This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Kenneth L. Johnson,
River Watershed District,
Filed January 17, 2006
Clay County District
Kenneth L. Johnson,
8196 160th Street South,
Barnesville, MN 56514-9177
(pro se appellant)
Stephen F. Rufer,
110 North Mill Street, P.O. Box
866, Fergus Falls, MN 56537 (for respondent Elkton Township)
Tami L. Norgard, Michelle C. Winkis, 218 NP Avenue, P.O. Box 1389, Fargo,
ND 58107-1389 (for respondent
Buffalo-Red River Watershed District)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding
Judge, and Crippen,
P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Kenneth L. Johnson
challenges the district court’s grant of summary judgment to respondents Elkton Township
and Buffalo-Red River Watershed District and dismissing his request for
reversal of a 1989 district court decision.
Because appellant’s claims against respondents were previously litigated
in 1989, the district court did not err by granting summary judgment based on
the doctrine of res judicata. We
D E C I S I O N
judgment may be granted if there is no genuine issue of material fact and
either party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Minn.
R. Civ. P. 56.03. The doctrine of res
judicata precludes the litigation of claims that previously have been litigated
or could have been litigated in a former action. Mattson
v. Underwriters at Lloyds of London,
414 N.W.2d 717, 719 (Minn.
1987). The appellate court reviews the
district court’s application of res judicata as a question of law. Care
Inst., Incorp.-Roseville v. County of Ramsey,
612 N.W.2d 443, 446 (Minn.
judicata is properly invoked when (1) there is a final judgment on the merits;
(2) a subsequent suit involves the same cause of action; and (3) the
parties are identical or are in privity with the former parties. In re
Trusts by Hormel, 543 N.W.2d 668, 671 (Minn. App. 1996). Here,
there was a final judgment in 1989, that judgment was affirmed by this court, and
the supreme court denied review in 1990.
Buffalo-Red River Watershed Dist.
v. Johnson, 1990 WL 48575 (Minn. App. Apr. 24, 1990), review denied (Minn. June 26, 1990). In that earlier case, appellant argued that the
height of the township road and dry approach promoted flooding of his land,
which are the same issues raised by appellant here. This action also involves the same parties as
the prior suit.
all of the requirements for application of res judicata are met. The district court therefore did not err by
granting summary judgment based on res judicata. Affirmed.