County District Court File No. 27-CV-14-20893
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Louis K.
Robards, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota
R. Simatic, Dan Biersdorf, Biersdorf & Associates, P.A.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellants)
Considered and decided by Cleary, Chief Judge; Hooten, Judge;
and Smith, Tracy M., Judge.
evidentiary rulings must be assigned as error in a motion for
a new trial or amended findings to properly preserve
objections for appellate review.
SPECIAL TERM OPINION
CLEARY, Chief Judge.
appeal from a judgment determining damages in an eminent
domain proceeding, appellants Sandip C. Bhakta, et al., seek
to raise evidentiary issues pertaining to the denial of three
of appellants' motions in limine, and an additional issue
relating to the district court's offset against the
damages award for unpaid real estate taxes. Appellants did
not move for a new trial.
general rule is that to preserve issues for appellate review
that arise during the course of trial, counsel-in addition to
taking other requisite steps, including making timely
objections-must move the district court for a new trial
pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 59.01. Sauter v.
Wasemiller, 389 N.W.2d 200, 201 (Minn. 1986). Because
the Sauter rule applies to pretrial evidentiary
rulings, we dismiss the part of this appeal raising
evidentiary issues that do not involve a substantive question
2012, respondent County of Hennepin filed a condemnation
petition to acquire appellants' motel property as part of
a project to upgrade a county road. In August 2012,
respondent made a quick-take payment to appellants in the
amount of $765, 443 for the property. The district court
granted title and possession of the property to respondent
and appointed three commissioners to determine the amount of
just compensation owing to appellants. In October 2014, the
commissioners awarded the amount of $760, 000 to appellants
for the taking.
filed a notice of appeal in district court challenging the
commissioners' award under Minn. Stat. § 117.145
(2016). Appellants requested a jury trial. In March 2017,
appellants filed five motions in limine, including motions
seeking to exclude respondent's minimum compensation
report and the testimony of two of respondent's planned
witnesses. Before the jury trial began on April 4, 2017, the
district court denied appellants' motions in limine on
April 10, 2017, the jury returned its special verdict
awarding damages for the taking in the amount of $810, 000.
Respondent moved to offset the amount remaining on the
damages award by the amounts that respondent paid for
delinquent real estate taxes and water charges on the
June 2, 2017 judgment, the district court awarded damages in
the amount of $44, 567 to appellants, which was the
difference between the damages awarded by the jury verdict
and the amount of quick-take payments. In a July 28, 2017
order, the district court granted respondent's motion to
offset the delinquent property taxes that respondent had paid
against the damage award and judgment. Because the amount of
the property tax payment exceeded the judgment amount of $44,
567, the district court directed that the judgment entered on
June 2, 2017, be vacated. On August 2, 2017, final judgment
was entered pursuant to the July 28, 2017 order. Appellants
did not file any posttrial motions, but instead filed this
appeal from the August 2, 2017 final judgment.
of appellants' failure to raise their proposed
evidentiary issues in a motion for a new trial, we questioned
whether the evidentiary issues are subject to ...