This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Lafayette International, Inc., et al.,
Filed September 4, 2007
part, reversed in part, and remanded
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 27-CV-05-017285
A. Sortland, Sortland Law Office,
Gregory D. Luce, R. Daniel Rasmus, Christensen, Laue & Rasmus, P.A., 5101 Vernon Avenue South, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55436 (for respondents)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Randall, Judge.
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Take 5, Delaware Business Trust, and Walt Foster, its principal, appeal from the district court’s grant of summary judgment to respondents Lafayette International, Inc., The Green Edge, Inc., and Douglas A. Kretchmer, principal of both corporations. By notice of review, respondents challenge the district court’s denial of their request for rule 11 sanctions.
Because the district court did not err by concluding that
appellants failed to make a prima facie case of malicious prosecution against
respondents, we affirm the dismissal of the action for malicious
prosecution. Because respondents failed
to comply with the requirements of Minn. R. Civ. P. 11, we affirm the court’s
denial of rule 11 sanctions. Because we
conclude that the court erred when it stated that judgments may only be
enforced under Minn. Stat. §§ 548.26-.33 (2006) or Minn. Stat. §§ 571.93-932
(2006), we reverse the district court’s dismissal of appellants’ claim for
A motion for judgment on the pleadings will be treated as
a motion for summary judgment under Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.03 if matters outside
the pleadings are presented.
A party claiming malicious prosecution must demonstrate
that (1) the suit was brought without probable cause and “with no reasonable
grounds on which to base a belief that the plaintiff would ultimately prevail
on the merits”; (2) the suit was instituted and prosecuted with malicious
intent; and (3) the suit was ultimately terminated in favor of the defendant.
“Probable cause for pursuing a civil action consists of
such facts and circumstances as will warrant a cautious, reasonable and prudent
person in the honest belief that his action and the means taken in prosecution
of it are just, legal and proper.” First Nat’l Bank of
Appellants base their claim of malicious prosecution
against respondents on a 2001 action, which was tried in
The federal rule, as well as Minn. R. Civ. P. 50.01, states that the court “may,” rather than “shall,” grant judgment as a matter of law. Appellants argue that because the language is not mandatory, the denial of a rule 50 motion should not be an indication of probable cause. But when considering a motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a), the court must
(1) resolve direct factual conflicts in favor of the nonmovant, (2) assume as true all facts supporting the nonmovant which the evidence tended to prove, (3) give the nonmovant the benefit of all reasonable inferences, and (4) deny the motion if the evidence so viewed would allow reasonable jurors to differ as to the conclusions that could be drawn.
Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1080 (8th Cir.
1999) (quotation omitted). In Porous Media, the Eighth Circuit
concluded that the federal district court’s denial of judgment as a matter of
law under rule 50(a) “fatally undermine[d] its claims for malicious
The district court did not err in concluding that appellants’ claim for malicious prosecution failed as a matter of law, because they failed to demonstrate that respondents’ earlier lawsuit was brought without probable cause.
“In reviewing cases dismissed for failure to state a
claim on which relief can be granted, the only question before us is whether
the complaint sets forth a legally sufficient claim for relief. It is immaterial . . . whether or not the
plaintiff can prove the facts alleged.” Elzie v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 298
N.W.2d 29, 32 (
The district court stated that the claim of failure to
pay a judgment against respondent
Under the UEFJA, a judgment creditor may obtain full
faith and credit for a foreign judgment by filing a certified copy of the
judgment in any district court in the state.
When the words of a statute are free from ambiguity, we
will not disregard the letter of the law “under the pretext of pursuing the
We review the district court’s decision regarding rule 11
sanctions for an abuse of discretion. Gibson v. Coldwell Banker Burnet, 659
N.W.2d 782, 787 (
A motion for sanctions under this rule shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific conduct alleged to violate Rule 11.02. It shall be served as provided in Rule 5, but shall not be filed with or presented to the court unless, within 21 days after service of the motion . . . the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected.
Before rule 11 was revised to require this procedure, the
primary duty imposed on a party moving for sanctions was one of notice with
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.