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Wendell Lund, Plaintiff and Appellant v. Orville Lund and Betty Lund

December 18, 2012

WENDELL LUND, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT
v.
ORVILLE LUND AND BETTY LUND, DEFENDANTS BETTY LUND,
APPELLEE



Appeal from the District Court of Bottineau County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable John C. McClintock, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Crothers, Justice.

N.D. Supreme CourtLund v. Lund,

2012 ND 255

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]

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REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Opinion of the Court by Crothers, Justice.

[¶1] Wendell Lund appeals from a district court order dismissing his action against Betty Lund for lack of personal jurisdiction. We reverse and remand, concluding the district court erred in holding it lacked personal jurisdiction over Betty Lund.

I

[¶2] Wendell Lund is the son of Orville and Betty Lund. Orville and Betty Lund owned real property in Bottineau County. Wendell Lund claims that in 1985 he entered into an implied contract with his parents whereby he agreed to provide certain labor and supplies to maintain the real property and to pay half of the real estate taxes, and that in exchange his parents agreed to convey the property to him. In 1991, Orville and Betty Lund signed a deed purporting to convey their interest in the property to Orville and Wendell Lund.

[¶3] When Orville and Betty Lund divorced in 2010, the trial court found the 1991 deed was not a legitimate transaction, but rather had been an attempt to deprive Betty Lund of her interest in the property and her homestead rights. The court included the entire value of the real property in the marital estate and awarded it to Orville Lund. Betty Lund received other offsetting property, and each party ultimately received approximately one-half of the marital estate. We affirmed the divorce judgment on appeal. See Lund v. Lund, 2011 ND 53, 795 N.W.2d 318.

[¶4] Betty Lund moved to Arizona in 2010. Since September 2010, she has held an Arizona driver's license, her vehicle has been registered in Arizona and she has been registered to vote in Arizona.

[ΒΆ5] In 2011, Wendell Lund brought this action against Orville and Betty Lund alleging they failed to comply with the 1985 implied contract. He seeks damages in excess of $545,000 and transfer of the real property to him. Wendell Lund claims Betty Lund could not be located for service of process, so service was made by publication. Betty Lund entered a special appearance through her attorney and moved to dismiss the action against her, arguing she was a permanent resident of Arizona and the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over her. The district court concluded Betty Lund was not a North Dakota resident and it ...


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