Klohs-MHNA Minnesota Daily Article

November 23, 2009

The following article appears on the Minnesota Daily homepage.

Aside from correcting some errors, we will withhold comment on the article. 

The lawsuit itself is not challenging MHNA spending practices, rather it alleges and seeks remedies for various violations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. 

Further, a number of quotes attributed to Ryan Ahlberg were obtained in a previous telephone interview regarding the ongoing grievance, NOT this particular lawsuit.  The sole focus of the suit that is the subject of the article is MHNA’s obligations and liability under MGDPA.


Interesting Legal Issue of the Week

November 21, 2009

Can the federal government coerce individuals to purchase health insurance? This question was discussed in a column on Thursday by George Will.   

It is an interesting question of constitutional law and one I believe may be at the forefront of the entire health care debate.  Regardless of your own opinions, this issue, for me, was the most interesting legal issue of the week.


Jason Klohs Sues MHNA Over Data

November 19, 2009

NOVEMBER 19, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHLBERG LAW, PLLC, ON BEHALF OF ITS CLIENT, JASON KLOHS, HAS SUED MARCY-HOLMES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION FOR VIOLATION OF THE MINNESOTA GOVERNMENT DATA PRACTICES ACT. 

After waiting six weeks to receive a response from Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (“MHNA”) to a data practices request, Jason Klohs (“Mr. Klohs”) has sued MHNA for violation of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and requested declaratory, injunctive, and other relief. 

Mr. Klohs, who is embroiled in a grievance with MHNA over its membership policy, use of government funds, and other issues, submitted a data request on October 5, 2009.  The request sought data related to MHNA activities under an NRP contract MHNA entered into with the City of Minneapolis.  MHNA explained that it sought assistance from outside counsel on October 26, 2009 but has yet to respond, despite demand.

After significant research, we believe the law is clear that a private non-profit corporation contracting with a government entity, such as the City of Minneapolis, must comply with the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13, which is commonly known as the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.  Compliance is required when the government entity contracts with the private entity, as Minneapolis did with MHNA. 

The request is important for Mr. Klohs and his ongoing grievance because the data requested has never been in the possession of the City.  We feel that because MHNA uses NRP and other government funds for activities and programs, the law subjects the data created by those activities and programs to the public data law of the State. 

For the moment, Mr. Klohs’ grievances are on hold, but more information will be available as the data issue progresses over the next few weeks.


Jason Klohs Exhausts Neighborhood Level Remedies In Grievance Against MHNA

October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JASON KLOHS EXHAUSTS NEIGHBORHOOD LEVEL REMEDIES IN GRIEVANCE AGAINST MARCY HOLMES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, WILL ELEVATE GRIEVANCE TO THE NRP POLICY BOARD AND CPED CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PROGRAM.

Jason Klohs (“Mr. Klohs”), a non-resident property owner within the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood and representatives of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (“MHNA”) failed to resolve a formal grievance filed by Mr. Klohs against MHNA in a mediation session conducted Tuesday night. 

Mr. Klohs’ attorney, Ryan H. Ahlberg, filed a formal grievance with MHNA on July 9, 2009.  The grievance alleges that MHNA’s discriminatory bylaws and exclusionary practices effectively remove non-resident property owners from the process of neighborhood governance and that MHNA’s violations of various City of Minneapolis citizen participation requirements restrict and remove non-resident property owners from participation and representation under various City of Minneapolis’ programs. 

The grievance also alleges that MHNA activities funded by public money violate the specific authorizing statutes and ordinances providing for such public expenditures.  Data collected on City of Minneapolis’ Neighborhood Revitalization Program (“NRP”) funding to MHNA indicates that MHNA received $163,642.00 from late 2005 to the present and all of the money was spent on MHNA’s employees and operating expenses.  The grievance argues the statutes and ordinances authorizing the NRP do not allow this type of expenditure.  

Mr. Klohs has grown tired of constantly fighting MHNA on land-use and other regulatory issues.  Because of the power and money accorded to MHNA and similar neighborhood organizations by the City of Minneapolis and the University District Alliance, Mr. Klohs is no longer willing to tolerate unequal treatment because he is a non-resident property owner. 

The mediation session was conducted under the MHNA grievance policy.  Because there was no resolution, any opportunity to resolve the matter at the neighborhood level has been exhausted.  Ahlberg Law, PLLC will continue to assist Mr. Klohs through the administrative grievance process.  If there is no administrative resolution, a lawsuit against MHNA is highly probable. 

Further questions regarding this matter can be directed to Ryan H. Ahlberg, 612-373-7081 or rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.


New Site

October 5, 2009

We (I) are in the process of developing a new www.ahlberglaw.com that will be entirely blog based. 

The new site is viewable at https://rahlberg.wordpress.com but will eventually be integrated into www.ahlberglaw.com

We hope you enjoy the legal commentary, helpful information, and firm news as we move to our new format.