This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C1-98-88

Lisa McSparron-Kannenberg,

for herself and on behalf of T.K.,

petitioner,

Respondent,

vs.

William Lane Kannenberg,

Appellant.

Filed June 23, 1998

Affirmed

Klaphake, Judge

Hennepin County District Court

File No. DA223040

Michael L. Kiefer, Michael L. Kiefer Law Office, South Plaza Building, #70-17, 1433 Utica Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55416 (for respondent)

John G. Westrick, Craig E. Shriver, Westrick & McDowall-Nix, P.L.L.P., 400 Minnesota Building, 46 East Fourth Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Forsberg, Judge*.

*Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N

KLAPHAKE, Judge

Respondent Lisa McSparron-Kannenberg, on behalf of herself and the parties' son, petitioned the district court to extend an order for protection (OFP). After an evidentiary hearing, a referee ordered the OFP extended for an additional year. The district court affirmed, and appellant William Lane Kannenberg now seeks review of the order extending the OFP. Because the referee's denial of appellant's request for a continuance was not an abuse of discretion, we affirm. We do not decide the other issues raised by appellant because they are moot.

D E C I S I O N

Appellant argues that the referee abused his discretion by denying appellant's request for a continuance after appellant's counsel failed to attend the evidentiary hearing to extend the OFP. See Dunshee v. Douglas, 255 N.W.2d 42, 45 (Minn. 1977) (decision whether to grant continuance reversed only for clear abuse of discretion). Denial of a continuance to allow a party to obtain counsel does not require reversal where no prejudice is shown. Hamilton v. Hamilton, 396 N.W.2d 91, 94 (Minn. App. 1986) (no abuse of discretion where party had opportunity to obtain new counsel before hearing and no prejudice shown by denial of continuance to obtain new counsel); see also Minn. R. Civ. P. 61 (court must disregard any error or defect in proceeding which does not affect substantial rights of parties). Because appellant failed to establish that he was prejudiced, we conclude that the referee did not abuse his discretion by refusing to grant the continuance.

Appellant alleges other procedural and constitutional errors. During the hearing to extend the OFP, appellant demanded visitation based on his status as a putative father and as a putative spouse. After this appeal was filed, appellant was adjudicated the child's father and his visitation rights were decided. Because the district court issued a separate final order concerning visitation, which is not the subject of this appeal, reversal of the OFP to decide appellant's visitation rights is unnecessary and would be duplicative. Accordingly, appellant's claim to a visitation order based on his putative status is moot. See In re Minnegasco, 565 N.W.2d 706, 710 (Minn. 1997) (when event occurs making decision on merits unnecessary, appeal should be dismissed as moot); In re Inspection of Auto Specialties, Inc., 346 N.W.2d 657, 658 (Minn. 1984) (finality of subsequent citation renders suppression of evidence moot because it would be "futile gesture"). Further, we decline to apply an exception to the mootness doctrine because this is not a matter of public concern that otherwise evades review. See, e.g., In re Schmidt, 443 N.W.2d 824, 825-26 (Minn. 1989) (applying mootness exception because statute could violate patients' recognized privacy right). Finally, although appellant makes constitutional claims, he cites no law recognizing a putative father's or putative spouse's constitutional right to a visitation order as part of a domestic abuse action. Cf. Baker v. Baker, 494 N.W.2d 282, 285 (Minn. 1982) (under Domestic Abuse Act, relief is limited to curtailing harm between household members, act "neither establishes nor terminates a legal relationship").

Affirmed.