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STATE OF MINNESOTA DISTRICT COURT



COUNTY OF HENNEPIN FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT


The Healy Project, Court File No. 27-CV-14-7064
Judge Marilyn Brown Rosenbaum
Plaintiff,
DEFENDANTS MEMORANDUM
v. OF LAW OPPOSING A TRO

Michael Crow and Linda Crow,

Defendants.



I. INTRODUCTION

Defendants
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are owners of real estate with a real property address of 2320 Colfax
Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota (the Property). Defendants have owned the Property, which
is a 15 unit rooming house, for approximately twenty-three years. Michael Crow previously was
active in managing the Property but he has suffered a number of health related problems over the
past several years, is unable to actively manage the Property or make it economically viable, and
has entered into a Purchase Agreement to sell the Property to a developer. The developer/Mr.
Crow have applied for and received approval for a demolition permit from the City of
Minneapolis to demolish the Property and redevelop the same. The present lawsuit is an
inappropriate and frivolous effort led by a citizen of the City to nullify that demolition permit
which was seriously studied and approved by votes of 5 to 1 by the Planning/Zoning
Commission, and 11 to 2 by the full City Council.




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Defendants only retained counsel in this matter late on Friday, May 2, 2014.
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II. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant incorporates herein the Affidavit of Michael Crow with respect to the facts
relevant to this matter.
III. ARGUMENT

A. INTRODUCTION.

There must be irreparable harm for an injunction/TRO to issue. See Cherne Industrial,
Inc. v. Grounds & Associates, Inc., 278 N.W.2d 81, 92 (Minn. 1979). An injunction is an
equitable remedy. Oxford Development Minnesota, Inc. v. County of Ramsey, 428 N.W.2d 434,
437 (Minn. App. 1988). The Minnesota Supreme Court has set forth five factors for a trial court
to consider in evaluating whether or not to issue an injunction pending trial. They are: (1) the
nature and background of the parties preexisting the dispute giving rise to the request for relief;
(2) the harm to be suffered by the plaintiff if the temporary restraint is denied as compared to the
harm the defendant will suffer if the injunction issues pending trial; (3) the likelihood that one
party or the other will prevail on the merits when the facts are viewed in light of established
precedents; (4) the aspects of the fact situation, if any, which permit or require consideration of
public policy; and (5) the administrative burdens involved in judicial supervision and
enforcement of the temporary decree. Dahlberg Brothers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company 272
Minn. 264, 137 N.W.2d 314, 321-322 (Minn. 1965). Defendant will now address what is
commonly known as the Dahlberg criteria.
1. Nature and Background of the Parties.
By overwhelming votes, the Zoning/Planning Commission for the City of Minneapolis
and the Minneapolis City Council, have approved/granted the Defendants (its developer) a
demolition permit. The Plaintiff, who has a singular opinion and mindset with respect to the
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Property, brings its Complaint to convince the Court that the considered and reasoned decisions
of the City of Minneapolis are incorrect.
Defendants have owned the Property for twenty-three years. Due to health and financial
issues, as well as the outdated business model of a rooming house, the Property is not something
that the Defendants can viably retain. See Affidavit of Michael Crow. Accordingly, Defendants
retained a realtor and have obtained a buyer for the Property at the price of $600,000. However,
the buyer for the Property is only interested if the Property can be redeveloped, as it is not
economically viable as it presently sits and operates. Plaintiffs present suit has the potential to
jeopardize the sale of the Property to the proposed buyer and cause the Plaintiff serious
economic harm. In fact, Plaintiffs moving papers, which allude to an offer from Plaintiff or
persons associated with Plaintiff to purchase the Property for a mere $400,000, illustrate the
significant financial consequences which Defendants may suffer if the proposed sale to a
developer fails as a result of the instant suit. Accordingly, Defendants are in a position to endure
and suffer real financial harm.
In contrast, the Plaintiff is not a party that can or will suffer any real financial harm itself.
The Plaintiff, an entity that is headed or directed by a singular citizen of the City of Minneapolis,
will suffer absolutely no financial harm if Property is sold. The Plaintiff portends to be looking
out for the Citys (or the States) interest in attempting to preserve an alleged historical piece of
real estate in the City, but the City has already overwhelmingly rejected Plaintiffs arguments,
both at the Planning/Zoning Commission level and at the level of the full City Council. The
purported harm is not to Plaintiff personally if the Property is demolished. The purported harm
is to the City as a whole, but Plaintiffs motion paperwork does not discuss or point out how City
Staff or the City Council are patently incorrect in their conclusions.
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Because the background of the parties is such that Defendants are the only real party that
will suffer economic harm if the TRO were to be granted, this factor should mitigate against the
Plaintiffs present motion.
2. Relative Harms to the Parties Vis-A-Vis the Issuance of a TRO.
Plaintiffs moving paperwork ignores the very real financial harm that Defendants may
suffer if the TRO is granted. The granting of a TRO jeopardizes the potential sale of the
Property to a developer who is only interested in buying the Property if it can be redeveloped.
Defendants, due to the health and age of Mr. Crow, are financially distressed and have been
attempting to sell the Property since 2012. And any grant of a TRO certainly delays the sale of
the Property to the developer which causes real financial harm on a daily basis as Defendants
will not receive the purchase proceeds until a sale is concluded. Defendants have already gone
through numerous painstaking processes with the City of Minneapolis to reach the point that they
have reached wherein the proposed sale of the Property to a respected developer is within reach.
This lawsuit by the Plaintiff is a desperate last ditch effort to impose their singular mindset and
will on Defendants who face very real financial issues.
Plaintiff argues that the Property is a one-of-a-kind Property. Arguably any piece of real
estate is one-of-a-kind. This, in and of itself, is not persuasive. Plaintiffs moving papers are not
supported by any affidavits or information which establish any undeniable facts which challenge
the City of Minneapolis overwhelming decisions to approve the demolition permit. And the
facts, as can be seen by the documents attached to the Affidavit of Michael Crow, are that the
Property is not presently in a condition that makes the Citys decision incorrect.
The Property is a bastardized version of what it once was. It has suffered from fires
which gutted the second and third levels, necessitating that the same be completely remodeled so
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that these levels are more like a hotel than what Mr. Healy built. In addition, the Property now
has vinyl siding and windows, not the original siding or windows that would have existed when
it was built in the 1800s. Significant original portions of the structure are simply gone and do
not exist anymore. In short, and as can be seen from the photographs and reports attached to the
Affidavit of Michael Crow, the Property has had significant makeovers since it was originally
constructed such that the Property is not even close to what it once was. Furthermore, the
Property has been a rooming house for decades and thus has suffered from the wear and tear of
numerous tenants living there as well as significant remodeling which converted the Property
into a rooming house in the first place.
3. The Likelihood that One Party or the Other Will Prevail.
The third criterion for consideration is the likelihood that the movant will prevail. With
respect to this criterion, Plaintiff fails to discuss any facts, let alone facts which are indisputable,
that would illustrate to the Court that the City of Minneapolis was incorrect to grant a demolition
permit. The mere fact that T.P. Healy designed/built the Property is not conclusive. There is no
law or facts asserted that would make such a fact conclusive. City staff who have studied the
Property concluded several times over for various reasons, including the reason that much of the
Property has been reconstructed, that the Property is not historic.
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City staff, and ultimately the
City Council, then ultimately concluded that even if the Property has historical value, there are
other valid reasons consistent with the Citys criteria to grant the demolition permit. Plaintiffs
moving paperwork does nothing to dispute the Citys determinations, let alone illustrate how the
City has somehow grievously erred in its determinations. Consequently, Plaintiff has not carried

