Minn. Stat. sec. 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Lowell Nelson, et al.,
Steven K. Nuest,
Roger Horning, et al.,
Filed February 3, 1998
File No. C3-97-63
Wayne Pike, 9196 105th Avenue N.E., Spicer, MN 56288 (appellant pro se)
Warrenn C. Anderson, Fluegel, Helseth, McLaughlin, Anderson & Brutlag, Chartered, 215 Atlantic Avenue, P.O. Box 527, Morris, MN 56267 (for respondents Nelson, et al.)
Jeffrey D. Kuhn, Nelson & Kuhn, Ltd., Law Building, 14 Franklin Street South, Glenwood, MN 56334 (for respondent Nuest)
Diane P. Gerth, Spence, Ricke & Thurmer, 325 Cedar Street, Ste. 600, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondents Horning, et al.)
James F. Wagemaker, Wagemaker Law Office, P.O. Box 172, Olivia, MN 56277 (for respondent Roebke)
Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Appellant Wayne Pike challenges the denial of his motion for a temporary injunction. We reverse and remand.
In September 1996, the shareholders met in appellant's absence. In October 1996, the shareholders removed appellant from the board of directors. In November 1996, ten shareholders signed a petition calling for the termination of appellant's employment. On December 20, the chairman of the board of directors sent a letter to appellant terminating his employment as of January 20, 1997.
Appellant began this lawsuit against ACC and several ACC directors and shareholders claiming various violations of the Minnesota Business Corporation Act, (Chapter 302A), including breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful termination based on reasonable expectations, and defamation.
At a hearing on May 22, 1997, appellant moved for a temporary injunction. During the hearing, the district court stated that the only action it might take would be to have the corporation buy out appellant's shares, but that there were not enough facts to decide the remaining issues. It also decided that the action was premature. The district court then filed an order, with no accompanying memorandum, denying the motion. This appeal followed.
[I]n granting or refusing interlocutory injunctions the court shall * * * set forth the findings of fact and conclusions of law which constitute the grounds for its action. * * * It will be sufficient if the findings of fact and conclusions of law are stated orally and recorded in open court following the close of the evidence or appear in an opinion or memorandum of decision filed by the court or in an accompanying memorandum.
Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01 (emphasis added). Failure to make the appropriate findings requires reversal. Oxford Dev., Inc. v. Ramsey County, 417 N.W.2d 319, 321 (Minn. App. 1988).
The purpose of a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo until judgment, so that the eventual judgment will not be impaired by the intervening acts of the parties during the litigation. Hollenkamp v. Peters, 358 N.W.2d 108, 112 (Minn. App. 1984) (quoting Pickerign v. Pasco Mktg., Inc., 303 Minn. 442, 446, 228 N.W.2d 562, 565 (1975)).
The district court must consider a motion for temporary injunction in light of five factors: (1) the nature and background of the relationship between the parties; (2) the harm to be suffered by the moving party if the injunction is denied as compared to that inflicted on the nonmoving party if the injunction is granted; (3) the likelihood that one party will prevail on the merits; (4) public policy considerations; (5) the administrative burdens imposed on the court in supervising and enforcing the injunction. Dahlberg Bros., Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 272 Minn. 264, 274-75, 137 N.W.2d 314, 321-22 (1965). These factors are to be considered by the district court. In the absence of findings, we cannot determine whether the district court abused its discretion. Crowley Co., Inc. v. Metropolitan Airports Comm'n, 394 N.W.2d 542, 545 (Minn. App. 1986).
Here, the district court did not make Dahlberg findings. The district court's oral statements provide only limited insight and were neither designated as findings nor made at the conclusion of the evidence as required by Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01. The district court's written order simply stated that the motion was premature. We cannot meaningfully review the district court's denial of appellant's motion without any explanation of its reasoning.
In some cases, the district court may not be required to make findings on every one of the Dahlberg factors. See Minneapolis Fed'n of Teachers v. Minneapolis Pub. Schs., 512 N.W.2d 107, 110 (Minn. App. 1994) (where parties extensively briefed three of the factors and did not focus on the other two, court's discussion of three factors was sufficient), review denied (Minn. Mar. 31, 1994). But the district court must explain its analysis. Moreover, because the purpose of a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo pending trial, appellant's motion was not premature. Accordingly, the district court clearly abused its discretion by denying the motion on that basis. Even if the district court decides to deny the motion, it must do so by applying the Dahlberg factors.
We reverse and remand to the district court for findings and conclusions pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01 and Dahlberg.
Reversed and remanded.