Court of Appeals 09.15.09

The Court renders a decision in a Minnetonka employment-discrimination suit that does not break new legal ground but is an object lesson in always following your personnel procedures.  Minnetonka got the entire complaint dismissed at the distirct court level.  On appeal, the Court affirmed the dismissal on claims where the city had followed its procedures – conducting a thorough investigation into hostile-environment claims and applying a medical-leave policy.  The city is headed back to court, though, on a claim related to the promotion of a comparable employee done outside the normal competitive-application process, with no apparent explanation. 

The Court also rejects the appeal of a landlord who self-filed his challenges to a pair of St. Paul demolition orders in district court.  Unfortunately, challenges of “quasi-judicial” decisions, like a city’s nuisance abatement order, must proceed directly to the Court of Appeals, so the district court lacks jurisdiction.  Of course, by the time the claimant gets this opinion, it’s far too late to file the claims properly.  It’d be nice to know if someone tried to steer the guy in the right direction, or maybe that the complaints came in far too late to be done the right way.  I doubt that unpublished opinions are highly read items, but episodes that make it appear that government lawyers hide the ball and blithely toy with citizens’ concerns are terrible for the profession and bad for governance in general.  More context, please.


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