Minnesota Insurance Department Asks State Supreme Court to Deny Safelite’s Petition

Minnesota’s Department of Commerce, Insurance division, has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to deny Safelite Group and Safelite Solutions petition for review. Safelite asked for the review of a decision by the Appellate Court that upholds the settlement agreement between the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Insurance Division, and Auto Club Group.

The settlement requires Auto Club Group to “cease and desist from using Safelite Solutions, or any other subsidiary of Safelite Group Inc., as its administrator of automotive glass claims in Minnesota,” according to the settlement agreement.

Attorneys for Minnesota’s Department of Commerce, Insurance division, write, “Safelite fails to specifically analyze any of the criteria … which would justify Minnesota Supreme Court review.”

“This case presents an important question on which this court should rule,” Safelite’s attorneys write in their petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court. “Contracts are important property rights that cannot be taken without due process. Here, the commissioner of commerce ordered an insurance company to terminate its valid, legal, contract with petitioners, and ordered it to never again do business with petitioners.”

The only provision of the settlement with The Auto Club Group that Safelite’s objects to is its agreement not to use the company as its administrator of automobile glass claims in the state of Minnesota, according to the attorneys representing the state Commerce Department.

“[S]afelite contends [this] harms its contract with The Auto Club Group,” the attorneys write in court documents.

“The Court of Appeals correctly determined that Safelite was not entitled to petition for certiorari because the underlying administrative consent order is not a ‘quasi-judicial proceeding.’ Quasi-judicial proceedings are reviewable by writ of certiorari but legislative or administrative actions are not,” attorneys write.

“[T]he Court of Appeals properly concluded that none of the three indicia of quasi-judicial actions are present in this case. First, there is no disputed claim or weighing of evidentiary facts because the consent order represents a voluntary settlement of the issue,” write the attorneys for the state Department of Commerce. “Rather, there was an administrative investigation, followed by an informal resolution. Indeed, the consent order specifically provides that it is an informal resolution without a hearing. … To the contrary, the regulated party entered into an agreement with a regulatory agency to avoid quasi-judicial factual findings or legal conclusions.”

The attorneys ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to deny Safelite’s petition for review.

To view a copy of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Insurance Division’s response, click here.

To view Safelite’s petition for review to the State Supreme Court, click here.

To view a copy of the consent order, click here.

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