This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of:
Wayne Schneider, petitioner,
Jill Lynn Schneider,
County of Anoka, intervenor,
Filed August 28, 2007
Anoka County District Court
File No. F4-02-2516
Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, Bethany A. Lindberg, D. Marie Sieber, Assistant County Attorneys, Anoka County Government Center, 2100 Third Avenue, Seventh Floor, Anoka, MN† 55303 (for appellant)
††††††††††† Considered and decided by Ross, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Shumaker, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N
††††††††††† In this child-support-related dispute involving the suspension of respondent-fatherís driverís license, appellant-county argues that the record does not support the fine imposed on the county for erroneously suspending fatherís driverís license.† We reverse.
††††††††††† At the April 2006 review hearing, the county admitted that, contrary to the CSMís order, respondentís license had been suspended due to actions of the countyís child-support department and was still suspended.† The CSM imposed a $150 fine against the county to reimburse respondent for reasonable costs incurred as a result of the countyís wrongful suspension of his driverís license, and judgment was entered accordingly.† The district court affirmed the CSMís order.† This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
††††††††††† The county argues that the fine imposed against it should be reversed because the evidence does not support the finding that respondent incurred $150 in costs as a result of the suspension of his driverís license.
††††††††††† When a
district court affirms a CSMís ruling, the CSMís ruling becomes the ruling of
the district court, and an appellate court reviews the district courtís
decision.† Kilpatrick v. Kilpatrick, 673 N.W.2d 528, 530 n.2 (Minn. App. 2004).† There is no statutory authority authorizing
the fine imposed against the county.†
Thus, if authority exists, it would arise under the district courtís
inherent power to award equitable relief.†
See DeLa Rosa v. DeLa Rosa, 309 N.W.2d 755, 757-58 (
decision to grant equitable relief is within the discretion of the court and
will not be reversed unless there is a clear abuse of that discretion.† Medtronic,
Inc. v. Advanced Bionics Corp., 630 N.W.2d 438, 450 (
††††††††††† The district court specifically stated that it awarded respondent $150 for reasonable costs incurred as a result of the countyís wrongful suspension of his driverís license.† Respondent indicated at the April 2006 review hearing that it had been difficult for him to seek employment without a driverís license.† But he presented no evidence of specific costs incurred or job-seeking opportunities missed as a result of the suspension of his driverís license.† Because the record contains no evidence regarding costs incurred by respondent as a result of the suspension of his driverís license and the incurrence of costs by respondent was the stated reason for imposing the fine against the county, the district court abused its discretion in imposing the fine, and we reverse.
††††††††††† Because we are reversing on evidentiary grounds, we need not address the countyís argument that the district court did not have inherent authority to impose the fine.