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Northstar Education Finance, Inc. v. Kirscher

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

May 13, 2013

Northstar Education Finance, Inc., Respondent,
v.
Bradley A. Kirscher, Appellant.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CV-11-7897.

Ryan D. Peterson, Stephen M. Harris, Meyer & Njus, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent).

Bradley A. Kirscher, Kirscher Law Firm, P.A., Roseville, Minnesota (for appellant).

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Klaphake, Judge.

KLAPHAKE, Judge [*]

Respondent Northstar Education Finance, Inc. (Northstar) sued appellant Bradley Kirscher to recover a defaulted student loan debt, and the district court granted summary judgment for Northstar. Kirscher challenges the decision, arguing that affidavits submitted by Northstar were untimely and insufficient to show that Northstar owned the debt, that the debt was discharged in Kirscher's 2006 bankruptcy, and that Northstar's suit was barred by the statute of limitations.

The district court did not abuse its discretion in considering Northstar's affidavits and properly concluded that Kirscher's student-loan debt was not discharged through bankruptcy. But because genuine issues of material fact exist concerning when the statute of limitations began to run on Northstar's cause of action, we reverse the grant of summary judgment for Northstar and remand for further proceedings.

DECISION

We review the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo. Mattson Ridge, LLC v. Clear Rock Title, LLP, 824 N.W.2d 622, 627 (Minn. 2012). Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that either party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.03. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was granted, we must determine whether genuine material factual issues exist that would preclude summary judgment and whether the district court erred in its application of the law. Mattson Ridge, 824 N.W.2d at 627.

1. Timeliness of Discovery

Kirscher first contends that the district court erred in denying his motion to strike two of Northstar's affidavits, dated June 21 and August 2, 2012, as untimely. The district court enjoys "considerable discretion in granting or denying discovery requests in civil actions" and we will not reverse a discovery decision absent a clear abuse of that discretion. Wiggin v. Apple Valley Med. Clinic, Ltd., 459 N.W.2d 918, 919 (Minn. 1990). Because Kirscher did not object to the August 2 affidavit before the district court, his argument against its admission is waived for purposes of appeal. Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988).

Concerning the June 21 affidavit, the district court correctly found that Kirscher "did receive the documents in question nearly three weeks before the filing of his summary judgment memorandum." Further, the June 21 affidavit detailed the structure of the loan program for Kirscher's loans and its nonprofit status. While this information was requested 18 months before it was disclosed, Kirscher made no motion to compel ...


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