This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Blue Earth County District Court
File No. C4032389
Terry G. Stange, 115 Florence Street, Mankato, MN 56001 (pro se appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, P. Kenneth Kohnstamm, Assistant Attorney General, Suite 1100, NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2128 (for respondents)
Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Klaphake, Judge; and Harten, Judge.
Pro se appellant Terry Stange, a former employee of respondent Minnesota Department of Transportation, challenges summary judgment dismissing his claims of disability discrimination, worker’s-compensation retaliation, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Because appellant’s deficient briefing and an inadequate record make meaningful review impossible, we dismiss the appeal.
Appellant Terry Stange sued his former employer, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT). The complaint recites various incidents that appellant asserts demonstrate “a long history of discriminatory and harassing behavior” by DOT and contains three counts: (1) disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act; (2) retaliation for refusal to dismiss a worker’s-compensation appeal; and (3) intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
DOT moved for a more definite statement. Appellant responded by filing an “Answer to Motion for a More Definite Statement” in which he set out many more facts and asserted numerous causes of action not contained in his complaint. Appellant did not attempt to amend his complaint to allege these additional claims.
DOT moved to dismiss appellant’s complaint or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. The limited record filed on appeal shows that appellant was served with a notice of motion and motion stating the date and time of hearing on the motion. Appellant was also served with DOT’s lengthy memorandum of law in support of its motion. Appellant appeared pro se at the hearing on DOT’s motion. No transcript of the motion hearing has been provided in this appeal. The district court subsequently entered an order dismissing all of appellant’s claims, stating:
Some of the claims are barred by force of the Worker’s Compensation Act. Others are barred due to an earlier settlement. Finally, as to those claims that survive those tests, even if [appellant’s] alleged facts are accepted as true, there is insufficient evidence under the law to allow the same to survive defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
This appeal followed.
Pro se litigants are generally held to the same standards as attorneys. Liptak v. State ex rel. City of New Hope, 340 N.W.2d 366, 367 (Minn. App. 1983). Appellant bears the burden, on appeal, of providing an adequate record to permit meaningful appellate review. Mesenbourg v. Mesenbourg, 538 N.W.2d 489, 494 (Minn. App. 1995). In some instances where the issues are legal, an appeal may be decided even without a transcript of the district court proceedings, despite the assistance a transcript provides “in discerning exactly what arguments were made before the trial court. . . .” Id. But if the record is inadequate the appeal must be dismissed. Id.; see also Noltimier v. Noltimier, 280 Minn. 28, 29, 157 N.W.2d 530, 531 (1968). Because appellant did not file any affidavits, deposition testimony, or any other evidence of any kind in opposition to DOT’s motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, and because appellant did not provide a transcript of the hearing, we find the record inadequate to permit meaningful review.
Furthermore, appellant’s briefing is insufficient under the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure to permit review. In addition to the structural inadequacies of appellant’s brief on appeal, appellant’s entire legal argument is as follows:
I. Plaintiff tried all known avenues to resolve this dispute from the beginning in 1998.
II. The Defendants knowingly assigned the Plaintiff to unsafe work even after being advised against by doctors.
III. Defendants received medical information concerning the Plaintiff’s medical problems but ignored them.
IV. The Defendants failed to reasonably accommodate the Plaintiff’s disability.
V. The Defendants retaliated against the Plaintiff for fighting for denied Work Comp Benefits due him.
“Failure to comply with the rules [set forth in rule 128] can diminish a brief’s persuasiveness, lead to non-consideration of an issue, or can lead to dismissal of an appeal.” Cole v. Star Tribune,581 N.W.2d 364, 371-72 (Minn. App. 1998) (citations omitted). Issues not briefed on appeal are waived. Melina v. Chaplin, 327 N.W.2d 19, 20 (Minn. 1982). Assignment of error in a brief based on “mere assertion” and not supported by argument or authority is waived unless prejudicial error is obvious on mere inspection. State v. Modern Recycling, Inc., 558 N.W.2d 770, 772 (Minn. App. 1997) (quotation omitted). Based on the limited record before us, we cannot discern any prejudicial error.
Because the record and briefing are totally inadequate to permit meaningful review of this matter, we dismiss the appeal.
Appellant’s brief does not contain a table of cases and legal authority as required by Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, Rule 128.02, subdivision 1(a); does not cite any caselaw; and only makes general references to the MHRA, ADA, Title VII, and the Minnesota Worker’s Compensation Act, without specifically referring to the sections of those statutes that he relies on to support his claims.