This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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






Jean Ann Geske, f/k/a Jean Ann Marcolina, petitioner,





Jeffrey Alan Marcolina,



Filed December 18, 2001

Affirmed; motion denied

Kalitowski, Judge


Ramsey County District Court

File No. F9942321


Jean Geske, 1336 Watson Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116 (pro se respondent)


Jeffrey Marcolina, 917 Palace Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102 (pro se appellant)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Huspeni, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant-father Jeffrey Alan Marcolina challenges the district court’s order restricting him from attending his children’s parent-teacher conferences.  We affirm.



An appellate court’s review of a custody determination is limited to whether the district court abused its discretion by making findings unsupported by the evidence or by improperly applying the law.  Silbaugh v. Silbaugh, 543 N.W.2d 639, 641 (Minn. 1996).  Currently, the law “leaves scant if any room for an appellate court to question the trial court’s balancing of best-interests considerations.”  Vangsness v. Vangsness, 607 N.W.2d 468, 477 (Minn. App. 2000).   

            Appellant contends that the court abused its discretion because it based its decision on the fact that appellant did not have legal custody and therefore was not entitled to attend parent-teacher conferences.  But the court merely noted the statutory definition of legal custody, and then went on to properly base its decision on the best interests of the children, noting that “the law makes no distinction between general determinations of custody and resolution of specific issues of custodial care.”  Novak v. Novak, 446 N.W.2d 422, 424 (Minn. App. 1989).

Appellant also claims the court did not have sufficient evidence to support its determination that his attendance at parent-teacher conferences is not in the children’s best interests and questions the veracity of a letter from the school indicating appellant’s attendance and overall behavior toward the school was problematic.

            The court reviewed 14 letters sent between appellant, the school, and the school’s attorney, as well as a memorandum prepared by the school principal.  The letters and the memorandum indicate a strained relationship between appellant and the school.  The principal’s memo states that the school’s relationship with appellant has been difficult, and that appellant has not been satisfied with the regular conference format.  Moreover, appellant’s persistence regarding obtaining examples of schoolwork has “consumed enormous staff energy.”  Concerning the veracity of the school’s letters, appellant offers nothing but his own beliefs to suggest the letters are not accurate.  Because the district court is in the best position to determine how appellant’s behavior negatively affected his children, we cannot say the district court abused its discretion in restricting appellant from school conferences. 

Finally, appellant moves to strike certain items in respondent’s brief that he claims are not part of the district court file.  Because the record contains all of the information in the objected to items, we deny appellant’s motion.

Affirmed; motion denied.


*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.