may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Alan Ellis, et al.,
Laserquipt International, Inc., et al.,
Filed October 29, 1996
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 92-12851
Clay R. Moore, Mackall, Crounse & Moore, 1400 AT&T Tower, 901 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for Respondents)
Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
Appellants, franchisees Alan and Barbara Ellis, settled an action they had initiated against respondents, franchisor Laserquipt International, Inc. and its president Alan Naas, for fraud and breach of the franchise agreement. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, appellants were allowed an opportunity to prove advertising expenses and franchise fees different than the amounts conceded by respondents. Because we observe no error in the trial court's determinations that appellants' proffered evidence failed to prove they should pay amounts different from those established in the settlement agreement, we affirm.
Appellants claim that they submitted "detailed records" of advertising expenses showing that their allowable deductions exceeded $25,000. Appellants claim the records consisted of their business checking account expense reports, other "selected accounts," and receipts from claimed expenses. The records, however, failed to include any summary, index, general description, or other identifying information that would enable the trial court to compare the claimed expenses to those allowed under Laserquipt's advertising guidelines. See 11 Peter S. Thompson, Minnesota Practice § 1006.01, at 576 (1992) (as practical matter, voluminous materials useful to trier of fact only if litigants summarize data). After they submitted this evidence, the court notified appellants that the information was unintelligible and suggested that appellants provide an index or guide, but appellants failed to offer further evidence on the issue. Because appellants failed to submit probative evidence showing that they were entitled to advertising expense credits, the trial court did not err in ruling as it did. See Minn. R. Evid. 401 (relevant evidence must make fact "more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence").
Appellants also claim the trial court erred in finding that they had provided insufficient evidence to establish that the franchise fees they owed were less than the amount provided for in the settlement agreement. In its November 22, 1995, order, the trial court found as follows:
Beyond general assertions that certain sales were voided or reversed by the Ellis's, plaintiffs have not provided a sufficient evidentiary basis to establish that any sales were voided or reversed. Plaintiffs have been given every opportunity to provide such sufficient evidence but have failed to do so.
Appellants claim that "[v]oided or reversed transactions are demonstrated in the ledgers." The ledgers themselves, however, are not self-explanatory and fail to provide facts proving that certain transactions were voided or reversed as claimed by appellants. Without such evidence, the trial court did not err in finding that appellants had failed to prove that they owed less in franchise fees than the amount established in the settlement agreement. See Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01 (trial court's findings of fact not set aside unless clearly erroneous); Stiff v. Associated Sewing Supply Co., 436 N.W.2d 777, 779 (Minn. 1989).