This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
G. Bradford Merkl,
Timothy T. Pendleton,
Winona County District Court
File No. C2-03-512
Thomas E. Gort, Bernatz & Gort, LLC, 53 East Third Street, Suite 303, P.O. Box 7, Winona, MN 55987-0007 (for appellant)
David A. Joerg, 209 St. Paul Street Southwest, P.O. Box 257, Preston, MN 55965 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Shumaker, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant G. Bradford Merkl challenges the district court’s decision denying his motions for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction. We affirm.
The decision of whether to grant a temporary restraining order and/or a temporary injunction is left to the discretion of the district court and will not be overturned on review absent a clear abuse of that discretion. Carl Bolander & Sons Co. v. City of Minneapolis, 502 N.W.2d 203, 209 (Minn. 1993); Earth Protector, Inc. v. City of Hopkins, 474 N.W.2d 454, 455 (Minn. App. 1991).
This court considers five factors in determining whether a temporary injunction should be granted: (1) the nature and relationship of the parties; (2) the balance of relative harm between the parties; (3) the likelihood of success on the merits; (4) public policy considerations; and (5) any administrative burden involving judicial supervision and enforcement. Metro. Sports Facilities Comm’n v. Minn. Twins P’ship., 638 N.W.2d 214, 220-21 (Minn. App. 2002) (citing Dahlberg Bros., Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 272 Minn. 264, 274-75, 137 N.W.2d 314, 321-22 (1965)), review denied (Minn. Feb. 4, 2002); see Eakman v. Brutger, 285 N.W.2d 95, 97 (Minn. 1979) (applying the Dahlberg factors to a district court’s denial of a motion for a temporary restraining order).
Because an injunction is an equitable remedy, the party seeking an injunction must demonstrate that there is no adequate legal remedy and that the injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable harm. Cherne Indus., Inc., v. Grounds & Assocs., Inc.,278 N.W.2d 81, 92 (Minn. 1979). Generally, failure to show irreparable harm is, by itself, a sufficient ground for denying a temporary injunction. Morse v. City of Waterville, 458 N.W.2d 728, 729 (Minn. App. 1990), review denied (Minn. Sept. 28, 1990). In the present case, the district court noted that appellant failed to show that he would suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage if the motions were denied.
The first Dalberg factor requires the court to consider the nature and relationship of the parties. A temporary injunction is issued to maintain the status quo pending a decision on the merits. Pickerign v. Pasco Mktg., Inc., 303 Minn. 442, 444, 228 N.W.2d 562, 564 (1975). Here, in considering the motions, the district court noted that the parties had once been friends and co-workers but have since been involved in several lawsuits and now they are adversaries. Appellant filed the motions only after he lost all rights in the property despite the fact that he had a one year right of redemption during which he could have taken action to secure title in the property. Denying appellant’s motions would change the status quo between the parties with respect to who has possession of the land, but it would not change the status quo with respect to who holds title to the land. We conclude that in light of the other Dahlberg factors and the fact that appellant had a one year right of redemption during which he took no action to secure title to the land, denying appellant’s motions did not significantly alter the relationship of the parties.
The second Dahlberg factor requires the court to balance the relative harm between the parties. Here, the district court noted that any harm suffered by appellant is due to the fact that he has failed to act in a timely manner. The district court also noted that respondent had been excluded from his property for over a year from the date he purchased it at the sheriff’s sale. Therefore, the district court properly concluded that the harm appellant would suffer if the court did not grant the motions did not outweigh the harm that respondent would suffer if the court granted the motions.
The third Dahlberg factor requires the court to consider the likelihood of success on the merits. Here, the district court found that it was unlikely that appellant would succeed on the merits because of the expiration of the redemption period. Appellant contends that because he is alleging that he had personal property that should have been used to satisfy his debt, the execution sale was fraudulent and therefore expiration of the redemption period does not prevent him from challenging the sale. But upon expiration of the time for redemption, the purchaser of the property acquires all the right, title, and interest of the person whose property is sold. Minn. Stat. § 550.22 (2002).
Moreover, the district court correctly noted that there is no evidence of fraud in the sale of the land. Nor is there any evidence that the officer executing the sale knew of appellant’s personal property at the time of the sale or that the sale was fraudulent or oppressive. Thus, the district court properly found that it is unlikely that appellant would succeed on the merits.
The fourth Dahlberg factor requires the district court to determine public policy considerations. Here, the record does not support a strong public interest in granting or denying either of appellant’s motions.
The fifth Dahlberg factor requires the district court to consider administrative burdens involving judicial supervision and enforcement. In considering this factor, the district court noted that there would be some administrative burden in halting eviction proceedings at this point, but that this was not a significant factor.
The district court properly considered each of the five Dahlberg factors in determining whether to grant appellant’s motions for a temporary restraining order and/or a temporary injunction. The district court found that appellant failed to show that he would suffer irreparable injury if the motions were denied. This alone justifies denial of the motions. Morse, 458 N.W.2d at 729. The district court also found that appellant has a low probability of success on the merits and none of the other Dahlberg factors favored appellant. Therefore, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s motions for a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction.