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In re Midway Pro Bowl Relocation Benefits Claim

Supreme Court of Minnesota

January 15, 2020

In the Matter of Midway Pro Bowl Relocation Benefits Claim.

          Court of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts

          Jon W. Morphew, Morphew Law Office, P.L.L.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent Bowl-Rite, Inc.

          Peter G. Mikhail, LeVander, Gillen, & Miller, P.A., South Saint Paul, Minnesota, for appellant City of Saint Paul.

         SYLLABUS

         To secure judicial review of a decision in a contested case, an aggrieved person must serve a petition for a writ of certiorari on all parties to the contested case not more than 30 days after receiving the final agency decision, as required by Minn. Stat. § 14.63 (2018), but this 30-day deadline does not apply to the agency-service requirement in Minn. Stat. § 14.64 (2018).

         Affirmed.

          OPINION

          ANDERSON, JUSTICE

         Respondent Bowl-Rite, Inc., d/b/a Midway Pro Bowl (Midway) had its lease of a bowling alley prematurely terminated because of the construction of Allianz Field in Saint Paul. Midway sought relocation benefits under the Minnesota Uniform Relocation Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 117.50-.56 (2018), but appellant City of Saint Paul (City) denied the request. The dispute proceeded to a contested-case hearing before an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge denied Midway's claim.

         Midway then sought review of this decision under the judicial review procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. Minn. Stat. §§ 14.63-.69 (2018). Midway filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the court of appeals and served the petition on the City within 30 days of receiving the decision, as required by Minn. Stat. § 14.63. The City moved the court of appeals to discharge the writ and dismiss the appeal, alleging that Midway failed to serve the petition on the agency, as required by Minn. Stat. § 14.64, within the 30-day deadline set forth in section 14.63. The court of appeals held that the 30-day deadline in section 14.63 does not apply to the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 14.64, and denied the motion to discharge the writ. We affirm the decision of the court of appeals.

         FACTS

         The facts in this appeal are undisputed. Midway sought relocation benefits under the Minnesota Uniform Relocation Act after Midway's lease of a bowling alley was prematurely terminated due to the construction of the Allianz Field soccer stadium and related infrastructure. The City denied Midway's claim for relocation benefits, arguing that a private party, rather than the City, had acquired the property. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) conducted a contested-case proceeding. See Minn. Stat. § 117.52, subd. 4 (requiring a contested case proceeding under the Administrative Procedure Act if the denial of relocation benefits is challenged). In an order issued on January 18, 2019, an administrative law judge affirmed the City's denial of Midway's claim for relocation benefits. The decision of the administrative law judge was the final agency decision. See id.

         On February 7, 2019, Midway sought judicial review of the decision under the Administrative Procedure Act by filing a petition for a writ of certiorari with the court of appeals. See Minn. Stat. § 14.63. The Clerk of the Appellate Courts issued the writ of certiorari that same day. As requested in the proposed writ, the writ issued by the court of appeals was directed to the City. On February 9, 2019, Midway served both the petition for the writ of certiorari and the issued writ on counsel for the City, by certified mail, and served the issued writ on the OAH, by first-class mail.

         On February 25, 2019, the City moved to discharge the writ of certiorari for lack of jurisdiction, claiming that Midway had failed to comply with the judicial review procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. Specifically, the City argued that (1) Midway failed to serve the petition for the writ of certiorari on the OAH-the agency that issued the final decision-within the 30-day period in section 14.63 and (2) Midway improperly served the writ of certiorari on the City rather than the OAH. Midway opposed the motion and, two days later, on February 27, served the petition for the writ of certiorari on the OAH by certified mail.

         On April 16, 2019, the court of appeals denied the City's motion to discharge the writ of certiorari. In re Midway Pro Bowl Relocation Benefits Claim, No. A19-0237, Order (Minn.App. filed Apr. 16, 2019). The court of appeals held that Midway had invoked the court's jurisdiction by timely filing the petition for the writ of certiorari and timely serving the petition on the City, in compliance with section 14.63. Id. at 1. But the court of appeals also concluded that Midway had "incorrectly directed the writ of certiorari" to the City rather than to the agency. The court of appeals ordered Midway to file "a corrected proposed writ of certiorari" and, once the Clerk of the Appellate Courts issued a new writ, to serve the corrected writ on the OAH and the City. Id. at 2. Because the court of appeals "determined that publication of a special term opinion [would] be beneficial to the ...


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