may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.§ 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed July 8, 1997
Dakota County District Court
File No. C39510647
Timothy J. Eiden, Renee K. Fearing, Hansen, Dordell, Bradt, Odlaug & Bradt, P.L.L.P., 3900 Northwoods Drive, Suite 250, St. Paul, MN 55112-6973 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Kalitowski, Judge.
Appellant argues the district court abused its discretion in denying his motion for relief from a default judgment under Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02. We affirm.
On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representatives from a final judgment (other than a marriage dissolution decree), order, or proceeding and may order a new trial or grant such other relief as may be just for the following reasons:
(a) Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
* * * *
(f) Any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.
The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (a), (b), and (c) not more than 1 year after the judgment, order, or proceeding was entered or taken.
Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02. The district court's application of rule 60.02 will not be reversed unless the court abused its discretion. Carter v. Anderson, 554 N.W.2d 110, 115 (Minn. App. 1996).
When analyzing motions for relief under rule 60.02, a four-part balancing test is applied. To be entitled to relief, the moving party must demonstrate:
(1) a reasonable claim on the merits;
(2) a reasonable excuse for the failure or neglect to act;
(3) action with due diligence after notice of entry of
(4) that no substantial prejudice will result to the other party.
Western Lake Superior Sanitary Dist. v. Interpace Corp., 454 N.W.2d 449, 452 (Minn. App. 1990) (citing Hinz v. Northland Milk & Ice Cream Co., 237 Minn. 28, 30, 53 N.W.2d 454, 456 (1952)). "A weak showing on one factor may be overcome by a strong showing on the other three factors." Hovelson v. U.S. Swim & Fitness, Inc., 450 N.W.2d 137, 140 (Minn. App. 1990), review denied (Minn. Mar. 16, 1990) (citing Guillaume & Associates, Inc. v. Don-John Co., 371 N.W.2d 15, 19 (Minn. App. 1985)).
Here, the district court recognized the four-factor test, but focused exclusively on its determination that appellant's neglect was not excusable. If the district court fails to apply the four-part test, this court applies the test de novo. Carter, 554 N.W.2d at 115.
Applying the four-part test, we determine that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's motion because appellant made a weak showing on three of the four factors. Appellant's claim is weak and, as the district court properly determined, his neglect is not excusable. See Spicer v. Carefree Vacations, Inc., 379 N.W.2d 728, 730 (Minn. App. 1986) (lack of understanding of the legal significance of documents characterized as weak); Guillaume & Associates, Inc., 371 N.W.2d at 19 (same). Although acting within three weeks may be considered due diligence, appellant failed to meet his burden of proving that the respondent will not suffer substantial prejudice. See Bentonize, Inc. v. Green, 431 N.W.2d 579, 584 (Minn. App. 1988) (conclusory allegation that no prejudice will occur if the action is reinstated is insufficient to meet burden).
Finally, although appellant argued to the district court that he was entitled to relief under clause (f) of rule 60.02, he did not pursue this issue on appeal. See Balder v. Haley, 399 N.W.2d 77, 80 (Minn. 1987) (holding that issues not argued in appellate briefs will be deemed waived on appeal). Further, even if we consider this argument, appellant is not entitled to relief. Clause (f) is "available only under exceptional circumstances," Gray v. Farmland Industries, Inc., 529 N.W.2d 514, 517 (Minn. App. 1995), review denied (Minn. June 14, 1995), and is not available if a claim "properly falls under another clause." Western Lake Superior Sanitary Dist., 454 N.W.2d at 452. Here, appellant's claim properly falls under clause (a).