Cargill, Inc v. Hedge Mn S. Ct.,

375 N.W.2d 477 (1985)


On October 24, 1973, the Hedge's (D) entered into a contract to purchase a 160-acre farm. On March 1, 1974, they assigned their interest in the farm to Hedge Farms. Inc., a Minnesota corporation qualified as a family farm. Farm supplies and services were purchased on account from Cargill (P) totaling $17,000 from 1976-1979. P was not aware of D's corporate status until 1980 after its lawsuit was initiated. Judgment was entered for P in the amount of $12,700. D exempted 80 acres of his land from the execution sale as a homestead exemption. P was the successful bidder at the execution sale. Shortly before the 1-year redemption period expired, the district court, on motion of D, enjoined further proceedings on the execution, tolled the redemption period, and allowed Annette to join the proceedings as an intervenor. The trial court ruled that D had a right to exempt from the execution 80 acres constituting their homestead. The court of appeals affirmed. Annette Hedge had an 'equitable interest' in the corporate property, and that this interest, coupled with the Hedges' occupancy, satisfied the homestead statute. The court implied that it was willing to reach the same result by 'piercing the corporate veil.' This appeal resulted.