Appellate Law

Is the process of appealing a judgment or order to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  In Minnesota, all cases begin at the district court level in the county where one party resides.  When the matter is fully concluded, one party may be unsatisfied with the outcome and want further review of the district court decision.  An appeal can only be made from a final order or judgment, appeals cannot be made from temporary orders or orders that do not address all issues of a case.

The appeals court does not retry the case or hear new evidence.  The appellate court reviews what happened at the district court for errors in procedures or errors in the application of the laws.  They do not make new factual findings but review the findings made in the district court to see if they support the outcome. 

The appeals process begins with one party filing a notice of appeal and statement of the case.  The party that initially files the appeal is called the appellant, the opposing party is called the respondent.  Once these documents are filed, the appellant has 10 days to order a transcript of the district court proceedings. 

Once the transcript has been prepared and delivered, the appellant has 30 days to submit a brief to the court outlining their legal arguments.  The respondent then submits a brief 30 days after the submission of appellant’s brief.  If both parties are represented by attorney’s the matter will then be scheduled for oral arguments.  Pro Se parties (litigants without attorneys) are not able to participate in oral arguments. 

Oral arguments are scheduled in front of a three judge panel.  The panels are randomly assigned by the clerk.  Each attorney has fifteen minutes to present their case.  The judges may interrupt the attorney and ask the attorneys questions throughout the argument.  If you are a party to the case, you can view the proceedings from the galley.  Parties are not allowed to sit with their attorney at the counsel table.

Following oral argument, the court’s opinion will be released within 90 days. 

Schedule a Consultation

Susan J Mundahl has argued multiple cases at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  If you would like advice on appealing your Minnesota Family Law matter to the court of appeals, contact our office for a consultation.  

Attorneys:  Susan J. Mundahl


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