Jane Doe 175, a minor, by her mother and natural guardian, Mother Doe 175, Respondent,
Columbia Heights School District, ISD No. 13, Appellant, Christopher Lloyd Warnke, Respondent.
Anoka County District Court File No. 02-CV-11-7667.
Jeffrey R. Anderson, Sarah G. Odegaard, Jeff Anderson & Associates, P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent Jane Doe 175).
Margaret A. Skelton, Christian R. Shafer, Scott E. Schraut, Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant Columbia Heights School District).
Christopher Lloyd Warnke, Anoka, Minnesota (pro se respondent).
Susan L. Naughton, League of Minnesota Cities, St. Paul, Minnesota (for amici curiae League of Minnesota Cities and Association of Minnesota Counties).
Thomas S. Deans, Michelle D. Kenney, Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A., Mendota Heights, Minnesota (for amicus curiae Minnesota School Boards Association).
Considered and decided by Johnson, Presiding Judge; Rodenberg, Judge; and Chutich, Judge.
1. An appellant may not obtain answers to questions certified by a district court if the district court did not consider the certified questions in its order denying a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment, as required by rule 103.03(i) of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.
2. An appellant may not obtain answers to questions certified by a district court in the "interest of justice" if there is no other issue properly before the court, as required by rule 103.04 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.
3. In considering a petition for discretionary review of a non-appealable order that does not concern class certification, pursuant to rule 105.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, this court considers the factors identified in Gordon v. Microsoft Corp., 645 N.W.2d 393 (Minn. 2002), and the factors identified in Valspar Refinish, Inc. v. Gaylord's, Inc., No. A05-1640 (Minn. Nov. 22, 2005) (order).
4. A respondent may not obtain interlocutory appellate review of a district court's partial grant of summary judgment by way of a notice of related appeal pursuant to rule 106 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure if the appellant's underlying appeal is being dismissed and if respondent seeks review of an otherwise non-appealable order.
While employed by the Columbia Heights School District, Christopher Lloyd Warnke engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor student. The student sued Warnke and the school district. The district court granted the school district's motion for summary judgment on two theories of relief but denied the motion with respect to the student's theory that the school district should be vicariously liable for Warnke's tortious conduct. The student's surviving claims against Warnke and the school district are pending in the district court.
After ruling on the school district's motion for summary judgment, the district court certified two questions to this court pursuant to rule 103.03(i) of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure. The school district served and filed a notice of appeal to obtain answers to the certified questions. The student filed a notice of related appeal to obtain interlocutory appellate review of the district court's partial grant of the school district's motion for summary judgment with respect to two claims.
We conclude that the certified questions are not properly before this court because the school district and the district court did not comply with rule 103.03(i). We also conclude that the student's related appeal is not properly before this court because the school district's appeal is being dismissed and because the student seeks review of an otherwise non-appealable order. Therefore, we dismiss both the appeal and the related appeal.
In 2009, Warnke worked for the school district as a football coach and weight-room supervisor. In the fall of that year, Warnke engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor student who is identified in this case as Jane Doe 175. The misconduct included the exchange of sexually explicit text messages and one incident of hand-to-genital contact when Doe visited Warnke in the weight room. The school district learned of the misconduct in November 2009 and contacted law enforcement on the same day. The school district immediately placed Warnke on administrative leave and terminated his employment shortly thereafter. In February 2011, Warnke pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of solicitation of a child to engage in sexual conduct.
In October 2011, Doe commenced this civil action. She alleged a claim of sexual battery against Warnke and two negligence claims against the school district. She also alleged that the school district ...