This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).






Paul Jasa, et al.,


LaMac Cleaners, Inc.,


Filed January 28, 2003


Peterson, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No. 1020523546


David L. Shulman, Shulman & Dornbos PLLC, 1005 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 3, Minneapolis, MN  55405 (for respondents)


Gregory J. Walsh, Walsh & Gaertner, P.A., 200 University Avenue West, Suite 220, St. Paul, MN  55103 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Willis, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            This appeal is from a district court order affirming a referee’s decision and order in an eviction action.  The referee determined that appellant did not redeem the rented premises in a timely manner and directed that the writ of recovery be immediately executed and that respondents be put into possession of the premises.  We affirm.


Respondents Paul Jasa and Castle Custom Consultants, Inc., brought an eviction action against appellant LaMac Cleaners for failure to pay rent for May and June 2002.  A decision and order issued following a hearing on June 11, 2002, permitted appellant to redeem the property by paying respondents $1,928 by 9:00 a.m. on June 13, 2002, and stated that if the payment was not made, “a judgment & writ shall issue by default.” 

On June 13, appellant’s president, Harry N. Ray, attempted to redeem the property, but respondents refused to accept payment because Ray was late.  When respondents refused to accept payment, Ray paid the $1,928 into court.  Also on June 13, the court administrator issued the writ of recovery and judgment pursuant to the June 11 decision and order.

Appellant moved to quash the writ of recovery, claiming that respondent refused to accept payment tendered by 9:00 a.m. on June 13, and the district court stayed execution of the writ of recovery until a hearing on the motion could be held on June 14, 2002.    At the hearing, Tom Castle, the president of Castle Custom Consultants, Inc., testified that Ray attempted to redeem the property at 9:10 a.m.  A property manager for Castle Custom Consultants, Inc., corroborated Castle’s testimony.  The referee concluded that appellant did not redeem the premises in a timely manner by paying respondent $1,928 on or before 9:00 a.m. on June 13, cancelled the stay of execution of the writ of recovery, and directed the sheriff to immediately execute the writ and put respondent into possession of the premises.  Appellant requested review of the referee’s order by a district court judge, and following a hearing on June 28, 2002, a district court judge affirmed the referee’s decision.


1.         Appellant argues that the district court’s conclusion that it did not redeem the premises in a timely manner should be reversed because it substantially complied with the redemption requirements when Ray attempted to pay respondents $1,928 no later than 9:10 a.m. on June 13. 

Questions of statutory construction are reviewed de novo.  Minneapolis Pub. Hous. Auth. v. Lor, 591 N.W.2d 700, 702 (Minn. 1999).  Minn. Stat. § 504B.291, subd. 1(a) (2000), provides:

A landlord may bring an eviction action for nonpayment of rent irrespective of whether the lease contains a right of reentry clause. * * *  In such an action, unless the landlord has also sought to evict the tenant by alleging a material violation of the lease * * *, the tenant may, at any time before possession has been delivered, redeem the tenancy and be restored to possession by paying to the landlord or bringing to court the amount of the rent that is in arrears * * * .


(Emphasis added.)

            While still in physical possession of the property, appellant paid into court the amount of rent in arrears.  But in Paul McCusker and Assocs., Inc. v. Omodt, 359 N.W.2d 747, 748 (Minn. App. 1985), review denied (Minn. Mar. 29, 1985), this court construed the phrase, “before possession has been delivered to the plaintiff,” which appeared in the statutory predecessor of Minn. Stat. § 504B.291, subd. 1, and determined that the right of redemption exists until a court has issued an order dispossessing the tenant, rather than until the tenant delivers actual possession of the premises.  This court concluded, therefore, that the right of redemption “is foreclosed at the time the order restoring the premises to the landlord is signed.”  Id. at 749.

            The current eviction statute provides:


If the court or jury finds for the plaintiff, the court shall immediately enter judgment that the plaintiff shall have recovery of the premises, and shall tax the costs against the defendant.  The court shall issue execution in favor of the plaintiff for the costs and also immediately issue a writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate.


Minn. Stat. 504B.345, subd. 1(a) (2000).


            But, except in certain circumstances that are not present in this case,

upon a showing by the defendant that immediate restitution of the premises would work a substantial hardship upon the defendant or the defendant’s family, the court shall stay the writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate for a reasonable period, not to exceed seven days.


Minn. Stat. 504B.345, subd. 1(d) (2000).


Following a hearing on June 11, the district court found in favor of the plaintiff landlord.  But the court did not immediately enter judgment and issue a writ of recovery and premises and order to vacate.  Instead, as permitted by Minn. Stat. 504B.345, subd. 1(d), the court gave appellant until 9:00 a.m. on June 13 to redeem the property by paying respondent $1,928 and directed that if appellant failed to do so, a judgment and writ would issue by default.  At 9:00 a.m. on June 13, the court’s stay of its order ended, and because appellant had not paid the rent, a judgment and writ issued by default. 

Appellant argues that it substantially complied with the district court’s redemption order because it was prepared to and fully intended to pay the rent at 9:10 a.m.  But under this court’s reasoning in McCusker, the court’s signed order became effective at 9:00 a.m. and therefore, the redemption period ended at 9:00 a.m.

2.         Appellant argues that the district court erred by denying it an opportunity to present evidence relating to the defense of habitability and to argue for a change in the present law, under which the defense applies only to leases of residential property.[1]  But appellant does not explain why or how the law should be changed.

The admission of “evidence rests within the broad discretion of the trial court and its ruling will not be disturbed unless it is based on an erroneous view of the law or constitutes an abuse of discretion.  Entitlement to a new trial on the grounds of improper evidentiary rulings rests upon the complaining party’s ability to demonstrate prejudicial error.”  In the absence of some indication that the trial court exercised its discretion arbitrarily, capriciously, or contrary to legal usage, the appellate court is bound by the result.

Kroning v. State Farm Auto. Ins. Co., 567 N.W.2d 42, 45-46 (Minn. 1997) (quoting Uselman v. Uselman, 464 N.W.2d 130, 138 (Minn. 1990) (citations omitted).

            Absent any explanation why or how the law should be changed, we cannot conclude that the district court’s decision not to admit evidence regarding habitability was based on an erroneous view of the law.  Nor can we conclude that the district court abused its discretion arbitrarily or capriciously by not admitting evidence regarding a defense that does not apply to leases of commercial property.


[1] Minn. Stat. § 504B.161, subd. 1 (2000), provides:

            In every lease or license of residential premises, the landlord or licensor covenants:

 (1) that the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties;

 (2) to keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license * * *;  and

 (3) to maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable health and safety laws of the state * * *.


(Emphasis added.)


Minn. Stat. § 504B.161, subd. 6 (2000), states:

The provisions of this section apply only to leases or licenses of residentialpremises concluded or renewed on or after June 15, 1971.