State, by Lord v. Pahl

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Citation257 Minn. 177,100 N.W.2d 724
Docket NumberNo. 37667,37667
PartiesSTATE of Minnesota, by Miles LORD, its Attorney General, Respondent, v. Catherine PAHL et al., and Rudolph S. Barck, et al., Respondents-below, LeGrand Lull, d.b.a. Lull Engineering Company, Appellant. In re Condemnation of certain lands for trunk highway purposes.
Decision Date15 January 1960

Syllabus by the Court

1. Owner of interest in premises taken in condemnation proceedings is entitled to compensation for such interest at its fair market value determined as of date of taking, which ordinarily is date commissioners file award of damages in proceedings.

2. Where record established that lessee of condemned premises had no interest therein other than the right to remove therefrom upon expiration of lease certain frame structures situated thereon designated in lease as personal property, and where lease expired before date of taking by state and commissioners in the award authorized lessee to remove such structures in accordance with lease, Held lessee had no further compensable interest in the property taken which would compel payment therefor by state.

3. In statutes relating to condemnation in eminent domain proceedings there is nothing which requires that state purchase removable personal property belonging to a lessee which by terms of lease is to be removed by lessee upon expiration of lease.

4. Affidavits which related to conversations between lessor and lessee prior to execution of written lease and which lessee claimed constituted an agreement that in case of sale of premises lessee should be paid from proceeds thereof the value of certain frame structures erected by him on leased premises, Held not to establish his compensable interest in premises as of date they were taken by state after expiration of lease which authorized lessee to remove such structures from leased premises as personal property.

Grannis & Grannis, South St. Paul, for appellant.

Miles Lord, Atty. Gen., Robert W. Mattson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Richard J. Gunn, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.


Proceedings by the state for condemnation for trunk highway purposes of a tract of land 50 feet by 165 feet with a building thereon located at 7716 Cedar Avenue South in Richfield, Hennepin County. Rolland A. Rueger and Floyd W. Bolkcom were named in the proceedings as fee owners of the property, and LeGrand H. Lull, d.b.a. Lull Engineering Company, hereafter referred to as Lull, was named as holder of a leasehold interest therein.

On December 19, 1955, the petition was filed in the District Court of Hennepin County. On February 15, 1957, commissioners appointed by the district court made their report awarding compensation for the taking as follows:

'For the taking thereof and any damages to the remainder, and all interests therein, we award $12,500.00, and no more, for said lands considered as an entirety * * *.

'* * * apportioned to the persons hereinafter named, as follows:

'A. Rolland A. Rueger

Floyd W. Bolkcom

Marilyn Rueger

Delcine Bolkcom

Village of Richfield

Charles J. Rueger

Lillian M. Rueger


'B. LeGrand Lull, doing business as Lull Engineering Company


'The above award is made on the * * * condition that the owners (Lull) of the frame addition to the above mentioned concrete block building shall remove the said addition and improvements thereon from the lands acquired herein before May 1, 1957, * * *.'

On March 14, 1957, Lull appealed to the district court from the award, contending that as of the date of its filing he ceased to have any right in the structure described; that the state thereupon had the sole right to its possession; that the commissioners lacked power to attach a condition to the award which required removal of the frame structure from the premises; and that therefore he was entitled to be compensated for it by the state at its fair market value.

The lease, dated December 28, 1954, was for a period of 1 year from January 1, 1955, with an option for an additional year which had been exercised by Lull so that by its terms it expired on December 31, 1956. It contained the following provision:

'It is further agreed by lessors that * * * Lull, heretofore has and may in the future construct on the above described lot, such building or units as are necessary for the continuation of his said business and * * * that said L. H. Lull may remove upon the termination of this lease or any renewal or extension thereof, any buildings, units or structures heretofore or hereafter erected or placed by him on said lot, it being specifically agreed that said buildings, units or structures are and shall remain personal property.'

At the trial the state moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that Lull's interest in the premises had expired at the expiration of his lease on December 31, 1956, so that on February 15, 1957, the date of the award, his only right therein was to remove the frame structure. On July 16, 1958, the district court made an order dismissing the appeal on the grounds stated in the motion. The present appeal is from this order.

Subsequently Lull moved for an order correcting the record by adding to it the separate affidavits of one Pat Lamb and one Norman Anderson, both dated July 26, 1957, and a joint affidavit made by Rolland A. Rueger and Floyd W. Bolkcom dated August 17, 1957; and for a rehearing of the motion to dismiss. This motion was granted and after the record was thus corrected and further arguments submitted, the court again dismissed the appeal on the same ground as before 'because the Court finds that as a matter of law, the allegations made in the Affidavits, even if taken as true, create no compensable interest in * * * LeGrand Lull, doing business as Lull Engineering Company * * *.'

In so far as they are material, the affidavits set forth the following:

Affidavit of Pat Lamb

That he had been an employee of L. H. Lull during 1953; that the structure on the premises was then a bare cement block building; that during 1953 Lull had erected a frame garage thereon which originally had not been attached to the cement block building; that during 1954 Lull built a further frame addition to the premises which was attached to the cement building so that by the first of 1955 the buildings erected by Lull were attached to the building he had originally rented;

That before the frame buildings were built affiant had carried out negotiations with Rueger and Bolkcom and secured their approval for such work;

That it was then agreed by all parties 'that in the event the * * * premises was sold, the proceeds of the sale would be divided proportionately between Mr. Rueger and Mr. Bolkcom, as the owners of the original building, and Mr. Lull, as the owner of the attachments placed thereon, and that said division would be made proportionate to the value of each party's respective interest';

That the provision for removal of the frame structures was inserted in a subsequent lease at the request of Rueger and Bolkcom 'because they did not want to be in a position of being forced to buy the buildings and attachments at its reasonable value'; that in addition the possibility was also discussed that the property with the attachments and equipment might be rented out to a third party; that it was further agreed that 'the lease could be renewed from time to time upon the same terms and conditions as contained in the original lease with the exception only that Mr. Lull would pay the increased amount of the real estate tax' caused by the...

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11 cases
  • Moorhead Econ. Dev. Auth. v. W. Anda, A07-1918
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 12 November 2010 State by Lord v. Pahl, a case in which we were asked to determine the appropriate date of valuation in an eminent domain proceeding. 257 Minn. 177, 182, 100 N.W.2d 724, 728 (1960). In Pahl, we did not state, as MEDA implies, that the date of valuation is always the date of the commission......
  • Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co. of Minn. v. Village of Minnetonka
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 11 October 1968
    ...for the cost of removing personal property which it has a right to remove upon expiration of the lease. State, by Lord v. Pahl, 257 Minn. 177, 100 N.W.2d 724; Korengold v. City of Minneapolis, 254 Minn. 358, 95 N.W.2d 112. Unless the billboards have become a part of the realty so that title......
  • State by Spannaus v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., CX-87-143
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Minnesota
    • 29 September 1987
    ...award established the date on which damages for the taking must be assessed in the district court trial. State v. Pahl, 257 Minn. 177, 182, 100 N.W.2d 724, 728 (1960). Before trial, NWA brought a motion to exclude any evidence of the right of access. The trial court granted the motion in an......
  • City of Rochester v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., C2-88-888
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Minnesota
    • 22 November 1988
    ...must establish a compensable interest in the premises on the date of the Commissioners' award. Id. at 129 (citing State v. Pahl, 257 Minn. 177, 100 N.W.2d 724 (1960)). Thus, when a lease by its terms automatically terminates upon condemnation of the land, the lessee is entitled to no compen......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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