Minnesota: Supreme Court citation practice


Examples from Breza v. City of Minnetrista, 725 N.W.2d 106 (Minn. 2006)

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Breza sought a writ of mandamus from the district court. The district court found that Breza "applied for an exemption for the 5,757 square feet that had been filled," n6 and that the city took more than one year to respond to the application. The court held that Breza's request was approved by operation of law under Minn. Stat. § 15.99, and issued a writ of mandamus compelling the city to approve his exemption request. The city appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which reversed. Breza v. City of Minnetrista, 706 N.W.2d 512, 519 (Minn. App. 2005). That court held that because the city did not have the authority to grant an exemption for more than 400 square feet, the city had fully satisfied its official duties and a writ of mandamus was therefore not appropriate. Id. at 518-519.

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Breza brought this action seeking a writ of mandamus. To be entitled to mandamus relief, Breza must show that: 1) the city "failed to perform an official duty clearly imposed by law"; 2) he "suffered a public wrong" and was specifically injured by the city's failure; and 3) he has "no other adequate legal remedy." See N. States Power Co. v. Minn. Metro. Council, 684 N.W.2d 485, 491 (Minn. 2004). The district court's decision to issue the writ was based on the determination that Breza's application was approved by operation of law. When a decision on a writ of mandamus is based solely on a legal determination, we review that decision de novo. See Castor v. City of Minneapolis, 429 N.W.2d 244, 245 (Minn. 1988).

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Finally, the legislature has defined ten specific types of activites for which an exemption from the no-filling-without-replacement prohibition can be approved. Local government units (LGUs) like the city have the authority to grant exemptions. Minn. R. 8420.0210 (1999) ("Local government units may offer exemption certificates as part of the wetland program in their jurisdiction.").

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