Legal Memorandum: Granting a Motion for Amended Findings


Area of Law: Family Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motions for amended findings; Court's discretion
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 430 N.W.2d 168; 572 N.W.2d 313; 599 N.W.2d 153; 475 N.W.2d 100; 569 N.W.2d 534
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 518.175, subds. 1(a), 5
Date: 06/01/2008

In Johnson v. Johnson, No. A03-86 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2003) (unpublished opinion), a child-support matter, the court recognized that motions for amended findings may properly be made in post-decree modification proceedings, but it denied the motion in that case.  Id. at 4 (citing Hughes v. Hughley, 569 N.W.2d 534, 536 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997)).  The order denying the father’s motion to amend explained that the father “failed to produce evidence that demonstrates that the Court’s Findings were made in error or that the conclusion reached by the Court was contrary to the Findings made.”  Id. (quoting Lewis, 572 N.W.2d 313).  Whether to grant a motion for amended findings is discretionary with the district court, the appellate court explained, and there the court had not abused its discretion.  Id. (citing Bains v. Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood, Inc., 497 N.W.2d 263, 271 (Minn. Ct. App. 1993) (applying abuse-of-discretion standard when reviewing denial of motion for new trial or for amended findings)).

The crux of father’s challenge to the denial of his motion for amended findings in Johnson was that the existing findings did not reflect the amount of time the children were in his care.  As the father admitted at the hearing on his motion, however, such findings are relevant to a motion to modify child support only if the district court should have applied the Hortis/Valento formula.  Because the district court’s refusal to apply the Hortis/Valento formula was proper under the facts of that case, findings […]

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