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Legal Topics Directory

Minnesota State Law Library Legal Topics Directory
by Debby Hackerson - Last Updated Feb 4, 2016
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Self-Help Clinics for Appeals

A brief advice clinic for people who are representing themselves.  More information can be found here on Minnesota State Law Library's web site.

Source:  Minnesota State Law Library


Scope of Review - What is Reviewed on Appeal?

On appeal:

  • You must make all your arguments in writing.
  • You cannot present witnesses.
  • You cannot present new evidence.

You can make arguments only about issues that:

  • you raised in the district court or other proceeding, and
  • were decided (ruled on) by the judge or other decision-maker.
  • You usually cannot make new arguments on appeal.

Source: MN Court of Appeals Self Help


Appealable Judgments & Orders (Civil Appeal)


  • Generally, the trial court proceedings must be completely finished before you can appeal.  The purpose of this rule is to prevent multiple appeals arising out of the same case.  The majority of appeals are taken from final judgments. 
  • A final judgment is appealable under Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.03(a).  A final judgment determines all of the remaining claims in the action, including any award of attorney fees, but note that a request for costs and disbursements is not considered to be a separate claim. 
  • So a judgment that determines all claims is final and generally appealable, even if the award of costs and disbursements has not been decided yet.


  • Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.03 lists various types of appealable orders.  Some of the more common ones are an order granting or refusing to grant an injunction, an order denying a new trial, a final order made in a "special proceeding," and a final order granting or denying a motion to modify child custody, parenting time, child support, or spousal maintenance.
  • There are other types of orders that are appealable under statutes that apply to specific types of proceedings or under a decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court. 
  • In addition to reviewing Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.03, you must also review any statute that applies to the proceeding that you are involved with to determine whether a particular order might be appealable.

Source: MN Court of Appeals Self-Help


Standards of Review

The standard of review defines the manner in which each issue is reviewed, delineates the boundaries of appellate argument, and often determines the outcome on appeal. When deciding a case, the first task of an appellate court is to identify the applicable standard of review. The Minnesota Court of Appeals conscientiously identifies and applies a specific standard of review to each issue before the court.


Minnesota Appellate Courts

Court of Appeals:

  • The Minnesota Court of Appeals reviews final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments.
  • The court reviews appeals in a timely manner. By law, the court must issue a decision with in 90 days after oral arguments. If no oral argument is held a decision is due within 90 days of the case's scheduled conference date. This deadline is the shortest imposed on any appellate court in the nation.
  • As part of the court’s effort to expedite justice and to make access to the appellate system less burdensome and expensive, the court’s 19 judges sit in three-judge panels and travel to locations throughout Minnesota to hear oral argument.
  • What You Should Know About the State's Intermediate Appellate Court
  • FAQs
  • Help Topics

Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court hears appeals from: Court of Appeals, trial court decisions in all first degree murder convictions and other decisions if Supreme Court chooses to bypass the Court of Appeals, the Tax Court and Workers Compensation Court of Appeals.
  • Certain cases can originate in the Supreme Court. These include: writs of prohibition, habeas corpus, and mandamus; and legislative election contests.
  • The Supreme Court reviews matters on certiorari, meaning it reviews cases to set precedent, to clarify legal issues, to resolve statutory conflicts, and to answer constitutional questions.

Clerk of Appellate Courts:

  • The Office of the Clerk of Appellate Courts accepts all case filings for the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
  • The Clerk's Office personnel respond to basic questions regarding the appellate process and case status inquiries, but are not able to provide any legal advice.

Source: MN Judicial Branch


Filing Fees

Court of Appeals Filing Fees

  • Notice of Appeal/Petition for Writ of Certiorari - $550 
  • Notice of Review - $100
  • Extraordinary Writs (mandamus/prohibition) - $550 
  • Petition for Discretionary Review - $550

Supreme Court Filing Fees

  • Notice of Appeal/Petition for Writ of Cert. - $550
  • Petition for Further Review - $550
  • Petition for Rehearing - $100
  • Petition for Accelerated Review - $100
  • Extraordinary Writs (mandamus/prohibition) - $550

Source:  MN Judicial Branch, Clerk of Appellate Courts



As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts).  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.

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Oral Argument

Court of Appeals Calendar

Supreme Court Calendar

Supreme Court - Oral Argument Videos

The forms below are used for notifying the Clerk of Appellate Courts of scheduling conflicts for oral argument.  Once a case has been placed on the calendar, it cannot be rescheduled except for good cause.  Rescheduling will be rare and only for exceptional circumstances.

Court of Appeals: Notice Regarding Oral Arguments in the Court of Appeals

Supreme Court: Notice Regarding Oral Arguments in the Minnesota Supreme Court


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