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Jensen v. Duluth Area YMCA

November 16, 2004

JOHN R. JENSEN, APPELLANT,
v.
DULUTH AREA YMCA, A MINNESOTA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.



St. Louis County District Court File No. C3-02-603462.

Considered and decided by Hudson , Presiding Judge, Kalitowski , Judge, and Klaphake , Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

An individual alleging that the termination of his membership in a nonprofit corporation violated Minn. Stat. § 317A.411 (2000), cannot bring a cause of action against the nonprofit corporation without complying with the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 317A.467 (2000).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Klaphake, Judge

Affirmed

OPINION

Appellant John R. Jensen filed suit against respondent Duluth Area YMCA (the YMCA) for terminating his membership in violation of the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act (the act). The district court granted summary judgment to the YMCA. Jensen challenges the dismissal of his claim under the act and his breach of contract claim. Because Jensen failed to follow the requirements necessary to bring a cause of action under Minn. Stat. § 317A.467 (2000), and because Jensen failed to establish damages to support a breach of contract claim, we affirm.

FACTS

On October 2, 2001, Jensen was running on the track at the YMCA in an attempt to finish 32 laps (two miles) in 20 minutes. Jensen was preparing to take his military physical training test for his position in the National Guard. During his second mile, a group of children came out onto the track and "essentially enveloped" Jensen. Jensen allegedly yelled at the children "get out of the way or I'll run you over."

The next two times Jensen came around the track, he found himself surrounded by children again. Unable to avoid contact, Jensen bumped into some children on the track. Jensen allegedly struck one child on the behind and pushed others out of the way.

The Executive Director of the YMCA, Jeffrey H. Palmer, notified the Board Executive Committee that he was inquiring into the incident and that he would make a decision regarding whether to terminate a member. Palmer interviewed the adults who were in the area during the altercation. He also consulted the incident reports from Jensen, the aquatics director, the swim coaches, and the gymnastics coach who were all present. After hearing Jensen's version of the incident, Palmer terminated Jensen's YMCA membership.

Jensen thereafter sued the YMCA. Following discovery, the YMCA moved for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment on four of Jensen's five claims; the parties agreed to dismiss the remaining claim, which alleged defamation. On appeal, Jensen only challenges the dismissal of his claim under the act and his breach of contract claim.

ISSUES

1. Did the district court err in granting summary judgment on the claim alleging a violation of the ...


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