Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Linstrom v. Normile

Supreme Court of North Dakota

July 31, 2017

Brian Linstrom and Leisa Bennett, Plaintiffs and Appellees
v.
Mike Normile, Defendant and Appellant

         Appeal from the District Court of McHenry County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable Lee A. Christofferson, Judge.

          William R. Hartl, Rugby, ND, for plaintiffs and appellees.

          Brandon D. Rowenhorst, Minot, ND, for defendant and appellant.

          Kapsner, Justice.

         [¶ 1] Mike Normile appeals from a judgment entered after a jury found him liable for breach of contract and awarded damages to Brian Linstrom and Leisa Bennett. Because we conclude each issue raised was either waived or was not error, we affirm the judgment.

         I

         [¶ 2] Brian Linstrom and Leisa Bennett (jointly referred to as the "Linstroms") hired Mike Normile to complete a remodeling of their home for a price of $107, 000.00. The Linstroms paid Normile the contract price plus an additional $30, 000.00 for certain changes made during the remodel. Normile believed the Linstroms owed more money for the work that was completed. After failing to receive additional payment, Normile put a mechanic's lien on the home. The Linstroms commenced a breach of contract action against Normile after they were unsatisfied with the work completed on their home. The Linstroms' complaint also requested the lien on their home be discharged.

         [¶ 3] The district court ruled on several motions in limine. Normile's fourth pretrial motion in limine requested the district court prohibit the jury from touring the residence and property at issue. Normile argued it would be unfairly prejudicial to permit the jury to tour the property, in part because alleged remodeling defects had been marked throughout the residence with sticky-notes. According to the record, the district court granted both Normile's motion in limine to prohibit the jury viewing of the residence and the Linstroms' motion to have the jury view the residence, signing both orders on the same day within minutes of each other. At trial, the district court permitted the jury to walk through the residence with the judge and bailiffs while the parties and counsel remained outside.

         [¶ 4] During trial, the district court refused to permit Normile's witness, Gary Kramlich, to testify as either a fact or expert witness. The district court also refused to admit certified copies of collection judgments against Brian Linstrom. After Normile attempted to make an offer of proof in support of admitting the judgments into evidence, the district court determined the judgments were prejudicial and were not relevant to the case.

         [¶ 5] The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Linstroms and awarded damages in the amount of $119, 925.00. Judgment was entered on October 26, 2016. Normile filed a notice of appeal on December 2, 2016.

         II

         [¶ 6] On appeal, Normile argues: (1) the district court erred when it permitted jurors to walk through the subject property; (2) the district court erred when it did not allow Gary Kramlich's testimony or exhibits to be presented to the jury; (3) the district court erred when it excluded certified copies of collection judgments against Brian Linstrom at trial; and (4) the venue for the jury trial was unfair because of impermissible prejudice.

         III

         [¶ 7] A district court "has broad discretion on evidentiary matters, and we will not overturn its admission or exclusion of evidence on appeal unless that discretion has been abused." Davis v. Killu, 2006 ND 32, ¶ 6, 710 N.W.2d 118. A district court abuses its discretion when it "acts arbitrarily, unconscionably, or unreasonably, or when its decision ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.