Appeal from the District Court of Bottineau County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable John C. McClintock, Jr., Judge.
Theresa L. Kellington, Bismarck, N.D., for plaintiff and appellant.
Michael S. McIntee, Towner, N.D., for appellee.
Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom, Carol Ronning Kapsner, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by McEvers, Justice.
[¶1] Wendell Lund appeals from a memorandum opinion and order entered after a court trial dismissed his complaint for breach of an implied contract against his parents, Orville and Betty Lund. We conclude the district court's memorandum opinion and order indicates the court intended its decision to be a final disposition of the lawsuit for purposes of treating this as an appeal from a final judgment. We also conclude the court did not err in determining there was no implied contract between Wendell Lund and his parents, and we affirm.
[¶2] In March 2011, this Court affirmed a property distribution in Orville and Betty Lund's divorce action, which determined the parents' 1991 deeding of forty acres of land in Bottineau County to Wendell Lund or Orville Lund was made solely for the purpose of disenfranchising Betty Lund of her property interests and homestead rights and was not a legitimate transaction. Lund v. Lund,
2011 ND 53, ¶ ¶ 1, 18-19, 795 N.W.2d 318. The divorce judgment awarded the land to Orville Lund with an offsetting cash award to Betty Lund, and each party received approximately half of the marital estate. Id. at ¶ 4.
[¶3] In May 2011, Wendell Lund sued his parents, alleging that he entered into an implied contract with them in 1985 to provide labor and supplies, to pay half the real estate taxes, to maintain the mowers and equipment used in cleaning and clearing the land, and to provide any other items necessary for the general maintenance of the land, and in exchange, his parents agreed to convey to him their interest in the forty acres of land. He claimed he expended a significant amount of money and labor into the property with the expectation that he would be fairly and reasonably compensated by his parents. Wendell Lund sought reimbursement of more than $545,000 from his mother and an order requiring his father to transfer the land to him.
[¶4] Betty Lund entered a special appearance through her attorney and moved to dismiss the action, claiming she was now a resident of Arizona and the court lacked personal jurisdiction over her. She also sought sanctions against Wendell Lund under N.D.R.Civ.P. 11. The district court dismissed Wendell Lund's claim against his mother, concluding the court lacked personal jurisdiction over her because she had moved to Arizona in 2010 and was not a North Dakota resident in 2011. The court also dismissed Betty Lund's request for sanctions under N.D.R.Civ.P. 11. Wendell Lund appealed the order dismissing his claim ...