The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 6, 2013

Marktplatz Mall legal battle turns bizarre with arrest

Legal wrangle over Marktplatz Mall continues

By Josh Moniz
The Mankato Free Press

---- — NEW ULM — The Marktplatz Mall’s three-year-long legal battle gained another twist in its increasingly bizarre story with two arrests of one of its owners this week.

Randy Danielson, owner of the southern mall portion, was arrested Nov. 1 for failing to appear at his Oct. 29 court hearing over charges he stole scaffolding and a ladder from Ted Javert, the northern side’s mall manager.

Danielson posted bail and attended the next hearing on Tuesday. But he was arrested after the hearing when New Ulm police learned he had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear for a Sibley County District Court hearing.

The controversy originated with New Ulm Retail and Development, owner of the northern side of the mall, building a wall through the shared common area separating the sides of the mall. The organization accused Danielson of improperly heating his side. NURD said they have obtained all the legally required permits.

Danielson claims NURD is using the wall to pressure him over their ongoing lawsuit. The NURD lawsuit claims Danielson mismanaged the rents he collected from their side of the mall through his rights as owner of first mortgage of the northern side. Danielson bought the mortgage in 2011 to prevent NURD’s side from being sold due to default.

According to the police report, Javert contacted New Ulm police to report the alleged theft. Danielson subsequently confirmed to police he took the equipment but refused to meet to return it. Misdemeanor theft charges were filed Oct. 11.

Danielson said he will plead not guilty at the next hearing because he believes Javert was trespassing and he had a right to take the equipment under his ownership of the first mortgage. It is unclear how Danielson plans to assert this because the mortgage has no details on this issue and he has not yet foreclosed on it.

Danielson also accused New Ulm police of treating him unfairly for not following up on his own claims that Jafvert has stolen some of his property.

“I believe there is a criminal hierarchy going on with the (New Ulm) police and city leadership,” Danielson said.

New Ulm Police Cmdr. Dave Borchert said the department has investigated every complaint by both owners, but they were often just civil court matters.

The arrest is simply part of long list of unusual acts by both sides during their ongoing lawsuit in Brown County District Court.

In November 2012, Danielson locked Jafvert into his mall store following an argument, though Javert reported he was able to get out shortly after the incident. NURD’s former owners called the FBI to claim Jafvert was kidnapped. The FBI declined to investigate.

In early 2012, former NURD member Cliff Strand told northern tenants they had to send their rent payments to him despite Danielson’s rights to them under the first mortgage. Tenants confirmed one month’s rent was sent to Strand, and no accounting of these rents have emerged in court filings.

In June 2012, Youtube videos accusing Danielson of misconduct began appearing online. NURD denied creating the films, but they contained the exact documents NURD obtained from Danielson during legal proceedings and disappeared at the same time the Brown County judge ordered them removed.

Danielson is scheduled to appear in Brown County District Court on Nov. 26 over his theft charge and in Sibley County on Dec. 5 for his other charge. The Brown County lawsuit is tentatively set to begin Dec. 17.