Court Office of Appellate Courts
R. Wilhelmy, Gauri S. Samant, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, for relator.
Miller, Waseca County Attorney, Waseca, Minnesota; and Marc
J. Manderscheid, Briggs and Morgan, P.A., Minneapolis,
Minnesota, for respondent.
K. Stroup, Barry R. Gronke, Jr., Stoneberg, Giles &
Stroup, P.A., Marshall, Minnesota, for amicus curiae
Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, Inc.
court order is not a final, appealable order under Minn.
Stat. § 271.10, subd. 1 (2018), if a post-order motion
calls into question the finality of the value determinations
made in the original order and the tax court stays entry of
judgment on that order to address the post-order motion.
to dismiss granted; writ of certiorari discharged and appeal
remanded this case to the Minnesota Tax Court in 2015 after
concluding that the external-obsolescence calculations made
by the tax court in valuing relator Guardian Energy's
property were not reasonably supported by the record.
Guardian Energy, LLC v. County of Waseca, 868 N.W.2d
253 (Minn. 2015). The tax court then issued a new order in
2016 that again addressed external obsolescence and made
findings and conclusions regarding the value of
Guardian's property (the "2016 Order"). Before
judgment was entered on that order, respondent Waseca County
filed a motion that requested correction of computational
errors made by the tax court through amended findings. After
the County filed its motion, the tax court stayed entry of
judgment. Before the tax court ruled on the County's
motion, Guardian sought review of the tax court's order
in our court. Because we conclude that the County's
unresolved motion and the tax court's stay of entry of
judgment rendered the 2016 Order not "final" within
the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 271.10, subd. 1 (2018), we
discharge the writ of certiorari and dismiss the appeal for
lack of jurisdiction.
2009, Guardian purchased an ethanol-production facility
located in Janesville. The Waseca County Assessor assessed
property taxes based on its estimate of the property's
market value for 2009, 2010, and 2011, and Guardian
challenged each year's assessment by filing petitions
with the tax court. The challenges were consolidated, and in
2014 the tax court issued an order determining the fair
market value of the property for each tax year.
appealed the tax court's order to our court. In 2015, we
affirmed the tax court's determination that the
property's ethanol tanks were taxable real property,
vacated the tax court's valuation determinations because
its external-obsolescence calculations were not reasonably
supported by the evidence, and remanded the case to the tax
court, giving it the option to reopen the record.
Guardian Energy, 868 N.W.2d at 261,
additional proceedings in the tax court, on September 28,
2016, the tax court issued the 2016 Order. The tax court
stayed entry of judgment on this order for 15 days- until
October 13. On October 13, the County filed a "motion
for correction of computational errors," asking the tax
court to "amend its findings and conclusions to correct
computational errors" so that the judgment would
"accurately reflect the market value" of
Guardian's property. The County brought its motion under
Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02, 60.01 and Minn. Stat. § 271.08,
subd. 1 (2018). See also Minn. Stat. § 271.06,
subd. 7 (2018) ("[T]he Rules of . . . Civil Procedure
for the district court of Minnesota shall govern the
procedures in the Tax Court, where practicable.").
Guardian opposed the County's motion. On October 31, the
tax court stayed entry of judgment "pending further
order of the court."
November 21-after the tax court had stayed entry of judgment
but before the County's motion was resolved-Guardian
filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with our court.
See Minn. Stat. § 271.10, subd. 2 (2018)
(directing the petitioner who seeks review of a tax court
decision to "obtain from the supreme court a writ of
certiorari"). In its accompanying statement of the case,
Guardian stated that the 2016 Order disposed of all claims
and was a "final order." Acknowledging the
County's October motion, Guardian noted that the motion
"does not impact the finality" of the 2016 Order.
Eleven days later, on December 2, the County filed a notice