Justia Communications Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Minnesota Supreme Court
Halva v. Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
In this case alleging that Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) failed to maintain and produce certain government data the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals holding that Plaintiff's complaint under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act was insufficiently pleaded and affirmed the court's holding that the Minnesota Official Records Act did not authorize a private cause of action, holding that the allegations of Plaintiff's complaint were sufficient.In his complaint, Appellant alleged that the actions of MnSCU violated both the Data Practices Act and the Official Records Act. The district court dismissed both claims, concluding that Appellant could not pursue judicial remedies under the Data Practices Act after obtaining an administrative remedy under the that and that the Official Records Act does not authorize a private cause of action. The court of appeals affirmed but decided the Data Practices Act issue on the alternate ground that the complaint was insufficiently pleaded. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) Appellant's complaint was sufficiently pleaded; and (2) the Official Records Act does not authorize a private cause of action. View "Halva v. Minnesota State Colleges & Universities" on Justia Law
Phone Recovery Services, LLC v. Qwest Corp.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing this qui tam action filed under the Minnesota False Claims Act, Minn. Stat. 15C.02 (MFCA), claiming that Respondents intentionally failed to pay fees and surcharges due to the State, holding that Appellant failed to state a claim as a matter of law.The fees and surcharges that were the subject of this litigation were imposed by statute for 911 services, the Telecommunications Access Minnesota (TAM) program, and the Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) program. Respondents, telecommunications carriers, moved for dismissal, arguing that the 911, TAM, and TAP charges were all taxes and, therefore, dismissal was warranted because the MCFA does not allow qui tam actions based on “claims, records, or statements made under portions of Minnesota Statues relating to taxation,” Minn. Stat. 15C.03. The court of appeals agreed that the 911, TAM, and TAP surcharges were taxes, and therefore, this claim was prohibited by the tax bar provided in the MFCA. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, as the statutes at issue are currently written, the 911 fee, TAM charge, and TAP surcharges are taxes, and therefore, this action was barred. View "Phone Recovery Services, LLC v. Qwest Corp." on Justia Law