Issue: Under Minnesota law, can the review of a family court referee’s order include evidence not before the referee?
Area of Law:
Litigation & Procedure
Review of a referee's order; Record before the referee; Additional evidence
392 N.W.2d 268; 413 N.W.2d 824
Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 312.01
The review of a referee’s order in this matter is limited to the “record before the referee and additional evidence will not be considered, except for compelling circumstances constituting good cause.” Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 312.01.
In Taflin v. Taflin, 366 N.W.2d 315, 319 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985), the court explicitly stated that on appeal, the moving party cannot complain if his failure to provide information supporting his motion led, at least in part, to the motion’s denial.*FN1 In other words, the Taflin court implicitly determined that a failure to present evidence to a referee does not constitute “good cause” or “compelling circumstances” requiring a district court to later accept that evidence. Id. at 319. See alsoHaaland v. Haaland, 392 N.W.2d 268, 273 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986), wherein the court held that when a party finds evidence after a hearing that, in the exercise of due diligence, could have been known and presented at the hearing, the evidence will not thereafter be accepted as “newly discovered.”
*FN1 While Taflin has been distinguished and limited on its facts by the court in Nelson v. Quade, 413 N.W.2d 824 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987) and Smith v. Wolfe, No. C3-88-1807 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 10, 1989), the overall holding of that case is not affected. […]
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