This opinion will be unpublished and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 the Estate of
Cameron R. E. Lyseng, Deceased.
Filed August 14, 2007
Kandiyohi County District Court
File No. 34-PR-05-71
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Stephanie A. Riley, Assistant Attorney General, 900 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2127; and
Boyd A. Beccue, Kandiyohi County Attorney, William J. Watson, Assistant County Attorney, 37 Northwest Second Street, P.O. Box 187, Ortonville, MN 56278 (for respondent Department of Human Services)
Gates, 8552 Big Rock Road, Santee,
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Willis, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Personal representatives Kathleen Gates and Carol L. Smith filed this pro se appeal from a district court order that permitted respondent Minnesota Department of Human Services to recover from the estate of a deceased client, Cameron R. E. Lyseng, the total cost of care given to the client at a regional treatment center. Appellants challenge the district court’s allowance of Big Stone County’s claim, made through the Department of Human Services, arguing that the district court misapplied Minn. Stat. § 246.53, subd. 1 (2006). We affirm.
Cameron R.E. Lyseng was born on May 25, 1923, in
appellants, Lyseng’s estate disallowed the claims of DHS and
hearing, DHS and
D E C I S I O N
contend that the district court erred by allowing the state (DHS) to recover
Here, the district
court’s order allowed DHS to recover the total cost of providing care to
decedent that was paid by DHS and Big Stone County, pursuant to Minn. Stat.
§ 246.53, subd.1 (2006). Under
Upon the death of a client, or a former client, the total cost of care given the client, less the amount actually paid toward the cost of care by the client and the client’s relatives, shall be filed by the commissioner as a claim against the estate of the client with the court having jurisdiction to probate the estate and all proceeds collected by the state in the case shall be divided between the state and county in proportion to the cost of care each has borne.
Minn. Stat. § 246.53, subd. 1 (emphasis added). That is, the commissioner is required to file for the recovery of the entire cost of care given to the client, including the portion paid by the county. The statute specifically includes the county’s proportion of the cost.
Here, the county initially filed a separate claim with the estate, which is not in accordance with the process proscribed by Minn. Stat. §§ 246.53, subd. 1, .54, subd. 1. This was remedied at the hearing when the county moved for the state to include the county’s costs in its claim. The state did not object, and the district court granted the county’s motion. The district court did not err by combining the claims, because that is what the statute requires.
Appellants’ argument that the statute produces an absurd result, because it permits the county to recover twice, is not supported by the record. The statute does not permit the county to recover twice; nor has the county actually recovered twice.
Appellants next argue that the county’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations, which requires that a claim be brought within four months of the statutorily-required notice to creditors. See Minn. Stat. § 524.3-803 (2006) (limiting the period for filing claim against decedent’s estate). We disagree.
First, as respondents
accurately observe, appellants did not raise a statute of limitations defense
before the district court; they may not do so for the first time on
appeal. See Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (
in considering appellants’ argument, we conclude that the claims were not
barred, because they were filed within the period mandated by the statute of
limitations. Notice to creditors was
provided on June 29, 2005. Big
If appellants are
arguing that the amendment violated the statute-of-limitations, this argument also
fails. An amendment to the original
claim does not affect the filing date for purposes of the statute of
limitations. “Whenever the claim or
defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction,
or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading,
the amendment relates back to the date of the original pleading.”
We conclude that the district court properly applied the statute by combining the claims and that the statute of limitations did not bar the county’s claim.