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Friday, May 30, 2008

Seven new opinions issued on Chief's last day

Today is Chief Justice Russell Anderson's last day on the court (unless he works over the weekend), and the bench sent him home in style with seven opinions issued this afternoon. They are available at the court's web site, but here's a synopsis, listed in the order in which they are listed by the court. The court:

Remanded for resentencing in a case where an upward departure was based on uncharged criminal conduct (State v. Jackson);

Said that a plaintiff alleging sexual harassment claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act based on sexual harassment by a supervisor is not required to prove that the employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take timely and appropriate action (Freiler v. Carlson Marketing Group);

Said that where a child had been struck with a small paddle about 36 times there was no showing of physical or mental injury amounting to “physical abuse” under the child protection statutes (In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: N.F. and S.F., Parents);

Reversed a termination of parental rights case because substance abuse alone does not make a parent palpably unfit and the county may not unilaterally decide that reunification efforts would be futile (In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: T.R., T.M., P.P. and B.H., Parents);

Reversed summary judgment for a bar in a dram shop case where a person chose to evade arrest by jumping into a river and drowned (Osborne v. Twin Town Bowl);

Said that federal Medicaid law limits the scope of recovery from the estate of a nonrecipient spouse and that Minn. Stat. sec. 256B.15, subd. 2 is partially preempted to the extent that it authorizes recovery from the surviving spouse's estate of assets in which the deceased Medicaid recipient did not have a legal interest at the time of death (In re the Estate of: Francis E. Barg, a/k/a Francis Edward Barg); and

Said that the rapid, natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood creates a single-factor exigent circumstance that will justify the police taking a warrantless, nonconsensual blood draw from a defendant, provided that the police have probable cause to believe that defendant committed criminal vehicular homicide or operation (State v. Shriner).

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