Court of Appeals
The state Court of Appeals has thrown out the conviction of a southern Minnesota man, saying the amount of meth-tainted water found in his bong was far under the threshold required for his imprisonment. Ryan M. Drown, 32, of Waseca was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in 2013 for having the tainted water in a bong that amounted to less than half an ounce. He had been convicted for second- and third-degree drug possession in Blue Earth County District Court.
When you voted Tuesday, you probably noticed a lot of judges on the ballot. This puzzled Kirk from Oak Park Heights because he knows the governor also appoints them. On Washington County’s sample ballot, there were 28 judge seats. Twenty-four were unopposed.
Evidence that a defendant can legally use marijuana for medical purposes in another state isn’t relevant when that person is on trial for violating Minnesota’s drug laws, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
A former lawmaker suing to stop a new Senate office building must come up with an $11 million bond if he wants to press his case forward in the Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the bond would protect the state from losses resulting from delays due to the litigation by former Rep. Jim Knoblach of St. Cloud. The state had asked for a higher bond while Knoblach’s attorney has said it could deter him from pressing the case.
A Minnesota law banning the offering of advice or encouragement about how to commit suicide is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, the state appeals court ruled Monday. The decision by a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals was hailed as a “grand slam” victory by Robert Rivas, an attorney for the Final Exit Network. Two members of the national right-to-die group are charged in the 2007 suicide of Doreen Dunn, a 57-year-old Apple Valley woman who had suffered from chronic pain for more than a decade. Prosecutors “don’t have one scintilla of evidence from the scene” to support the charges that the two Final Exit Network members assisted in Dunn’s suicide, Rivas said.
For almost every criminal convicted in the state of Minnesota, the Court of Appeals is their last and only shot.
Amy Senser’s appeal of the felony conviction in the hit-and-run death of a Minneapolis man will be heard in April.
A civil case testing the limits of Minnesota’s open records law when it comes to outsourced work is approaching a hearing at the state Court of Appeals.
Minnesota’s newest member of the Court of Appeals has a long history on the bench. Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday elevated Judge Michael Kirk to an opening on the appellate court. Kirk has been a district court judge since 1989 when then-Gov. Rudy Perpich appointed him.
The Minnesota Supreme Court says the BNSF Railway Co. is not entitled to a new trial in a lawsuit over a 2003 car-train crash in Anoka that killed four young people.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied a review of Gordon Weaver’s murder conviction in the 1999 death of his wife.
Judges from the state’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals — along with law clerks and court staff — are serving lunch Friday at the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul.