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1. Based on a framework established by the United States Supreme Court, Minnesota has adopted and applied the “lodestar” method for awarding statutory attorney fees. Under that method, the lodestar amount may not be enhanced for the risk of non−recovery inherent in a contingent-fee agreement. 2. The district court’s enhanced attorney-fee award, made without factual findings and based in part on the risk of non-recovery inherent in a contingent-fee agreement, was an abuse of discretion.
Date: March 20, 2019
1. Appellant is conclusively entitled to no relief on his witness-recantation claim because even when the alleged facts are viewed in the light most favorable to appellant, they fail to establish that the jury might have reached a different verdict in the absence of the testimony in question, and therefore the district court did not abuse its discretion when it summarily denied the claim. 2. Even without the allegedly recanted testimony, the failure to provide the jury with an accomplice-corroboration instruction did not affect appellant’s substantial rights. 3. Appellant is conclusively entitled to no relief on his remaining claims because even when the alleged facts are viewed in the light most favorable to appellant, the claims are barred by the postconviction statute of limitations, and therefore the district court did not abuse its discretion when it summarily denied the claims.
Date: March 20, 2019
Under the plain language of Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 1(b) (2018), first-degree burglary committed while possessing “any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon” requires that the victim be physically present during the burglary.
Date: March 20, 2019
A sentence for an out-of-state conviction that results in the out-of-state sentencing court imposing a probationary term but reserving the right to vacate the stay and impose a sentence is the equivalent of a stay of imposition for purposes of calculating the defendant's criminal-history score under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.
Date: March 18, 2019
Under Minn. Stat. § 65B.51, subd. 1 (2018), basic economic loss benefits paid to or on behalf of a person injured in the maintenance, use, or operation of a motor vehicle must be offset from any verdict in a personal-injury action brought by the injured person, regardless of whether the reparation obligor is entitled to indemnity from the tortfeasor under Minn. Stat. § 65B.53, subd. 1 (2018). A reparation obligor is subrogated to claims based on either negligence in a state other than Minnesota or negligence other than negligence in the maintenance, use, or operation of a motor vehicle. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.
Date: March 18, 2019
Appellant challenges his conviction of second-degree driving while impaired (DWI), arguing that the district court violated his right to present a complete defense by limiting his cross-examination of the arresting officer. We affirm.
Date: March 18, 2019
Respondent Wadena County Board of Commissioners, over the opposition of relators Randy and Tami Wenthold and their business, Went North LLC (collectively, the Wentholds), approved a conditional-use permit that allowed respondent Park Rapids Clay Dusters Inc. (PRCD) to construct and operate a shooting range on its property. In this certiorari appeal, the Wentholds argue that a shooting range is not allowed as a conditional use in the relevant zone under the Wadena County, Minn., Zoning Ordinance (2017) (WCZO). They also argue that, even if a shooting range can be a conditional use in that zone, the county acted arbitrarily and capriciously by allowing the use despite their arguments that it will cause offensive noise and will result in shot leaving the property and falling onto adjoining state forest land. We affirm.
Date: March 18, 2019
Appellant William Issac Jones appeals from his conviction and sentence for aiding and abetting simple robbery. Appellant argued for either a dispositional or a durational departure at the district court; the state recommended a durational departure. The district court imposed a guidelines sentence at the “bottom of the box.” On appeal, appellant argues that the district court abused its sentencing discretion by relying on offender-based factors when it declined to impose a downward durational departure. We affirm.
Date: March 18, 2019
During a traffic stop in Minneapolis, police officers noticed a passenger in the car digging in his pants. Worried that the passenger, appellant Phillip Joseph Porter, might be concealing or grabbing a gun, an officer drew his own gun and ordered Porter out of the car. As Porter got out of the car, he handed the officers a jar filled with marijuana. A subsequent search of Porter revealed heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Porter was charged with seven counts pertaining to the drugs. Porter asserts that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop. And Porter contends that the district court erred in sentencing him to concurrent terms for all seven counts. Because we conclude that the search of Porter’s pants and removal of the objects was a lawful search incident to arrest, we affirm the district court’s denial of Porter’s motion to suppress. But we reverse Porter’s sentences and remand for resentencing because the district court erred in imposing multiple sentences for conduct arising out of a single behavioral incident.
Date: March 18, 2019
Appellant challenges his conviction of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, arguing that the district court erred by denying his motion to suppress the drug evidence supporting his conviction. We affirm.
Date: March 18, 2019
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