STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Stanley R. Henricksen,
Filed November 2, 1999
St. Louis County District Court
File No. C196601070
Stanley R. Henricksen, 1928 Kent Road, Duluth, MN 55812 (pro se appellant)
Robert C. Maki, Maki & Overom Chartered, 31 West Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.
Appellants Stanley and Dwane Henricksen challenge two judgments, allowing and confirming a sheriff's sale, issued by the district court after the entry of declaratory judgment. Appellants contend that the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the case because the time to appeal the declaratory judgment had expired. We agree and vacate the judgments of March 3, 1997, and January 5, 1999.
Stanley and Dwane Henricksen then commenced a declaratory judgment action against Kent Henricksen, seeking a declaration that the execution sale was invalid. Kent Henricksen answered, seeking a declaration that the sale was valid and a declaration of Dwane Henricksen's interest in the property.
The parties filed cross-motions for declaratory judgment. On July 11, 1996, the district court (1) denied Stanley and Dwane Henricksen's motion for declaratory judgment; (2) granted Kent Henricksen's motion for declaratory judgment; (3) declared the sheriff's execution sale valid, the April 1996 recording of the sheriff's certificate proper, and Dwane Henricksen's interest in the property to be no greater than Stanley Henricksen's; and (4) awarded costs to Kent Henricksen. The parties did not appeal this judgment.
Kent Henricksen arranged for a second sheriff's sale of the McQuade Road property, to be held on March 4, 1997. On February 11, 1997, Stanley and Dwane Henricksen made a motion to "cancel" the second sale. The district court allowed the sale to proceed, provided that the proceeds were paid into the court, and on March 3, 1997, judgment was entered accordingly.
At the second sheriff's sale, Kent Henricksen purchased the property for $75,000. He then filed a receipt with the sheriff, reducing his judgment against Stanley Henricksen for the amount of the sale. On October 29, 1998, after the period for redemption for the second sale expired, Kent Henricksen made a final motion. He sought an order confirming the second sheriff's sale and the application of the purchase price to reduce his judgment against Stanley Henricksen. On January 5, 1999, the district court granted Kent Henricksen's motion, despite objections by Stanley and Dwane Henricksen that the court lacked jurisdiction to do so. Stanley and Dwane Henricksen brought the instant appeal.
If the time to appeal a judgment expires with no appeal having been taken, the district court no longer has subject-matter jurisdiction over the judgment. Marzitelli v. City of Little Canada, 582 N.W.2d 904, 906-07 (Minn. 1998). If, however, the judgment is only a partial judgment, not resolving all of the claims and rights of the parties, the district court retains jurisdiction. Minn. R. Civ. P. 54.02 (providing that, unless the court expressly directs otherwise, a partial judgment is subject to revision until the "entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties"); Pederson v. Rose Co-op. Creamery Ass'n, 326 N.W.2d 657, 660 (Minn. 1982).
Kent Henricksen contends that the July 11, 1996 judgment was not a final judgment, but only a partial judgment from which the time to appeal did not commence until entry of the final judgment in the case. According to Kent Henricksen, the final judgment in the case is the January 5, 1999 judgment. Thus, the district court had jurisdiction over the case, generally, and to revise the July 11, 1996 order, in particular, until the appeal period for the January 5, 1999 order expired. We disagree.
An examination of Stanley and Dwane Henricksen's complaint and Kent Henricksen's answer reveals the district court was presented with two issues: (1) the validity of the first execution sale; and (2) the extent of Dwane Henricksen's interest in the property. The district court's July 11, 1996 judgment fully resolved those two general issues. The second and third judgments (on March 3, 1997 and January 5, 1999) dealt exclusively with different issues: the validity of the second sheriff's sale and the distribution of the proceeds of that sale.
The first judgment adjudicated all the claims, rights, and liabilities that were presented to the district court in this declaratory judgment action. Hence, that initial judgment was a final judgment and, once the period for appeal had expired, the district court was divested of its jurisdiction to revise or amend it. The second and third judgments were void for lack of jurisdiction and, accordingly, we vacate them.
The parties have also made a number of motions before this court. Kent Henricksen moved to dismiss the appeal as moot because, during the pendency of the appeal, he sold the McQuade Road property to a third party. Kent Henricksen's argument is without merit and we deny his motion. Stanley Henricksen has filed two pro se motions, one for disbarment of opposing counsel and the other to vacate the sale of the property to the third party. Those motions are not properly before this court and we, therefore, do not address them.