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Filing a Criminal Appeal

Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure

The following papers must be filed with your appeal:
  1. Original, signed statement of the case (Form 133) and one copy- Microsoft Word or PDF format.  An explanation of the statement of the case can be found in rule 133.03 of the rules of civil appellate procedure.
  2. $550 filing fee or proof that you should not have to pay a filing fee, such as an order from the district court granting In Forma Pauperis status on appeal, or a determination by the State Public Defender's Office that you are indigent.  No filing fee is required to appeal an order denying postconviction relief. 
  3. Affidavit of service showing service of each appeal paper (notice of appeal and statement of the case) on:
    • The prosecuting attorney
    • The Minnesota Attorney General at 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
    • The district court administrator in the county where your case was considered and where the order you are appealing was filed

The Notice of Appeal must show:

  • Who is filing the appeal
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all attorneys who have appeared in the case
  • The date of the judgment or order you are appealing
  • The court where your appeal is being filed (Court of Appeals)

The Statement of the Case

The statement of the case provides general information about your case and is used by the Court to process and schedule your case.  You must follow Form 133 and Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 133.03 and answer questions about:

  • The date of the judgment or order you are appealing
  • The rule or statute that you believe authorizes you to appeal
  • The issues you intend to raise on appeal (just a general description because you will have the chance to present your arguments in more detail later)
  • Whether a transcript (a typed record of the arguments and testimony presented in the district court) is required for your appeal
  • Whether any other appeals have been filed involving the same case

The statement of the case asks whether you are requesting oral arguments, but they will not be allowed if any party to the appeal does not have an attorney.

Time to Appeal

You should read rule 28 of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure (abbreviated Minn. R. Crim. P.) to find out how many days you have to file the appeal.

Generally, a criminal defendant has 90 days after sentencing to appeal a felony or gross misdemeanor sentence or conviction, 30 days to appeal a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor case, and 60 days to appeal an order denying a postconviction petition. 

The Court can extend the time for a defendant to appeal in a criminal case for up to 30 days, but you must make a motion and show "good cause" to get an extension.

Serving Other Parties

Documents submitted to the Court of Appeals must always be served on the other parties to the appeal.  If the other parties have an attorney, you must provide copies to him or her (Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.02).

Service by mail is complete on mailing (Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.03).

State Public Defender

Some defendants have the right to be represented by the State Public Defender's Office on appeal.  Even if that office is not required to represent you, they can determine whether you are indigent, allowing you to appeal without paying the filing fee of $550.

In some cases, the Public Defender's Office may pay for the preparation of a transcript, even if the office does not have to provide an attorney on appeal.

State Public Defender's Office
540 Fairview Avenue North, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN  55104
(651) 201-6700


If you have further questions, you may contact the Clerk of the Appellate Courts at (651) 296-2581.

The Clerk's office cannot help you fill out appeal papers, offer legal advice, or answer questions about any papers being filed in the district court.