Effective July 1, 2016, several changes to the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure took effect. In particular, parties should take note of new length limits and formatting and signature requirements for documents filed with the appellate courts; new recusal rules for the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals; and a new provision requiring citation to Document Index Numbers when referencing part of the district court record.
Also effective July 1, 2016, electronic filing is now mandatory in the appellate courts for all attorneys; electronic filing is optional for self-represented parties.
Parties are advised to read the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure and the Standing Orders Regarding Copies of Briefs for additional information.
About the Court
The Minnesota Court of Appeals, which began on November 1, 1983, provides the citizens of Minnesota with prompt and deliberate review of all final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies, and local governments. As the error-correcting court, the Court of Appeals handles most of the appeals, which allows the Minnesota Supreme Court to spend time resolving difficult constitutional and public policy cases.
Court of Appeals’ decisions are the final ruling in about 95 percent of the 2,000 to 2,400 appeals every year. Typically, about five percent of the Court’s decisions are accepted by the Minnesota Supreme Court for further review.
The Court reviews appeals in a timely manner. By law, the Court must issue a decision within 90 days of 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 arguments.
With the assistance of an electronic case management system, the Court monitors the progress of every appeal to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in processing cases or releasing decisions. The Court demonstrates the value of aggressive, hands-on management of its cases. Other states frequently look to Minnesota as a model for case-processing and delay-reduction.