Kate Fossey, Gordon Hansmeier received favorable ruling from Minnesota Court of Appeals

Kate Fossey, Gordon Hansmeier received a favorable ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on April 19, 2016. In this case, the Rajkowski Hansmeier firm was retained to represent the two Personal Representatives of an estate in ongoing litigation with a beneficiary. A petition and motion for summary judgment was filed by the Personal Representatives requesting that the district court issue an order that the beneficiary was not entitled to a distributive share of the residuary estate of the decedent due to her receipt of a substantial prior advancement from the estate and her violation of a "no contest" clause contained in the will. The district court agreed and issued the order, stating that the beneficiary was not entitled to a share of the estate on both of the stated grounds.

Upon receipt of the district court order, a Notice of Entry of Order/Judgment was served on the beneficiary via her attorney through the district court e-filing system. The transmission failed to reach the beneficiary's attorney due to a technical problem on his end, however, the transmission did reach the beneficiary's attorney's legal assistant who was one of the two service contacts listed on the e-filing site. Upon receiving knowledge of the failure of submission, counsel for the Personal Representatives mailed and emailed the Notice of Entry of Order/Judgment to the beneficiary's attorney the following Monday, and notified him that apparently, he needed to take care of technical issues on his end.

The beneficiary appealed the matter to the Minnesota Court of Appeals 61 days after the Notice of Order/Judgment was e-filed. On appeal, the Personal Representatives argued that the beneficiary's appeal was not timely. The beneficiary argued that she should be allowed 63 days for appeal because the Personal Representatives served her with Notice of Entry of the judgment by mail, overlooking the e-filing that had occurred. The Court of Appeals held that the date of service was effective as of the date of e-filing and dismissed the beneficiary's appeal.

Click here to view the order.