Minnesota Construction Contracts: What You Need To Know

Introduction Both property owners and contractors should invest in a quality construction contract before work commences. This article details some of the most important provisions that are typically found in a construction contract. Models For Determining Cost One of the most important features of a construction contract is the way that it determines the owner’s…

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Establishing Property Ownership by Possession

Most people come to own real estate the old fashion way: They buy the property from the owner. In exchange, they usually receive a deed conveying title to the property. But, a conveyance is not the only way to acquire real property. People also come to own real property by possessing the property for a…

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Establishing a Boundary by Practical Location

Practical location is a legal doctrine that can be used to establish a new location of a property boundary. The doctrine may be used to establish a boundary line where none can be located or agreed upon. More commonly, however, the doctrine is used to change a boundary line from what is reflected on a…

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Minnesota Contractors Must Promptly Pay Subcontractors

The Prompt Payment Statute Minnesota’s prompt payment statute provides that all construction contracts are deemed to require a prime contractor and all subcontractors to promptly pay their subcontractors and material suppliers within ten days of receipt of payment for undisputed services. Prior to its amendment, the statute penalized a party failing to make a prompt payment by…

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What Must A Minnesota Seller Disclose About Real Estate?

Minnesota law requires that all sellers of residential property disclose to prospective buyers all “material facts” that could affect a buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property. Minnesota law also requires that real estate salespeople disclose to buyers material information that they may know about the property. The failure to make these required disclosures can…

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Is There A Judicial Preference For “Magic Words” Over Common Meaning?

Both the United States and Minnesota Supreme Courts have, in recent decisions, surprised the legal community by requiring a special incantation of magic words when more general verbiage (or silence) should have sufficed. SCOTUS deemed silence itself insufficient to invoke the 5th amendment right and instead required an incantation of the right to remain silent. In Marine Credit Union…

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Court Warns Title Insurance Companies: Pay Up Or Else

Update (December 17, 2012): In Mattson Ridge v. Clear Rock Title, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to hold a title insurer liable for damages in excess of policy limits when it wrongfully denied coverage. The Court did, however, stick the title insurer with a whopping bill: One over 100 times greater than it would have been…

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Curiosity Killed The Title Insurer’s Defense

I usually focus my posts on Minnesota real estate disputes, but I’ll make an exception if I sense a budding national trend. The trend in this case is that, more and more, title insurers are denying lender’s claims on the basis of the lender’s unwillingness to provide underwriting information to the insurer. In a case…

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A Minnesota Mechanics Lien Surprise! Building A House From Start To Finish May Not Be “One Continuous Project”

Update (November 27, 2012): The Minnesota Supreme Court has accepted Big Lake for review.  Original Post (September 8, 2012): In Big Lake Lumber v. Security Property Investments, Inc. et. al, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that a contractor’s mechanics lien can take priority over a previously-recorded mortgage only if the contractor’s work related back…

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