from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Joshua B. Rustad, Judge.
C. McCamy (argued) and Thaddeus E. Swanson (appeared), Minot,
ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
A. Schmidt, Legal Services of ND, Minot, ND, for appellant.
1] Barbara Vondell appeals from a judgment entered for Spirit
Property Management, evicting her from possession of real
property and awarding a money judgment against her. We
conclude the district court had both subject matter
jurisdiction over the eviction and personal jurisdiction over
Vondell. We affirm.
2] For over twenty-five years Luetta Vondell owned a mobile
home on a rented lot in Williams County. Sometime after
Luetta Vondell was diagnosed with dementia her daughter
Barbara Vondell moved in with her, becoming her full-time
care giver and agent under a durable power of attorney. In
July 2014 Barbara Vondell and Luetta Vondell, through Barbara
Vondell under the power of attorney, signed a one-year lease
for the mobile home lot. The lease commenced on July 1, 2014,
continuing on a month-to-month basis after the lease term.
Luetta Vondell died in September 2015.
3] In March 2016 Spirit Property commenced this action for
eviction and possession of real property for nonpayment of
rent. Vondell answered the suit, denying Spirit
Property's claims and asserting various defenses. At a
May 2016 eviction hearing the district court found Barbara
Vondell moved out of the home in November 2015. The mobile
home continued occupying Spirit Property's lot. The court
found that while lot rent was partially paid for September
2015, no rent was paid in October and November 2015. The
court entered an order and judgment against Vondell granting
Spirit Property possession of the property and awarding $2,
440 for unpaid rent and costs.
4] Eviction actions under N.D.C.C. ch. 47-32 are designed as
summary proceedings. Gasic v. Bosworth, 2014 ND 85,
¶ 7, 845 N.W.2d 306. We have explained this expedited
"Section 47-32-02, N.D.C.C., provides for an expedited
procedure, with the defendant allowed between three and
fifteen days to appear and defend in the action. If the court
finds for the plaintiff, the court must enter judgment
granting immediate restitution of the premises to the
plaintiff, but the court may delay execution in case of
hardship for a reasonable period not exceeding five days.
N.D.C.C. § 47-32-04. The statute strictly limits the
parties' ability to combine the eviction with other
claims and precludes the defendant from interposing a
counterclaim, except as a setoff to the plaintiff's claim
for damages, rent, or profits. N.D.C.C. § 47-32-04. The
proceeding is limited to a speedy determination of the right
to possession of the property, without bringing in extraneous
matters. The purpose of the statute is to provide an
inexpensive, expeditious, and simple means to determine
Cheetah Props. 1, LLC v. Panther Pressure Testers,
Inc., 2016 ND 102, ¶ 20, 879 N.W.2d 423 (quoting
Gasic, at ¶ 7). While "the defendant may
show the character of the possessory rights claimed by the
parties[, ]... the right to the possession of the real estate
is the only fact that can be rightfully litigated unless
damages or rent is claimed." Gasic, at ¶ 8
(quoting Anderson v. Heinze, 2002 ND 60, ¶ 11,
643 N.W.2d 24). Therefore, "a party seeking damages in a
summary eviction proceeding under N.D.C.C. § 47-32-01(4)
is limited to those specified under N.D.C.C. §
47-32-04." Cheetah Props., at ¶ 20.
"Specifically, a party may seek damages resulting from
'rents and profits accrued or for damages arising by
reason of the defendant's possession. '"
Id. (quoting N.D.C.C. § 47-32-04).
5] Vondell challenges the district court's subject matter
jurisdiction of the eviction action and personal jurisdiction
over her. The court must have both subject matter and
personal jurisdiction to enter a valid order or judgment.
State v. Winegar, 2017 ND 106, ¶ 6, 893 N.W.2d