STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Jose Fernando Ramirez Salinas,
Williams P. Kaszynski,
Filed August 24, 1999
Ramsey County District Court
Martha L. Burns, 150 Eaton Street, St. Paul, MN 55107 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Appellant challenges the district court's order requiring him to pay unpaid attorney fees for legal representation he feels amounted to malpractice. We affirm.
Salinas claims that he was negligently misrepresented and is seeking return of the $1,788 paid to Kaszynski for his services. Kaszynski cross-claimed in district court seeking payment of the remaining bill and costs. This case originated in conciliation court and was appealed to district court.
[n]either the plaintiff or his expert alleged that the agreement [entered] into was fraudulent, misrepresented or void or that the defendant did anything improper to encourage the plaintiff to sign the agreement.
The district court framed its decision as a contract issue, but the claim on appeal is a malpractice claim. Salinas did not include a claim for malpractice in his original complaint in conciliation court, and he did not bring an amended complaint in the district court.
Conciliation court rules allow for de novo review at the district court level. Minn. R. Gen. Pract. 521. But the pleadings from conciliation court constitute the district court record. Minn. R. Gen. Pract. 522. These rules require that any valid claim must be stated in the conciliation court complaint, unless the complaint is amended in the district court. Because Salinas did not amend his claim before the district court to include the malpractice claim, he cannot raise it now. Therefore, we are limited to reviewing only the contract claim and must affirm the district court.