On September 6, 2022, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in which it sided with our client in an appeal of two District Court judges’ refusal to grant our client a hearing in a Harassment Restraining Order case (HRO).
In the case, two separate district court judges refused to permit our client’s meritorious claims of harassment to move forward simply because she was simultaneously going through a divorce with her harassing husband. The judges appeared to believe that such a case was better suited for family court given that there were overlapping issues. The judges then dismissed the two separate petitions without granting a hearing.
Said Mr. Cadem:
“Unfortunately, we are seeing this more and more often. Under Minnesota Statute § 609.748, a district court judge does not have the discretion to deny people access to the court system simply because the judge has the opinion that the matter should be handled differently. Family court does not offer immediate results, and a violation of a family court order does not include criminal liability. Family court and harassment matters simply are not comparable. There is a reason the Harassment Statute is found within the criminal code and not the family law statutes.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed, and it issued a unanimous formal precedential opinion, authored by the Honorable Peter M. Reyes, Jr. The opinion can be read here: https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctappub/2022/OPa220174-090622.pdf
What makes this an even bigger win is that the Court issued a “Precedential Opinion,” which formally makes it new law that all judges must follow.
“By statute, the Court of Appeals issues a precedential (formerly called “published”) opinion only in the most important and complex cases. Precedential opinions include an extensive analysis of the facts and law. They will be considered and used by courts faced with similar issues in the future, and they are published in books of caselaw found in most law libraries.”
“Cases and results like this are what motivate me to come to work every day,” said Mr. Cadem. “The only thing better than helping a client, is helping our entire State in the process.”