This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






Gloria de Meireles,

as Conservator of the Estate and Person of Elizabeth S. Tamasy,





Akos G. Tamasy,



Norman E. Meissner, et al.,



Filed March 20, 2001


Kalitowski, Judge


Ramsey County District Court

File No. C8975547


Eric J. Magnuson, Kimberly T. Ross, Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel, LLP, 333 South Seventh Street, Suite 2000, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for respondent)


Daniel L. M. Kennedy, 4103 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant Akos G. Tamasy challenges the district court’s order voiding a pre-conservatorship deed from his mother, conservatee Elizabeth S. Tamasy to appellant.  Appellant contends:  (1) the district court abused its discretion in finding him in contempt of court; (2) the conservator’s affidavit did not allege sufficient facts to void the deed under Minn. Stat. § 525.56, subd. 5 (2000), and the district court did not make findings of fact to support its determination that the deed was void; and (3) the district court judge should have removed herself from the case.  We affirm.



Appellant contends the district court abused its discretion in finding that he was in contempt of court.  We disagree.  The party seeking review must supply this court with a record “sufficient to show the alleged errors and all matters necessary for consideration of the questions presented.”  Truesdale v. Friedman, 267 Minn. 402, 404, 127 N.W.2d 277, 279 (1964) (citation omitted).  “When an appellant fails to provide a transcript, this court’s review is limited to whether the [district] court’s conclusions of law are supported by the findings.”  Mesenbourg v. Mesenbourg, 538 N.W.2d 489, 494 (Minn. App. 1995) (citation omitted).  Here, appellant has not provided a transcript of the June 1, 2000, hearing, conducted to determine whether appellant should be held in contempt of court.  Absent a transcript of the hearing, this court cannot adequately determine whether the district court’s findings are clearly erroneous or if the district court abused its discretion in invoking its contempt power.  See Mower County Human Servs. v. Swancutt, 551 N.W.2d 219, 222 (Minn. 1996).  Our review is thus limited to whether the district court’s findings support its conclusions of law.  Mesenbourg, 538 N.W.2d at 494.

            To find a person in civil contempt, the district court must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

(1)       the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the person;

(2)       a clear definition of the acts to be performed;

(3)       notice of the acts to be performed and a reasonable time within which to comply;

(4)       an application by the party seeking enforcement giving specific grounds for complaint;

(5)       a hearing, after due notice, to give the nonperforming party an opportunity to show compliance or the reasons for failure;

(6)       a formal determination by the court of failure to comply and, if so, whether conditional confinement will aid compliance;

(7)       an opportunity for the nonperforming party to show inability to comply despite a good faith effort; and

(8)       the contemnor’s ability to gain release through compliance or a good faith effort to comply.


Swancutt, 551 N.W.2d at 223 (citation omitted).  Appellant argues that requirement (6) was not met because appellant complied with the district court’s order to quitclaim his interest in the homestead to conservatee.  We reject appellant’s argument.  On June 9, 1998, the district court ordered appellant to sign a quitclaim deed conveying his interest in the homestead to conservatee.  Appellant executed this deed to conservatee on June 26, 1998.  But on June 27, 1998, appellant obtained another quitclaim deed from conservatee for the homestead.  By obtaining a deed to conservatee’s homestead just one day after quitclaiming his interest in it, appellant defied the district court’s order.  The district court properly concluded that appellant’s actions were the equivalent of not complying with the order.  Because the district court’s findings support the conclusion of contempt, it committed no error.


Appellant contends the district court erred in voiding the June 27, 1998, deed because it made no findings of fact to support its March 28, 2000, order.  In bench trials, the district court “shall find the facts specially and state separately its conclusions of law.”  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.  But findings of fact were not necessary because the March 28 order was merely an interim order.  At the close of the March 14, 2000, hearing, the district court stated that “in the meantime, the interim order is that the deed is void ab initio.”  (Emphasis added.)  Moreover, in a letter to the parties dated April 24, 2000, the district court stated that “[n]othing will be decided” before the June 1, 2000, hearing.  After the final hearing, the district court properly issued detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning the June 27, 1998, deed consistent with rule 52.01.

            Appellant further challenges the district court’s August 22 order contending that the evidence was not sufficient to void the deed under Minn. Stat. § 525.56, subd. 5 (2000).  We disagree.  A district court may void a transaction entered into by a conservatee during the two years before establishment of a conservatorship if the court finds the conservatee was incompetent at the time the transaction was made.  Id.   Here, respondent submitted an affidavit stating that after conservatee’s stroke, she was left “in a severely debilitated state,” and “incapable of reliably communicating with others.”  Respondent also submitted medical records, and both a letter and affidavit from a doctor from September 1997, indicating that conservatee had dementia and was “incapable of handling her own affairs.”  We reject appellant’s argument that because the medical evidence was submitted subsequent to the March 28 order, the court erred in considering it.  As noted above, the evidence is admissible because it was submitted prior to the final June 1 hearing.

            We also reject appellant’s contention that the medical records were inadmissible hearsay.  The question of whether to admit or exclude evidence is within the district court’s discretion.  Kroning v. State Farm Auto. Ins. Co., 567 N.W.2d 42, 45-46 (Minn. 1997).  The district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting conservatee’s medical records.  We conclude that based on the medical evidence the district court had sufficient evidence to support its finding that conservatee was incompetent. 


            Finally, appellant contends the district court judge abused her discretion by failing to remove herself from this case.  We disagree.

Generally, a party who fails to remove a judge before the start of trial has lost its opportunity to do so unless it demonstrates prejudice or implied or actual bias.  Such a motion for removal is committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. 


Uselman v. Uselman, 464 N.W.2d 130, 139 (Minn. 1990); see Minn. R. Civ. P. 63.03.  Here, the district court rejected appellant’s removal motion because it was untimely.  We conclude this was not an abuse of discretion.