/2019
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: An action barred by a statute of limitations generally is dismissed under the summary judgment standards of N.D.R.Civ.P. 56.

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.

Condon v. St. Alexius Medical Center, et al. 2019 ND 113
Docket No.: 20180297
Filing Date: 4/22/2019
Case Type: MALPRACTICE
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: Section 32-42-02, N.D.C.C., does not violate the equal-protection provisions of N.D. Const. art. I, § 21.

The right to recover for personal injuries is an important substantive right subject to the intermediate standard of equal-protection analysis.

A district court’s decision whether to grant or deny a new trial under N.D.R.Civ.P. 59(b) rests entirely within its discretion, and review of a denial of a new trial motion is limited to deciding whether the court manifestly abused its discretion.

Testimony from a physician that a plaintiff’s medical condition is permanent and would worsen is sufficient to establish foundation for future medical expenses.

Evidence of medical expenses can be admitted without an expert medical opinion that the expenses were necessitated by the defendant’s conduct.

When considering claims of prejudicial misconduct, courts consider the nature of the comments the jury heard, their probable effect on the jury in the context of the entire trial, and the district court’s instructions to the jury.

A district court has discretion to balance the probative value of proffered evidence against the dangers enumerated in N.D.R.Ev. 403.

A district court does not abuse its discretion by admitting expert testimony whenever specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact, even if the expert does not possess a particular expertise or specific certification.

When the verdict is reasonably within the scope of the evidence presented and the instructions of the court, the plaintiff is entitled to have judgment entered upon the jury’s verdict.

Tschider v. Tschider, et al. 2019 ND 112
Docket No.: 20180104
Filing Date: 4/18/2019
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A premarital agreement may be unenforceable if it is unconscionable at the time of execution, at the time of separation or marital dissolution, or at the time of enforcement.

Whether a premarital agreement is unconscionable presents a question of law, but it turns on factual findings related to the relative property values, the parties’ financial circumstances, and their ongoing need.

A premarital agreement is a contract, and its interpretation is a question of law, which is reviewed de novo on the entire record on appeal.

A district court’s decisions regarding the division of marital property are treated as findings of fact and may be reversed on appeal if these findings are clearly erroneous.

The district court has broad discretion to award attorney fees in divorce proceedings.

Thompson, et al. v. Johnson 2019 ND 111
Docket No.: 20180386
Filing Date: 4/17/2019
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: District court erred on remand by finding child support obligor underemployed without explaining why its prior determination the obligor had a gross annual income of $171,560.66 and net annual income of $113,916 was incorrect.

Interest of K.S.D. 2019 ND 110
Docket No.: 20180260
Filing Date: 4/15/2019
Case Type: TERMINATION/PARENTAL RIGHTS
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Motion to withdraw consent to termination of parental rights was untimely under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-45(6) because it was made more than thirty days after the order terminating parental rights was issued.

State v. Comes 2019 ND 99
Docket No.: 20180312
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: HOMICIDE
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: Rule 35, N.D.R.Crim.P., requires notice of intent to correct a sentence be given to the parties.

Sabo, et al. v. Job Service 2019 ND 98
Docket No.: 20180354
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: JOB SERVICE
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: The doctrine of administrative res judicata prevents collateral attacks on administrative agency final orders.

An issue is not ripe for review if it depends on future contingencies which, although they might occur, necessarily may not, thus making addressing the question premature.

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