Dakota County District Court File No. C7-05-7088.
The district court's jurisdiction to decide disputes under Minn. Stat. § 117.232, subd. 2 (2004), is contingent on the owner having previously rejected the purchaser's offer for appraisal fees and moving costs.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Dietzen, Judge; and Harten, Judge.
Following a December 2003 commercial property closing in a redevelopment project, appellants Instant Testing Company and associated enterprises, in August 2004, requested additional relocation benefits. The request was denied by respondent, Eagan Economic Development Authority (EDA). Appellants then filed a motion in Dakota County district court for a determination of the amount of the claimed additional relocation benefits under Minn. Stat. § 117.232, subd. 2 (2004). The district court dismissed appellants' claims for failure to meet the necessary statutory requirements, finding that appellants were not tenants and had not rejected EDA's offer of benefits. Appellants challenge the judgment of dismissal, arguing that they fulfilled the statutory requirements. Because the district court properly concluded that appellants did not reject the offer of benefits as required by section 117.232, subdivision 2, we affirm the district court's dismissal.
Appellants Instant Testing Company and Allied Test Drilling are businesses formerly located at 3996 and 4000 Cedar Grove Parkway, Eagan [hereinafter Eagan properties]. Gordon Kopacek, is the owner of both appellant companies and the Eagan properties.*fn2 Kopacek is both appellants' owner and landlord.
In 2001, Kopacek began negotiations with Mark Parranto of Delta Development (Delta) to sell the Eagan properties. Kopacek claims that Parranto informed him that he would have to move his businesses by November 2002.
In the spring of 2002, Kopacek found a replacement location in Savage. In September 2002, Kopacek began constructing a new building at the replacement location. In March 2003, the proposed sale to Delta fell through. On or about 11 March 2003, Kopacek contacted the City of Eagan (City) about the sale of the Eagan properties to the City. On 19 March 2003, appellants sent a memo to their customers stating, "We will be moving to our new office and laboratory building on March 21, 2003."
In April 2003, Kopacek met with Dan Wilson, the acquisition consultant for EDA, to discuss sale of the Eagan properties. In addition to the $305,000 purchase price, Kopacek and Wilson agreed on $41,000 for relocation benefits. Kopacek claims that Wilson represented that $41,000 was the full amount of benefits available and that Wilson failed to provide relocation advisory services or claim assistance.
On 17 June 2003, EDA resolved to purchase the Eagan properties. Shortly thereafter, the parties executed a purchase agreement that included $41,000 for relocation benefits that the parties agreed would be in "full satisfaction of any and all claims for ...