In an unpublished Minnesota Court of Appeals decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a complete victory for defendant/debt collector/law firm Messerli & Kramer P.A. in a case brought by the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis and a sister case by Lori Swanson, Minnesota’s Attorney General.
Messerli & Kramer had sought and been awarded default judgments (and attorneys fees) against alleged debtors.
Plaintiffs’ primary challenge to the judgments and awarded fees appears to have been a claim that Messerli & Kramer allegedly failed to adhere to the proper process for obtaining attorneys’ fees after entry of a default judgment under the Minnesota Rules of General Practice. Minn. Rules of General Practice 119.
Plaintiffs challenged the judgments and fee awards over a year after they had been entered. The Court of Appeals first affirmed that res judicata applied and none of the exceptions to the collateral attack doctrine applied in this case. The Court then went through all of the Minnesota AG’s claimed causes of action (claims under the Minnesota Colelction Agencies Act, Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Minnesota Levy and Garnishment Statutes) and held that none of these provided the AG with a cause of action against Messerli & Kramer.
Minnesota, et al. v. Messerli & Kramer, P.A., Court File Nos. A08-0425, A08-0551 (April 21, 2009).