This opinion will be unpublished and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
Designs for Learning, et al.,
Filed April 4, 2006
Hennepin County District Court
File No. EM 04-016932
James R. Andreen, Erstad & Riemer, P.A.,
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Halbrooks, Judge.
Appellant Belzeta Phillips, appearing pro se, argues that the district court erred by dismissing her claim against respondents St. Paul Learning Center and Designs for Learning based on ineffective service of process. Because we conclude that service was not effective upon either respondent, we affirm.
was employed by respondent
Appellant brought a charge against both respondents with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (the department). The department dismissed the charge because “further use of the Department’s resources [was] not warranted.” The department mailed a receipt of notice to appellant on October 8, 2004.
The letter that appellant received from the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights specifically advised appellant that a “[c]harging party may bring a civil action against the Respondent in district court within 45 days of receipt of the dismissal of this case.”
Appellant, pro se,
filed an action in district court under Minn. Stat. § 363A.08 (2004), the
Minnesota Human Rights Act, on November 18, 2004. In her complaint, appellant alleged racial
discrimination as a factor in her termination.
Appellant attempted to serve Designs for Learning by leaving a copy of
the summons and complaint with the Ramsey County Sheriff on November 22. The sheriff served Nancy Schultz, an employee
of Designs for Learning, on November 29.
Schultz is not an officer or managing agent of Designs for Learning, nor
is she an employee of the
Respondents moved to dismiss appellant’s complaint pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 12. The district court granted respondents’ motion and dismissed appellant’s complaint with prejudice. This appeal follows.
of whether service of process is proper is a question of law. Turek
v. A.S.P. of Moorhead, Inc., 618 N.W.2d 609, 611 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (
Minnesota Human Rights Act establishes liability for an “employer” who
adversely treats an “employee.” Minn.
Stat. § 363A.08, subd. 2 (2004).
“Employee” is defined under the act as “an individual who is employed by
an employer and who resides or works in this state.”
appellant was employed by
 Although appellant alleged in her complaint that she was an employee of both respondents, appellant has not provided any evidence to support her claim that she was an employee of Designs for Learning.
Even if Designs for Learning was appellant’s “employer” within the meaning of
the Act, appellant failed to properly serve the corporation because she served
Nancy Schultz, an employee of Designs for Learning whose job consists of
“providing finance and accounting services to clients of Designs for Learning”
including St. Paul Learning Center. To
serve a corporation in a civil action, a plaintiff must serve the summons upon
an officer of the corporation or its managing agent.