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.

Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. v. Johnson

Supreme Court of North Dakota

August 28, 2018

Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Bradley C. Johnson and Karol M. Johnson, Defendants and Appellants and Dale Kuhn, Patricia Kuhn, Amber Buchman, Karin Kuhn, Samantha Kuhn, Western State Bank, and all persons unknown, claiming any estate or interest in, or lien or encumbrance upon, the real estate described in the Complaint, Defendants

          Appeal from the District Court of McHenry County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable Anthony S. Benson, Judge.

          Mark R. Hanson (argued) and Peter A. Hvidston (on brief), Fargo, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.

          Bradley C. Johnson (argued) and Karol M. Johnson (appeared), Chanhassen, MN, defendants and appellants.

          OPINION

          MCEVERS, JUSTICE.

         [¶ 1] Bradley and Karol Johnson appeal from a judgment granting the Barna, Guzy, & Steffen, Ltd., law firm ("BGS") foreclosure of a real estate mortgage for payment of a $258, 769.97 debt and from an order denying their N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b) motion for relief from judgment. Because the Johnsons have not established that the district court erred in any of its rulings, we affirm the judgment, as modified, and the order denying the motion for relief from judgment.

         I

         [¶ 2] In 2013 the Johnsons retained BGS to represent them in a lawsuit in connection with the probate of the estate of Bradley Johnson's father in Minnesota. The Johnsons reside in, and BGS is located in, the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. BGS extended credit to the Johnsons for costs, fees, and expenses that would be incurred in representing them in the lawsuit through a revolving line of credit agreement and a revolving promissory note. To secure payment, the Johnsons executed a mortgage on land they owned in McHenry and Sheridan counties in North Dakota. The mortgage required the Johnsons to pay all of the principal and interest on the indebtedness when due to BGS. In early 2014 the parties amended the revolving line of credit agreement and the revolving promissory note and executed a mortgage modification agreement to reflect an increase in the amount of credit extended to $200, 000.

         [¶ 3] The Johnsons failed to make the payments to BGS as required under the loan agreements. In 2015 BGS brought this action against the Johnsons and others in North Dakota to foreclose the mortgage. The Johnsons counterclaimed against BGS, alleging its attorneys committed legal malpractice and other torts during the Minnesota legal proceedings. The district court ultimately dismissed the Johnsons' counterclaim without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). The court granted summary judgment for foreclosure on the North Dakota property in favor of BGS, concluding the Johnsons were indebted to BGS in the amount of $258, 769.97 under the loan agreements with interest continuing to accrue. The Johnsons then filed a motion for recusal and a motion for relief from the judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b). The court denied both motions.

         II

         [¶ 4] The Johnsons argue the district court erred in granting summary judgment of foreclosure in favor of BGS and in denying their motion for relief from judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b).

         [¶ 5] This Court's standard of review for summary judgments is well established:

Summary judgment is a procedural device under N.D.R.Civ.P. 56(c) for promptly resolving a controversy on the merits without a trial if there are no genuine issues of material fact or inferences that can reasonably be drawn from undisputed facts, or if the only issues to be resolved are questions of law. The party seeking summary judgment must demonstrate there are no genuine issues of material fact and the case is appropriate for judgment as a matter of law. In deciding whether the district court appropriately granted summary judgment, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the opposing party, giving that party the benefit of all favorable inferences which can reasonably be drawn from the record. A party opposing a motion for summary judgment cannot simply rely on the pleadings or on unsupported conclusory allegations. Rather, a party opposing a summary judgment motion must present competent admissible evidence by affidavit or other comparable means that raises an issue of material fact and must, if appropriate, draw the court's attention to relevant evidence in the record raising an issue of material fact. When reasonable persons can reach only one conclusion from the evidence, a question of fact may become a matter of law for the court to decide. A district court's decision on summary judgment is a question of law that we review de novo on the record.

Pettinger v. Carroll, 2018 ND 140, ¶ 7, 912 N.W.2d 305 (quoting A.R. Audit Servs., Inc. v. Tuttle, 2017 ND 68, ¶ 5, 891 N.W.2d 757).

         [¶ 6] In Flaten v. Couture, 2018 ND 136, ΒΆΒΆ 27, ...


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.