Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Jason K. Lake,
Filed May 26, 1998
Reversed, Motion to Strike Granted, and Request for Attorney Fees Denied
Ramsey County District Court
File No. C797100519
Frank J. Bobbitt, Bobbitt, Richter & Thistle, P.L.L.P., 6004 Leslee Lane, Edina, MN 55436-1213 (for respondent)
Thomas A. Thistle, Bobbitt, Richter & Thistle, P.L.L.P., 716 Seventh Ave. S.W., #3, Rochester, MN 55902-2026 (for respondent)
Jason K. Lake, P.O. Box 582266, Minneapolis, MN 55458-2266 (pro se appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant contests the district court's decision to issue a harassment restraining order against him and moves to strike a portion of respondent's appellate brief. Respondent requests attorney fees and costs on appeal. We reverse, grant appellant's motion to strike, and deny respondent's request for attorney fees.
Each mailing contained: (1) an anonymous cover sheet containing respondent's name and various business addresses; (2) a 1995 police report that one of respondent's employees had been cited for selling a cigar to an underage decoy during a tobacco compliance check; (3) a 1996 tax lien against respondent; (4) a 1994 police report detailing respondent's arrest for DWI, a certificate of representation filed by respondent's attorney, and respondent's guilty plea to the DWI charge; and (5) respondent's license to sell tobacco products from one retail location.
Respondent petitioned for, and the district court granted, a harassment restraining order prohibiting appellant from: (1) any contact with respondent or his family or suppliers; (2) coming within 500 feet of respondent's home; and (3) entering any of respondent's retail stores. This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
A district court may grant a harassment restraining order if it finds "reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has engaged in harassment." Minn. Stat. § 609.748, subd. 5(a)(3) (1996). "Harassment" means
repeated, intrusive, or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that are intended to adversely affect the safety, security, or privacy of another, regardless of the relationship between the actor and the intended target.
Id., subd. 1(a)(1). The district court concluded that appellant harassed respondent by mailing the documents to respondent's family and business contacts.
The record does not support the district court's conclusion that appellant's mailings adversely affected respondent's safety, security, or privacy. Appellant sent only accurate copies of public records that he acquired through legitimate means. Although this may have embarrassed respondent, disseminating accurate copies of public records does not constitute harassment sufficient to justify a restraining order. Respondent had no legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents. See Keezer v. Spickard, 493 N.W.2d 614, 619 (Minn. App. 1992) (constitutional right of privacy does not include right to prevent disclosure of personal information collected by government), review denied (Minn. Feb. 12, 1993). As we read the statute, appellant's dissemination of accurate copies of public documents or records relating to respondent does not constitute "harassment" under Minn. Stat. § 609.748, subd. 1 (a)(1), sufficient to support the restraining order.
Reversed, motion to strike granted, and request for attorney fees denied.