Recent Opinions

Pavlicek v. American Steel Systems, Inc., et al. 2019 ND 97
Docket No.: 20180168
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: CONTRACTS
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A district court may grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law if a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue.

In considering a motion for judgment as a matter of law, the court must apply a rigorous standard with a view toward preserving a jury verdict.

Heitkamp v. Kabella 2019 ND 96
Docket No.: 20180288
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: REAL PROPERTY
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: When an ambiguous contract is at issue, the parties’ intent becomes a question of fact.

Issue was remanded for a finding on the nature of the parties’ agreement.

Cuozzo v. State, d/b/a University of North Dakota, et al. 2019 ND 95
Docket No.: 20180337
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE DISPUTE
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Board of Higher Education policies, rules and regulations adopted as part of its policy manual govern termination of university faculty members and are part of the employment contract between the institution and the faculty member.

Generally, substantial compliance with the procedural requirements for termination is sufficient if their purpose is fulfilled.

The separation of powers doctrine does not permit judicial examination of the adequacy of a university president’s review of the record.

Candee, et al. v. Candee 2019 ND 94
Docket No.: 20180246
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: FORECLOSURE
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: A district court’s decision regarding attorney fees will not be set aside on appeal absent an abuse of discretion.

A settlement agreement and mutual release of claims was not “evidence of debt” under N.D.C.C. § 28-26-04, so as to preclude enforcement a contractual provision providing for recovery of attorney fees and costs.

Horst v. Horst 2019 ND 93
Docket No.: 20180402
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court judgment awarding a divorce, establishing primary residential responsibility, child support, and parenting time are summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2), (3) and(4).

An argument that is not adequately articulated, supported, and briefed will not be considered on appeal.

Interest of C.D.C. 2019 ND 92
Docket No.: 20180371
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: PATERNITY
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Appeal from an order denying motion to vacate judgment is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(4).

State v. Johnson 2019 ND 91
Docket No.: 20180349
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: DRUGS/CONTRABAND
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Criminal judgment finding defendant guilty of unlawful possession of a controlled substance in violation of N.D.C.C. § 19-03.1-23 and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of N.D.C.C. § 19-03.4-03 is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2) and (7).

Rhodenbaugh v. Rhodenbaugh 2019 ND 109
Docket No.: 20180040
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Interlocutory orders in an action are merged into the final judgment and may be reviewed on appeal of the judgment.

Review on appeal is limited to issues litigated below and the arguments presented on appeal.

An order holding a person in contempt is a final order for purposes of appeal. The time limit for filing a notice of appeal is jurisdictional, and we dismiss an appeal if we conclude we do not have jurisdiction.

A district court has broad discretion over the presentation of evidence and the conduct of trial, but it must exercise its discretion in a manner that best comports with substantial justice.

District courts have broad discretion to allow or refuse a party to reopen the record to introduce additional evidence.

State v. Valles 2019 ND 108
Docket No.: 20180320
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: DRUGS/CONTRABAND
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: For a warrantless search or seizure to fall into the abandonment exception, the State must show evidence of abandonment was present through objective facts known to the officer at the time of the search or seizure. Further, even when a cell phone is considered abandoned, a search of its contents is always considered unreasonable and thus is not permitted without a warrant.

Estate of Bartelson 2019 ND 107
Docket No.: 20180255
Filing Date: 4/11/2019
Case Type: PROBATE - WILLS - TRUSTS
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: An appeal only from the denial of a motion for reconsideration does not permit the appellant to attack the underlying order from which the appeal could have been taken but was not brought.

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