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Although City Staff determined several times over that the Property was not historic, the Plaintiff in this matter,
with the assistance of a city council person who supported Plaintiff, was able to convince the political powers that
existed at the time that the Property was historic. In other words, various votes on the Property which took place in
2013 went against the recommendations of City Staff. For other reasons though, the City has now approved the
demolition permit.
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its burden to demonstrate that it is likely to succeed on the merits.
4. Public Policy. Although there may be policies which favor the preservation of
certain historical properties, those policies have already been weighed by the City of
Minneapolis with respect to this Property. And there is a certainly a public policy that favors
economic freedom and the rights of parties to freely sell/convey their real estate and conduct
activities on the real estate within the law. Again, the City of Minneapolis has already weighed
all of the evidence concerning this Property and determined that the issuance of a demolition
permit is warranted.
5. Administrative Burdens. There are no unusual administrative burdens which
would seemingly be a significant factor here.
IV. CONCLUSION

Plaintiff has not specifically demonstrated to the Court the likelihood that it will succeed
on the merits on this litigation. And Defendants, in contrast to Plaintiff, are the only party here
that stands to suffer real economic harm if a TRO were granted. Accordingly, the Court should
deny Plaintiffs request for a TRO.
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MEYER & NJUS, P.A.

DATED: May 5, 2014 By:
Stephen M. Harris (#0264179)
1100 U.S. Bank Plaza
200 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 341-2181

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If, for whatever reason, the Court were to grant a TRO, Plaintiff should be required to post a bond in the minimum
amount of $200,000, which is the difference between the $600,000 purchase agreement that Defendants have with a
developer and a purported offer from Plaintiff (or persons associated with Plaintiff) to purchase the Property for
$400,000. It should be noted that the seriousness of the $400,000 offer is of some question since it was conveyed
shortly before the City Council was to hear and rule upon the demolition permit.
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ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS