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New opinions: Dec. 22

The Supreme Court has issued 10 new opinions.

The summaries are below.

To see an opinion, click on the "View Opinion" button. Opinions display in a printable format. Hyperlinks to all North Dakota opinions and rules cited in an opinion are included in the text: hover over the citation and click to follow the hyperlink.

See other Supreme Court opinions at:

Highlight: A judgment affirming Job Service’s decision to deny unemployment benefits is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(5).

State v. Clauthier 2022 ND 237
Docket No.: 20220223
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Case Type: ASSAULT
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: Two district court orders revoking probation and resentencing a defendant are summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2) and (4).

Highlight: A party seeking termination of parental rights must prove all of the statutory elements by clear and convincing evidence. If the party seeking termination proves the statutory elements, the district court has discretion to decide whether to terminate parental rights.

Interest of N.L. 2022 ND 235
Docket No.: 20220311
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Author: Crothers, Daniel John

Highlight: Juvenile courts have exclusive jurisdiction to order termination of parental rights under N.D.C.C. § 27-20.2-03(1)(b).

If an agency meets the requirements for termination of parental rights under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and N.D.C.C § 27-20.3-19, this Court will affirm the termination.

State v. Yousif 2022 ND 234
Docket No.: 20220156
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Case Type: ASSAULT
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: A district court has broad discretion to exclude extrinsic evidence of prior inconsistent statements at trial, even if a proper foundation has been laid.

Shafer v. Scarborough, et al. 2022 ND 233
Docket No.: 20220124
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: An arbitration award will not be vacated unless it is completely irrational, and an award is completely irrational if the decision is either mistaken on its face or so mistaken as to result in real injustice or constructive fraud.

Matter of Wolff 2022 ND 232
Docket No.: 20220160
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court’s order denying a petition for discharge from civil commitment as a sexually dangerous individual is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2).

Vassel v. Vassel, et al. 2022 ND 231
Docket No.: 20220143
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Case Type: CHILD CUST & SUPPORT (Div.\Other)
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: The district court has discretion to award back child support considering the time the parties separated.

Highlight: The district court does not abuse its discretion in denying a request for additional discovery where the party requesting fails to identify what information is sought, why they were unable to obtain the information before the motion for summary judgment, and fails to explain how the information would preclude summary judgment.

The district court does not err in dismissing a party’s affirmative defenses where the party fails to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to any of the affirmative defenses.

Senger v. Senger 2022 ND 229
Docket No.: 20220040
Filing Date: 12/22/2022
Author: McEvers, Lisa K. Fair

Highlight: Generally, statutes in place at the time of commencement of an action apply. A statute may not be retroactively applied unless the statute explicitly states that it is to be applied retroactively or unless this Court can rationally infer from other sources that the legislature intended retroactive application of the statute.
Applying the incorrect version of a statute will be considered harmless error if it did not affect a party’s substantial rights.
A district court’s consideration of relevant evidence is not an abuse of discretion. A court’s credibility determination regarding testimony given at a bench trial will not be reweighed on appeal.
When the district court fails to adequately explain the basis for its decision, appellate review of the decision is not possible and remand is appropriate.