Recent Opinions

James Vault & Precast Co., et al. v. B&B Hot Oil Service, Inc., et al. 2019 ND 143
Docket No.: 20180317
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A contractual provision purporting to exempt anyone from responsibility for a willful or negligent violation of the law is against the policy of law and not enforceable.

Lee v. Lee 2019 ND 142
Docket No.: 20180382
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: DIVORCE/PROPERTY DIV./ALIMONY
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: The district court’s property valuations were not clearly erroneous.

The district court’s valuation of a life estate using N.D. Admin. Code § 75-02-02.1-32 was not clearly erroneous.

The district court considered the source of the property, and its ultimate distribution was not clearly erroneous.

The district court’s six-month delay in issuing a final judgment did not compel reconsideration of the property division.

Estate of Hogen 2019 ND 141
Docket No.: 20180325
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: PROBATE - WILLS - TRUSTS
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: A probate court has inherent authority to control its docket and to protect its jurisdiction and judgments, the integrity of the court, and the orderly and expeditious administration of justice, and may award attorney fees to further that end.

State v. Peterson 2019 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.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. v. Behm 2019 ND 139
Docket No.: 20180321
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: REAL PROPERTY
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Where eminent domain is exercised by a utility business, condemnation for service to a single industrial customer does not forestall a finding that the taking is for a public use.

In the absence of bad faith, gross abuse of discretion, or fraud by the condemning authority in its determination that the property sought is necessary for the authorized use and is pursuant to specific statutory authority, such determination should not be disturbed by the courts.

The Supreme Court does not address inadequately briefed issues.

State v. Vetter 2019 ND 138
Docket No.: 20180356
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: DRUGS/CONTRABAND
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A traffic stop is not expanded by incidental questions the officer asks without reasonable suspicion so long as they occur prior to the completion of the stop and the officer does not deliberately delay completion of the stop.

Morales v. State 2019 ND 137
Docket No.: 20180408
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Summary dismissal of a post-conviction application for ineffective assistance of counsel is appropriate if the applicant does not claim that, but for his attorney’s errors, he would have insisted on going to trial.

Watford City Lodging LLC v. Miskin 2019 ND 136
Docket No.: 20180339
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: LANDLORD/TENANT
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: In summary eviction proceedings, the right to possession of the property is the only fact that can be litigated unless damages or rent is claimed.

Olson v. State 2019 ND 135
Docket No.: 20180268
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: Accomplice to murder under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life is a cognizable offense under North Dakota law.

A person may be convicted as an accomplice if the person intends that an offense be committed and aids another in committing the offense.

A defendant may not withdraw a guilty plea after the district court has imposed sentence unless the defendant shows withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.

State v. Vigen 2019 ND 134
Docket No.: 20180394
Filing Date: 5/16/2019
Case Type: DUI/DUS
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: An informed consent advisory omitting statutory language regarding refusal to submit to a urine test does not comply with N.D.C.C. § 39-20-01(3)(a).

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