This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Todd County District Court
File No. C7-99-405
G. Marlene Clark, 25 3rd Street South, Long Prairie, MN 56347 (for respondent)
William L. Haugan, 705 Forest Avenue SE, Staples, MN 56479 (pro se appellant)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Appellant challenges the district court’s issuance of a harassment restraining order alleging, among other claims, that the hearing was deficient because the witnesses were not put under oath and appellant was not allowed to cross-examine them. Because we find that the hearing was procedurally defective, we reverse the district court’s order and remand for a new hearing.
Appellant William Haugan and respondent Constance Holth were co-workers at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (“the agency”), who were assigned to work on projects in Staples, Minnesota. Although appellant characterized their relationship as “friendly,” respondent felt uncomfortable around him and complained to their supervisor. On June 23, 1999, the agency transferred appellant to its St. Paul office and forbade him from making any contact with respondent “either in a work setting or during * * * off duty time.” Additionally, on June 24, 1999, respondent petitioned for a restraining order against appellant. Her petition was heard and granted on July 7, 1999.
Criminal charges were filed against appellant for violating the order, and he pleaded guilty. As part of his sentence, the sentencing court ordered appellant to comply with the terms of “any existing restraining orders.”
On April 5, 2000, appellant filed a motion seeking to modify or dismiss the order. Respondent sent appellant notice that she would be moving to extend the restraining order an additional year. Both motions were heard on May 4, 2000. Appellant asked the court to modify the order because he believed it was too broad, noting as an example that appellant had recently, inadvertently, violated the order when he and respondent attended the same environmental education conference. The court granted respondent’s motion, extending the restraining order without any modification until July 6, 2001.
On June 28, 2000, appellant filed an appeal, and respondent moved to deny the appeal on the grounds that it was untimely. This court dismissed respondent’s motion, finding that there was jurisdiction to hear an appeal directly from the July 7, 1999 order because neither party served a notice of filing to limit the time to appeal.
D E C I S I O N
Minnesota law requires a court to conduct a hearing to determine whether a restraining order is appropriate. Minn. Stat. § 609.748, subd. 5(a) (1998). This court has held that
the hearing required under Minn. Stat. § 609.748, subd. 5(a), includes the right to examine witnesses and that witnesses must testify under oath if the order is to be given effect for longer than 14 days.
Anderson v. Lake, 536 N.W.2d 909, 911 (Minn. App. 1995). Additionally, a hearing must include “the right to present and cross-examine witnesses, to produce documents, and to have the case decided on the merits.” El Nashaar v. El Nashaar, 529 N.W.2d 13, 14 (Minn. App. 1995) (citation omitted).
We conclude that the July 7, 1999 hearing did not meet the procedural requirements of Anderson. First, it is not clear from the transcript whether witnesses were under oath. Second, the court denied appellant the opportunity for cross-examination. When respondent brought up the agency’s disciplinary action against appellant, appellant attempted to challenge her statement. The court refused to allow him to do so, stating, “You had your chance.” When appellant tried to challenge respondent’s statement that his transfer from Staples to St. Paul was permanent, the court stopped appellant from questioning her. Therefore, appellant was not provided the procedural safeguards laid out in Anderson.
Because we find the proceeding was deficient, we do not need to address appellant’s challenge to the extension of the restraining order. To afford an opportunity for an adequate hearing, the July 1999 order shall remain in effect for 30 days after the clerk of the appellate courts enters judgment. See Hoyt Inv. Co. v. Bloomington Commerce & Trade Ctr. Assocs., 418 N.W.2d 173, 176 (Minn. 1988) (this court’s decision final when supreme court denied petition for further review); see also Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 117, subd. 1 (party has 30 days to seek review of this court’s decision in supreme court); see also Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 136.02 (entry of judgment on this court’s decision stayed pending petition for review). Thus, appellant is not discharged from his obligation to follow the terms of the restraining order issued in 1999. Further relief may be ordered by the district court, if appropriate, after compliance with the statutory requirements, applicable caselaw, and this opinion.
Reversed and remanded.