Appeal from the District Court of Grand Forks County, Northeast Central Judicial District, the Honorable Wickham Corwin, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
N.D. Supreme CourtHolkesvig v. Welte,
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
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Opinion of the Court by VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
Holkesvig v. WelteNos. 20100315 - 20100317
[¶1] Randy Holkesvig appealed from a judgment dismissing his malicious prosecution action against Peter Welte, Meredith Larson, and Chris Smith, and awarding the defendants $1,512.41 in costs, disbursements, and attorney fees. Because Holkesvig pled guilty to one of the charges that forms the basis for his malicious prosecution action, we conclude the district court did not err in ruling Holkesvig could not prevail in this action as a matter of law. We also conclude the court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the defendants costs, disbursements, and attorney fees. We affirm.
[¶2] In 2008 Holkesvig was charged in Grand Forks County with stalking and violating a disorderly conduct restraining order. Welte is the Grand Forks County State's Attorney who had supervisory authority over Larson, an assistant state's attorney who was the lead prosecutor in the case against Holkesvig. Smith, a deputy sheriff with the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office, had investigated the underlying criminal charges against Holkesvig.
[¶3] Holkesvig and the State reached a plea agreement under which Holkesvig agreed to plead guilty to the stalking charge in exchange for the State agreeing to dismiss the charge of violating a disorderly conduct restraining order. At the change of plea hearing, where Holkesvig was represented by counsel, an assistant state's attorney provided a factual basis for the plea. The following colloquy then occurred between the district court and Holkesvig:
THE COURT: Thank you. Mr. Holkesvig, do you agree with these facts? THE DEFENDANT: It happened. There's plenty more to be talked about concerning Chris Moore and me. I explained some of that in my three-page letter. THE COURT: What she said happened? THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Holkesvig pled guilty, the court found the plea was "made freely and voluntarily," the court accepted the plea agreement, and the charge of violating a disorderly conduct restraining order was dismissed. The court deferred imposition of sentence for two years and placed Holkesvig on unsupervised probation.
[¶4] In January 2010, Holkesvig, representing himself, filed claims against Welte, Larson, and Smith in small claims court. The claim affidavits against the three defendants and accompanying documents total several hundred pages. The defendants requested the actions be removed to district court, and the court consolidated the three actions. The defendants moved for summary judgment dismissal of the claims based on absolute prosecutorial immunity, absolute ...