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Case Name Brayton v. Pawlenty PB-MN-0002
Docket / Court 62-CV-09-11693 ( State Court )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On November 3, 2009, six Minnesota residents who qualify for payments under the Minnesota Supplemental Aid--Special Diet Program brought an action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the State of Minnesota in the District Court of Minnesota, Second Judicial District, Ramsey County. ... read more >
On November 3, 2009, six Minnesota residents who qualify for payments under the Minnesota Supplemental Aid--Special Diet Program brought an action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the State of Minnesota in the District Court of Minnesota, Second Judicial District, Ramsey County. Plaintiffs challenged the validity of reductions made by the executive to unexpended allotments of funds appropriated for the Special Diet Program for the 2010-2011 biennium; July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. The Governor authorized the cuts to to avoid deficit spending.

Plaintiffs claim that the reductions in allotments to the Special Diet Program violate the terms of the "unallotment statute", Minn. Stat. § 16A.152, subd. 4, and are unconstitutional as a violation of separation of powers.

On December 30, 2009, the District Court of Minnesota (Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin) enjoined Defendants from reducing the allotment to the Special Diet Program, retroactive to November 1, 2009, until further order of the court.

The parties stipulated to an expedited appeal of the district court's decision. On May 5, 2010, in a published opinion, the Minnesota Supreme Court (Chief Justice Eric L. Magnuson) affirmed the district court's decision, but not on the separation of powers argument. Rather, the Court ruled that the Governor's allotment reductions since July 2009 were not authorized by the unallotment statute, Minn. Stat. § 16A.152, subd. 4, because they were taken before the legislative and executive branches had enacted a balanced budget. The reductions were therefore voided. Ramsey County v. Pawlenty, 781 N.W. 2d 357 (Minn. 2010).

Xin Chen - 06/29/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Commissioner
Commissioner
Commissioner (
Governor of the State of Minnesota
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are participants in Minnesota's Special Diet Program whose benefitswerere terminated because of allotment reductions made by the state government.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order (2009 WL 5150309)
PB-MN-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/30/2009
Source: Westlaw
Amended Order (2009 WL 5150334)
PB-MN-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/30/2009
Source: Westlaw
Appellants' Brief (2009 WL 545162)
PB-MN-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/09/2010
Source: Westlaw
Brief of Amici Curiae Rep. Tom Emmer, [...] (2009 WL 545163)
PB-MN-0002-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/09/2010
Source: Westlaw
Brief of Amici Curiae Professors of Constitution Law and Separation of Powers (2009 WL 545164)
PB-MN-0002-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/09/2010
Brief of Amici Curiae Common Cause, Minnesota and League of Women Voters Minnesota
PB-MN-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/23/2010
Respondents' Brief (2009 WL 770968)
PB-MN-0002-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/23/2010
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (Minnesota Supreme Court) (781 N.W.2d 357)
PB-MN-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/05/2010
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Gearin, Kathleen (State Trial Court)
PB-MN-0002-0003 | PB-MN-0002-0004
Magnuson, Eric J. (State Supreme Court)
PB-MN-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Garry, John S. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0006 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Gilbert, Alan I. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0006 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Harrington, Jeffrey J. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0006 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Herr, David F. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0008
Krueger, Matthew D. (District of Columbia)
PB-MN-0002-0008
Mason, Ralonda J. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0006 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Robinson, Galen (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Swanson, Lori (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0005 | PB-MN-0002-0006 | PB-MN-0002-0008
Other Lawyers Carlson, Martin A. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0002
Roulet, Charles D. (Minnesota)
PB-MN-0002-0007

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