This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Harvey Virgil Uglem,
Filed May 9, 2000
Wayne Holstad, Frederic W. Knaak, H. Alan Kantrud, Holstad and Knaak, P.L.C., 3535 Vadnais Center Drive, Suite 130, St. Paul, MN 55110 (for appellant)
U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N
††††††††††† Appellant Harvey Virgil Uglem challenges the district courtís entry of default judgment against him as a sanction for failing to comply with a discovery order.† The sanction was not an abuse of discretion.† We affirm.
Respondent City of Grant brought an action seeking to enjoin Uglem from using his property in violation of city ordinances.† Uglem did not formally answer the complaint until the city filed a motion for a default judgment.† Later, Uglem refused to allow the city access to his property for inspection until ordered to do so by the court.† Uglem has also failed to pay court-ordered monetary sanctions.
In November 1998, the city served interrogatories.† Uglem answered some of the interrogatories but refused to answer others.† The court issued an order compelling Uglem to answer the interrogatories completely within 10 days.† Uglem failed to meet that deadline.† The court then continued the trial date and gave Uglem an additional five days to answer the interrogatories, informing Uglem that failure to do so would result in striking his pleadings and entering default judgment against him.† Uglem, however, again failed to answer the interrogatories.† Accordingly, the district court issued an order striking Uglemís pleadings and entering default judgment, finding that he willfully disobeyed discovery orders with the intent to delay and obstruct.
††††††††††† The district court is vested with the authority to impose sanctions, including the entry of default judgment, on a party who fails to comply with a discovery order.† Minn. R. Civ. P. 37.02(b).† The district court has discretion in choosing the appropriate sanction.† Bowman v. Bowman, 493 N.W.2d 141, 145 (Minn. App. 1992).† If discovery violations are willful and without justification and with the intent to delay, the entry of default judgment is appropriate. See Breza v. Schmitz, 311 Minn. 236, 237, 248 N.W.2d 921, 922 (1976) (affirming dismissal).† Furthermore, a significant factor in reviewing the propriety of a sanction is whether the district court set a specific deadline for compliance with the discovery order and warned the party of the consequences of his failure to comply.† Sudheimer v. Sudheimer, 372 N.W.2d 792, 795 (Minn. App 1985); see also Beal v. Reinertson, 298 Minn. 542, 544, 215 N.W.2d 57, 58 (1974).
††††††††††† Here, the court twice gave Uglem a specific deadline for answering the interrogatories, but Uglem failed to comply.† The second order provided Uglem with a specific deadline and informed him that his failure to comply would result in his pleadings being stricken and default judgment being entered.† The record reflects that the court had no alternative less drastic than a default judgment.† The court sought to effect discovery through monetary sanctions, but those sanctions proved ineffective when Uglem failed to pay.† We conclude the district court's choice of sanctions was not an abuse of discretion.