Article from the Cook News Herald: Full Article Link Below:
February 9, 2012
A complaint brought by the Tower Timberjay and Marshall Helmberger against Johnson Controls over the release of subcontract data with Architectural Resources concerning the North Woods School was dismissed by Administrative Law Judge Eric L. Lipman on Jan. 24.
1. The Administrative Law Judge is authorized to hear this matter pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 13.085.
2. Mr. Helmberger did not establish that architectural services are traditionally performed by school districts in Minnesota.
3. Mr. Helmberger did not establish that prior to the award of the contract to Johnson Controls on February 25, 2010, architectural services were traditionally performed by the employees of Independent School District 2142.
4. Mr. Helmberger did not establish that architectural services is a “governmental function” of the School District, as those terms are used in Minn. Stat. § 13.05, subd. 11 (a).
5. Mr. Helmberger did not establish that the terms of the February 25, 2010, contract between the School District and Johnson Controls required Johnson Controls to make its subcontracts available to the public.
6. Mr. Helmberger did not establish that the services contract between the School District and Johnson Controls placed Johnson Controls on notice that any subcontracts were subject to disclosure to the public.
7. After the close of Mr. Helmberger’s case-in-chief, Johnson Controls was entitled to move for an involuntary dismissal.
8. Johnson Controls demonstrated that it was entitled to dismissal of the Complaint, because upon the facts and the law, Mr. Helmberger had not shown a right to relief.
9. At many times during these proceedings, including on the day of the evidentiary hearing, it was not clear whether Mr. Anfinson was appearing as counsel for Mr. Helmberger or whether Mr. Helmberger was proceeding on his own behalf and without representation. The conflicting statements on this score, and the resulting confusion, hampered efforts to efficiently develop a record for decision-making.
10. Minn. Stat. § 13.085, subd. 6(c) requires that the Office of Administrative Hearings refund the filing fee of a substantially prevailing complainant in full, less $50, and that the Office of Administrative Hearings’ costs in conducting the matter shall be billed to the respondent, not to exceed $1,000. Because Mr. Helmberger did not substantially prevail in this matter, he is not entitled to refund of the filing fee.
11. If the administrative law judge determines that a complaint is frivolous, or brought for purposes of harassment, the judge must order that the complainant pay the respondent’s reasonable attorney fees, not to exceed $5,000. Mr. Helmberger’s complaint was not frivolous or brought for purposes of harassment.
Based upon the foregoing Conclusions, and for the reasons set out in the Memorandum that follows below, the Administrative Law Judge makes the following:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1 . The Complaint is DISMISSED.
2. Because the costs of the Office of Administrative Hearings in connection with this matter exceed the amount of the filing fee, Mr. Helmberger is not entitled to a refund of the filing fee under Minn. Stat. § 13.085, subd. 6 (d).
3. Because the Complaint was not frivolous or brought for the purposes of harassment, Johnson Controls is not entitled to recover reasonable attorneys fees under Minn. Stat. § 13.085, subd. 6 (e).
Dated: January 24, 2012
s/Eric L. Lipman
ERIC L. LIPMAN
Administrative Law Judge