T. G. G., Appellant,
H. E. S., Respondent, A. F. K. and N. D. K., intervenors, Respondents.
County District Court File No. 30-FA-18-74
Nord Hunt, Michelle K. Kuhl, Lommen Abdo, P.A., Minneapolis,
Minnesota; and John J. Neal, Willenbring, Dahl, Wocken &
Zimmerman, PLLC, Cold Spring, Minnesota (for appellant)
Ollyver DeSmidt, DeSmidt Rabuse PLLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(for respondent H.E.S.)
D. Fiddler, Fiddler Osband, LLC, Edina, Minnesota (for
intervenors A.F.K. and N.D.K.)
Considered and decided by Hooten, Presiding Judge; Reyes,
Judge; and Kirk, Judge. [*]
I. The grant of a temporary restraining order does not
constitute a "judicial hearing" for the purpose of
determining the timeliness of a revocation of a recognition
of parentage under Minn. Stat. § 257.75, subd. 2 (2018).
II. Minn. Stat. § 259.52, subd. 8(1) (2018), which
prohibits a putative father who does not qualify for a
statutory exception and did not timely register with the
Minnesota Father's Adoption Registry from
"maintaining" an ongoing paternity action once an
adoption proceeding is commenced, does not facially violate
the procedural due process rights of putative fathers.
challenges the dismissal of his paternity action for failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. He argues
that Minn. Stat. § 259.52, subd. 8 (2018), does not bar
his paternity action or, in the alternative, that it is
unconstitutional. We affirm.
T.G.G. had a sexual relationship with H.E.S. (mother) in
March 2017. Mother told him that she was on birth control at
the time. The two ended their relationship shortly
thereafter, and mother began seeing someone else. Mother then
learned that she was pregnant. She gave birth to the child
who is the subject of these proceedings on January 12, 2018.
Two days later, the child was placed with two prospective
adoptive parents (respondents) through Bethany Christian
Services (the adoption service).
alleges the following facts in his paternity petition or
complaint. Although he knew that mother was pregnant, he did
not know he was the father of the child because they had
ended their relationship and mother was dating someone else.
After the birth of the child, appellant requested a paternity
test. In February, mother agreed and a specimen was collected
from the child on or about February 22. A report dated March
5 showed a 99.9999% probability that appellant was the
child's biological father. Appellant requested that
mother allow him to raise the child and stop the adoption
process, but she refused. On March 21, mother did, however,
sign a Voluntary Recognition of Parentage (ROP), recognizing
appellant as the child's biological father, which was
then filed with the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of
Vital Records. And that same day, which was 68 days after the
child was born, appellant registered with the Minnesota
Fathers' Adoption Registry.
March 23, 2018, appellant filed a paternity action in Isanti
County seeking to be adjudicated the father of the child. At
the same time that he filed his paternity action, appellant
also filed his affidavit and motion for injunctive relief
prohibiting the adoption of the child pending his paternity
action. On March 26, without the presence of any party, the
district court granted a temporary restraining order and then
scheduled a hearing for April 23. On March 28, mother signed a
ROP revocation form, which was processed on March 29. On the
same day that the ROP revocation form was processed, mother
was served with a notice of filing, the temporary restraining
order, and a notice of hearing.
April 16, appellant moved for summary judgment in his
paternity action. Respondents then started a separate
proceeding in Ramsey County by filing a petition to adopt the
child on April 19. And that same day, they filed motions to
intervene as a matter of right in appellant's paternity
action and to dismiss that action under Minn. R. Civ. P.
12.02(e) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. The district court granted respondents'
motions. This appeal follows.
appellant qualify for an exception to Minn. Stat. §
259.52, subd. 8?
Does Minn. Stat. § 259.52, subd. 8, bar appellant's
Minn. Stat. § 259.52, subd. 8, unconstitutional?
challenges the district court's dismissal of his
paternity action for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted under Minn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(e). In
appeals from such a dismissal, we review the legal
sufficiency of the dismissed claim de novo. Bahr v.
Capella Univ., 788 N.W.2d 76, 80 (Minn. 2010). In doing
so, we "consider only the facts alleged in the
complaint, accepting those facts as true and must construe
all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party." Id. (quotation omitted).
central issue in this case is how appellant's failure to
register with the fathers' adoption registry within 30
days of the child's birth affects his paternity action.
To resolve this question, the district court, respondents,
and appellant all ...