This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re: Application for Relocation
Benefits by Charles E. Mistelske.
Filed June 19, 2007
Charles E. Mistelske,
Scott C. Baumgartner, William G.
Hawkins and Associates,
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge; Klaphake, Judge; and Willis, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator appeals from a hearing officer’s decision on review of the Andover Economic Development Authority’s denial of relator’s supplemental claim for relocation-assistance benefits. The hearing officer awarded relator a portion of his claimed storage costs but otherwise affirmed the authority. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
is the second appeal in this case. Relator
Charles E. Mistelske operated an auto-salvage business on a ten-acre parcel
that he owned in
In January 2002, Mistelske filed a
supplemental claim for relocation-assistance benefits. The AEDA denied Mistelske’s supplemental claim
on the ground that it was untimely, and a hearing officer upheld that decision.
Mistelske appealed to this court by writ
of certiorari, and this court reversed the hearing officer. Mistelske
Mistelske petitioned the supreme
court for further review, and in an order opinion, the supreme court remanded
the case to this court “to clarify whether the remand to Andover Economic
Development Authority includes consideration of Charles Mistelske’s claim for
relocation costs.” Mistelske v.
On May 2, 2005, Mistelske filed a new supplemental relocation-assistance-benefits claim, seeking reimbursement for renting a storage site, for the expense of moving the business’s property from the storage site to the replacement site, and for the reestablishment of the business at the new site. A relocation counselor recommended that the AEDA approve $10,000 in reestablishment benefits, the maximum amount allowable under the regulation; approve $5,026 in printing costs for advertising the business’s change of location; and deny the remaining claims. The AEDA adopted the recommendation.
Mistelske sought review of the AEDA’s decision. A hearing officer was appointed and a hearing was held. The hearing officer found that the date of taking of the acquired site was February 28, 1998; that Mistelske was allowed to continue to occupy the acquired site until October 1998; that Mistelske acquired the replacement site on October 8, 1998; and that it took Mistelske four months to move his property from the acquired site. Thus, because Mistelske began moving his business’s property in June 1998, and the replacement site was not available until October 1998, the hearing officer determined that some storage costs were “reasonable and necessary.” The hearing officer awarded Mistelske storage costs equal to five months’ rent for the storage site and otherwise affirmed the AEDA. This certiorari appeal follows.
D E C I S I O N
hearing officer’s decision is “quasi-judicial” and is reviewed by certiorari to
this court. Naegele Outdoor Adver., Inc. v.
Under Minn. Stat. § 117.52, subd. 1 (2006), an acquiring authority, as “a cost of acquisition,” shall offer the displaced landowner the compensation that the landowner would be entitled to under the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 if the federal government had participated in the acquisition. In that act, Congress sought to minimize “the adverse impact of displacement” and to maintain “the economic and social well-being of communities.” 42 U.S.C. § 4621(a)(4) (2000). A claimant may claim compensation for the “actual reasonable expenses” of moving the personal property of a business, searching for a replacement site for the business, and reestablishing the business at the new site. 42 U.S.C. § 4622(a) (2000).
A. Storage Costs
argues first that he is entitled to storage costs of 25 months’ rent for the
storage site that he rented, arguing that it took that long to refurbish,
equip, and license the replacement site. Compensation for actual storage costs that are
related to moving the business and that the agency determines are “reasonable
and necessary” is authorized by 49 C.F.R § 24.301(a), (g)(4) (2006). Although storage costs are generally
limited to 12 months, the agency may extend that period if necessary.
Here, the hearing officer found that Mistelske finished vacating the acquired site and acquired the replacement site in October 1998. Noting that all parties “acknowledge that finding a suitable replacement location for an auto salvage business is challenging” and that it took Mistelske four months to vacate the acquired site, the hearing officer determined that storage for June through October 1998 was “reasonable and necessary” and, consequently, awarded Mistelske five months’ rent as storage costs.
The hearing officer found that Mistelske acquired the replacement site on October 8, 1998. And she awarded storage costs for the five months ending October 31, 1998. Therefore, it appears that although she found that it took Mistelske four months to move his property from the acquired site to the storage site, the hearing officer determined that it was reasonable to allow Mistelske only 23 days to move his property from the storage site to the replacement site. The hearing officer’s decision does not explain the rationale for such a determination.
We therefore remand the issue of storage costs to the hearing officer for an explanation of the award that she made or for adjustment of that award. The hearing officer may, in her sole judgment, reopen the record to receive additional evidence. We express no opinion on the issue.
B. Move from Storage Site to Replacement Site
Mistelske argues next that the hearing officer erred by determining that he was not entitled to compensation for the move from the storage site to the replacement site. The hearing officer affirmed the AEDA’s denial of Mistelske’s claim, determining that because Mistelske had elected to perform a “self move,” he was not eligible for additional compensation and that, in any event, he had failed to submit sufficient documentation to support his claim.
for professional services to move the personal property of a displaced business
is authorized by 49 C.F.R. § 24.301(g)(12) (2006). Under 49 C.F.R. § 24.303(c) (1997), a
displaced business may elect “to take full responsibility for the move of the
business or farm operation.” If the
displaced business elects a self-move, it is entitled to compensation in the
amount of the lower of two bids, obtained by the agency, to move the business.
But Mistelske did not comply with the applicable regulations. Under 49 C.F.R. § 24.303(b)(2) (1997), the claimant must provide the agency with advance written notice of the move. Nothing in the record shows that Mistelske did so. Further, in the case of a self-move, the regulation provides that bids may be obtained only by the agency. 49 C.F.R. § 24.303(c). Here, Mistelske obtained the “bids” himself. And we note that the March 1999 “bid” from Shorty’s Towing is not a bid at all; it is an invoice for $12,000. Thus, because Mistelske did not comply with the regulations, the hearing officer appropriately denied his claim for additional moving expenses.
C. Claim for Lost or Stolen Property
Mistelske argues next that he is entitled to compensation for several items of property that he claims were lost or stolen from the acquired site. The regulations authorize compensation for the replacement value of property that is “lost, stolen, or damaged in the process of moving (not through the fault or negligence of the displaced person, his or her agent, or employee) where insurance covering such loss, theft, or damage is not reasonably available.” 49 C.F.R. § 24.301(g)(6) (2006) (emphasis added). Mistelske testified at the hearing that he did not purchase insurance, and the hearing officer found that there was no evidence that insurance was not reasonably available. Thus, we affirm the hearing officer’s denial of Mistelske’s claim for lost or stolen property.
D. Reestablishment Expenses
argues finally that he is entitled to a $50,000 reestablishment benefit, claiming
on appeal that he incurred more than $92,000 in reestablishment expenses. At the hearing, Mistelske claimed only an additional
$3,190.48 in reestablishment expenses, and the hearing officer denied the claim
because the AEDA had already approved the maximum reestablishment benefit
available under the regulation, which was $10,000. See 49
C.F.R. § 24.304 (1997). Mistelske contends
that a recent amendment to Minn. Stat. § 117.52 authorizes up to a $50,000
reestablishment benefit. But the
amendment applies only “to actions commenced on or after” May 20, 2006. 2006
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
 We cite the most recent version of the Code of Federal Regulations unless the provision cited has changed substantively since the acquisition here, in which case, we cite the version that was in effect at that time.