This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Quantum Restoration, a/k/a Quantum Construction, Inc., Quantum Companies, Inc. and Quantum Fire and Water Restoration,
Filed March 13, 2001
Hennepin County District Court
Mark E. Fuller, Mark Fuller & Associates, Ltd., 7301 Ohms Lane, Suite 325, Edina, MN 55439 (for Appellant)
Erika S. Finkler, Van House & Associates, P.A., 5200 Willson Road, Suite 407, Edina, MN 55424 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Appellant corporation demanded removal from conciliation court to district court through its non-attorney vice-president. The district court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction, based on World Championship Fighting, Inc. v. Janos, 609 N.W.2d 263 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. July 25, 2000), which held that a corporation must be represented by counsel to file such a notice of removal. Appellant contends that the district court had jurisdiction over the action and argues that the decision in World Championship Fighting was overbroad. We affirm.
On July 21, 1999, Quantum Restoration, Inc. (Quantum), a corporation with either one or two shareholders, filed a statement of claim against LaDonna Oakes in Hennepin County conciliation court alleging breach of contract. A conciliation court trial was held on August 20, 1999, with judgment being entered in favor of Oakes. On August 23, 1999, Quantum received a notice of judgment specifically stating that an appeal must be taken by September 15, 1999. On September 15, Quantum, by its vice president, who is not an attorney, served and filed a demand for removal to district court.
On January 17, 2000, Quantum’s attorney filed a notice of representation with the district court. The district court held a trial on March 7, 2000. At trial, Oakes moved for dismissal based on improper notice of removal because the removal was completed by Quantum’s non-attorney vice president. The district court denied the motion. On April 25, 2000, while the case was under advisement, this court decided World ChampionshipFighting v. James Janos, 609 N.W.2d 263, review denied (Minn. July 25, 2000), holding that an attorney is necessary to remove a case from conciliation court to district court. The district court then dismissed the case on that basis, and re-entered the conciliation court judgment. This appeal followed.
This case presents a pure question of law, which this court reviews de novo. Humphrey v. $1109 in U.S. Currency, 539 N.W.2d 1, 2 (Minn. App. 1995), review denied (Minn. Dec. 20, 1995).
Quantum does not seek to distinguish World Championship Fighting, but instead suggests that it was wrongly decided. It was not. In World Championship Fighting, World Championship Fighting (WCF), sued for breach of contract. 609 N.W.2d at 264. After a conciliation court judgment, WCF’s president, who was not an attorney, filed removal papers. Id. The district court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction because the removal papers were filed by a non-attorney. Id. In affirming the district court, this court stated that there was no reason why
a corporation unrepresented by counsel should be able to commence a district court action by removing a case from conciliation court when it is not allowed to do so by filing a complaint.
Id. at 265.
Quantum argues that removals are not perfected and the case was not transferred to district court until all removal papers have been filed, Minn. R. Gen. Pract. 521(d), only one of which is the demand for removal, Minn. R. Gen. Pract. 521(b). But this court specifically considered and declined to adopt this exact argument in World Championship Fighting. See World Championship Fighting, 609 N.W.2d at 266 (Peterson, J., dissenting). We continue to see no reason why, for cases originating in conciliation court, we should carve out an exception to the general rule that an attorney is required to commence a case in district court. Quantum has not shown why its position would not lead to an inconsistent result.
Quantum argues that Minn. Stat. §§ 481.02, subd. 3 (16) (2000) and 491A.02, subd. 4 (2000) permit a corporation with five or fewer shareholders to be represented in district court for actions removed from conciliation court. But Quantum did not raise this argument in the district court, and we generally do not consider matters unless argued and considered in the court below. Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988).