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Court of Appeals Digest: Nov. 29, 2021

Minnesota Lawyer//December 2, 2021

Court of Appeals Digest: Nov. 29, 2021

Minnesota Lawyer//December 2, 2021

Civil Nonprecedential


Domestic Relations

Child Protection; Termination of Parental Rights

Appellant-mother challenged a District Court order terminating parental rights to her three minor children, arguing that the District Court failed to adequately address the children’s best interests. Noting that, while the District Court did not include explicit findings on mother’s interest or the children’s interest, the order shows that the District Court considered testimony from mother, one of the children, the county social worker, and the guardian ad litem on the best interest factors, the Court of Appeals concluded that the record supported the District Court’s determination that termination was in the children’s best interests. Affirmed.

A21-0791 In re Welfare of Children of A.L.S. (Kanabec County)


Domestic Relations

Child Support; Modification

On appeal from the denial of his motion to modify child support, appellant argued that (1) the District Court erred in its interpretation of the child support provision in the stipulated judgment, and (2) the child support magistrate abused its discretion by deviating upward from the presumptive child support guidelines. Noting that appellant had not satisfied any of his obligations under the stipulated judgment, the Court of Appeals concluded that the stipulated judgment was unambiguous regarding child support and the District Court did not abuse its discretion by granting an upward deviation from the presumptively appropriate guidelines child-support amount.

A21-0165 Milbrandt v. Milbrandt (Carver County)




Criminal Nonprecedential


Investigatory Stops

Reasonable Suspicion

In this appeal from a judgment of conviction of possession of a firearm by a person convicted or adjudicated for a crime of violence, defendant challenged the District Court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized as a result of an investigatory stop and the subsequent search of his vehicle. The Court of Appeals concluded that, based on the totality of the circumstances, the substance of the surveilled phone calls indicating defendant’s attempt to purchase heroin at an apartment, coupled with defendant’s presence at the apartment for an extended time, was reasonably indicative of a possible drug transaction to a trained officer warranting an investigatory stop of defendant’s vehicle. Furthermore, there was probable cause to search defendant’s vehicle. Affirmed.

A21-0015 State v. Byrd (Hennepin County)


Postconviction Relief

Knaffla Bar

Pro se petitioner challenged the denial of his postconviction petition, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in negotiating his plea agreement to a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and with respect to a waiver of his right to an adult certification hearing. The Court of Appeals concluded that petitioner’s claims were barred by Knaffla, and that, even if they were not, his claims for ineffective assistance of counsel failed under both prongs of the Strickland test. Affirmed.

A21-0690 Auginaush v. State (Clearwater County)



Criminal History Score

Petitioner challenged the postconviction court’s denial of his motion to correct his sentence under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, arguing that he should be resentenced using a criminal-history score of four instead of the previously used score of six. The Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in the determinations that petitioner failed to meet his burden of proving that his convictions of aggravated forgery and falsely impersonating another arose out of a single behavioral incident or that his Illinois burglary conviction should not have been included in his criminal-history score. Affirmed.

A21-0361 McDonald v. State (Blue Earth County)



Deferral of Adjudication

Defendant argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction to revoke its deferral of adjudication pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 152.18 because the revocation occurred after the expiration of the imposed term of probation. The Court of Appeals concluded that the provision of § 609.14, subd. 1(c), permitting the revocation of probation after the expiration of its term does not apply to a disposition deferring judgment pursuant to § 152.18. Reversed.

A21-0144 State v. Solien (Kandiyohi County)


Traffic Stops

Reasonable, Articulable Suspicion

Defendant challenged his conviction for unlawful firearm possession and third-degree drug possession, arguing that the District Court: (1) erred in denying his motion to suppress, (2) violated his constitutional rights, and (3) erred in its sentencing decision. The Court of Appeals determined that the District Court erred in considering evidence that was not presented at the suppression hearing when it made its finding that there was reasonable, articulable suspicion for the stop. The Court therefore reversed and remanded for the District Court to consider whether the police officer had reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop, based exclusively on the record of the evidence elicited at the suppression hearing. Reversed and remanded.

A20-1474 State v. Head (Beltrami County)


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