This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.§ 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).


Park Drive Partnership,


Karl G. Granse,

Filed September 24, 1996
Kalitowski, Judge

Dakota County District Court
File No. C6962035

Craig A. Wible, Wible & Gallagher, PLLP, 1275 Capital Centre, 386 North Wabasha Street, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for Respondent)

Karl G. Granse, 105 East 151st Street, Burnsville, MN 55337 (Pro Se Appellant)

Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Willis, Judge.


Appellant Karl G. Granse challenges the judgment of restitution granted by the district court in an unlawful detainer action brought by respondent Park Drive Partnership (Park Drive). Granse argues: (1) the district court was precluded from hearing the matter because of a pending quiet title action, and (2) the proper procedures were not followed with regard to the sale of the disputed property to Park Drive. We affirm.

The IRS claimed appellant Karl G. Granse owed in excess of $50,000 for unpaid taxes. Based on its claim, the IRS placed a tax lien on Granse's property, which included a home. The IRS later seized the home and sent Granse a notice of a Sealed Bid Sale, which informed him that his home would be sold. The home was sold to Park Drive. Granse made no effort to redeem the property before the sale, during the redemption period, or after the redemption period.
An unlawful detainer action was commenced by Park Drive when Granse did not vacate the property. Park Drive presented evidence to the district court establishing it had purchased the home from the IRS. Granse did not challenge Park Drive's assertion, but instead made numerous allegations against the IRS and argued the court could not hear the unlawful detainer action because of a pending quiet title action regarding the home.

On appeal Granse again asserts that an unlawful detainer action cannot be decided while his title claim is pending. This is an issue of law. A reviewing court is not bound by and need not give deference to a trial court's decision on a purely legal issue. Frost-Benco Elec. Assoc. v. Minnesota Pub. Utils. Comm., 358 N.W.2d 639, 642 (Minn. 1984).
Unlawful detainer actions do not determine title. William Weisman Holding Co. v. Miller, 152 Minn. 330, 332, 188 N.W. 732, 733 (1922) (an unlawful detainer action does not determine the ultimate rights of the parties). An unlawful detainer action is a summary proceeding designed only to determine who has the right to present possession of the property. Id.; Keller v. Henvit, 219 Minn. 580, 585, 18 N.W.2d 544, 547 (1945) (unlawful detainer action determines only right to present possession). As the supreme court has stated:
The scope and purpose of the [unlawful detainer] action differs so essentially from the scope and purpose of an action to enforce equitable rights in the property that the pendency of the latter action cannot be held to bar the right to prosecute the former.

Weisman Holding, 152 Minn. at 332, 188 N.W. at 733.
Accordingly, we reject Granse's assertion that the district court could not decide the unlawful detainer action while his quiet title action was pending.

The district court concluded that for purposes of determining the right to possession Park Drive was the legal owner of the property. This is a finding of fact. Findings of fact, whether based on oral or documentary evidence, shall not be set aside unless clearly erroneous. Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.
The purpose of an unlawful detainer action is to determine who has the "superior right of possession." See Sternaman v. Hall, 411 N.W.2d 18, 19 (Minn. App. 1987) (court held legal owner had "superior right of possession"); Minn. Stat. § 566.03, subd. 1 (1994) ("The person entitled to the premises may recover possession * * *."). As noted above, an unlawful detainer action does not determine title. Weisman Holding, 152 Minn. at 332, 188 N.W. at 733 (unlawful detainer action does not determine title).
In the present case, Park Drive purchased Granse's property and Granse did not attempt to redeem the property. Although Granse raised several issues regarding the actions of the IRS, those issues were outside the scope of the district court's authority in an unlawful detainer action and are, therefore, outside our scope of review on appeal.
The judgment in an unlawful detainer action determines only the right to the present possession and is not a bar to an action involving the title or the equitable rights of the parties. Such matters, including counterclaims, cannot be litigated in such action.

Keller, 219 Minn. at 585, 18 N.W.2d at 547; Weisman Holding, 152 Minn. at 332, 188 N.W. at 733 (in an unlawful detainer action "the defendant cannot interpose an equitable defense, nor any defense in the nature of a counterclaim").
Park Drive provided the district court with evidence that it had purchased Granse's home from the IRS. Granse did not present the district court with any evidence demonstrating that he had a greater right of possession to the property than Park Drive. Therefore, we conclude the district court did not err in determining Park Drive was entitled to possession. Further, we deny respondent's request for costs for responding to this appeal.