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Bryant Avenue Baptist Church v. City of Minneapolis

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

March 27, 2017

Bryant Avenue Baptist Church, Appellant,
v.
City of Minneapolis, Respondent.

         Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-16-3200

          Erick G. Kaardal, Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Susan L. Segal, Minneapolis City Attorney, Brian S. Carter, Assistant City Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Considered and decided by Connolly, Presiding Judge; Larkin, Judge; and Reyes, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Churches are not exempt from special assessments as a result of the 1970 amendment to Minn. Const. art. X, § 1.

          OPINION

          CONNOLLY, Judge.

         Appellant church challenges respondent city's imposition of a special assessment for street resurfacing, arguing that (1) the church is exempt from special assessments under Minn. Const. art. X, § 1, and (2) the special assessment is an unconstitutional taking under Minn. Const. art. I, § 13. Because we conclude that the plain language of the 1970 amendment to Minn. Const. art. X, § 1, does not exempt churches from special assessments, we affirm.

         FACTS

         Appellant Bryant Avenue Baptist Church is a nonprofit organization of approximately 80 members located in respondent City of Minneapolis. In February 2016, respondent imposed a special assessment of $31, 191.30 against appellant related to a street resurfacing project. Appellant is required to pay off the amount in five annual principal installments beginning in 2017.

         Appellant filed a complaint and appeal of the special assessment, requesting a declaratory judgment that the application of the special assessment against appellant is unconstitutional under Minn. Const. art. X, § 1.

         Respondent filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(e), arguing that appellant failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Appellant then filed a motion for summary judgment.

          The district court denied summary judgment and granted respondent's motion to dismiss, concluding that the 1970 amendment to Minn. Const. art. X, § 1 did not ...


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