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Filing an Eviction Appeal

This page will help parties without an attorney to appeal an eviction judgment.

It is important that you read the entire page carefully before you try to appeal and that you fill out the required forms completely, but there is a checklist for your convenience:

Checklist (PDF)

In an eviction proceeding, the only decision that can be appealed is the eviction judgment entered by the court administrator, after the judge has ruled on the case.

No appeal can be taken from the judge's order (the appeal must be from the judgment entered by the court administrator) or from the writ of recovery issued to the sheriff.

Please review Minn. Stat. § 504B.371 and the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (abbreviated "Minn. R. Civ. App. P."), which apply to eviction appeals.

Eviction Appeals Process

Appeal Time

To appeal an eviction judgment, you must:

1) file a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts within 15 days of the date that the district court administrator entered judgment on the eviction order                                 

Notice of Appeal form- Microsoft Word or PDF format 

2) serve the notice of appeal on the attorneys for the respondents (or on the respondents, if they do not have an attorney) within that 15-day period.

If you do not appeal an eviction judgment within 15 days of the date that the court administrator in the district entered judgment in the case, your appeal will be dismissed.  If you do not serve the notice of appeal on all of the respondents within 15 days after the court administrator entered the judgment, your appeal will be dismissed.

The 15-day appeal period starts to run when the district court enters the eviction judgment whether or not you are notified of the judgmentThe court of appeals cannot extend the time to serve and file an eviction appeal, no matter how good the reasons for doing so.

Calculating the Appeal Time

When you count the 15 days, do not count the day that the court administrator in the district entered the judgment, but start counting the next day.  For example, if the court administrator entered the judgment on a Friday, Saturday would be the first day of the 15-day appeal period. 

Continue counting calendar days. Do not skip weekends or legal holidays, unless the last day of the 15-day appeal period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.  In that situation, the deadline is the next business day.  For example, if the fifteenth day is a Saturday and the following Monday is a legal holiday, an appeal served and filed on the following Tuesday will be timely.

Legal Holidays

New Year's Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday (the third Monday in January)
Presidents' Day (the third Monday in February)
Memorial Day (the last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (the first Monday in September)
Veterans Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November)
The Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day (December 25)

The appellate courts are open on Columbus Day (October 10 or the closest business day), but it is also treated as a legal holiday when calculating appeal deadlines, because there is no U.S. Mail service on that day.

Parties

The party who files an eviction appeal is called the "appellant." The parties who won in the district court are called the "respondents."

Terms and Definitions

For definitions of other terms related to eviction proceedings, consult Minn. Stat. § 504B.001.

Affidavit of Service:

Every document that you file with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts must be served (see "SERVICE" below) on each respondent, and you must file proof of service with each document you submit to the Clerk for filing.

An affidavit of service is the document that you file with the Clerk showing that you served your documents on the respondent(s), the date on which you served them, and whether you served them in person or by mail.

Affidavit of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery (Word)
Affidavit of Service by Personal Delivery (Word)

You must complete the affidavit and have it notarized. The Clerk will notarize affidavits at no charge if the person who served the documents comes to the Clerk's office during work hours.  Most banks also have a notary who can do this for a small fee.

You may file one affidavit listing multiple documents if you served those documents on the same date, in the same manner, and on the same parties.

Entry of Judgment:

After the district judge issues an order, the court administrator will enter a judgment.

The court administrator may prepare a separate document titled "judgment" or "judgment roll," or may add a sentence to the order, after the judge's signature, that says something like: "The above conclusions of law and order constitute the judgment of the court."  The court administrator will sign and date this statement (or the separate judgment document) and will record this action.

The order from the judge is not appealable until the court administrator enters judgment.

The next step is usually the issuance of a writ of recovery, which authorizes the sheriff or other officials to remove a tenant from the property, but the appeal is taken from the judgment entered by the court administrator, not the writ of recovery.

Filing:

"Filing" means giving documents to the Clerk.  You may file documents by hand-delivering them (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays) or by mailing the documents. 

For filing by mail, you must use the correct address and attach the correct first-class postage.  The document will be considered timely if it is deposited in the U. S. mail by the deadline, even though the Clerk's office will not receive the document the same day.

The Clerk does not accept filings by facsimile transmission (faxes).

Notice of Appeal:

The notice of appeal is the document that an appellant files with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and the court administrator in the district, and also serves on each respondent to start the appeal process.

Notice of Appeal form- Microsoft Word or PDF format

Order for Judgment:

An order for judgment is the judge's written decision telling the court administrator to enter a judgment.  The order for judgment is not appealable, but the Court of Appeals will review it if you file a timely appeal from the judgment once it has been entered.

Service:

Each document that you submit for filing to the Clerk must be provided to the attorneys for the respondents (or to the respondents themselves, if they do not have attorneys) at or before the time of filing.

Service can be accomplished in person or by mail, but if a party has an attorney, you must serve the attorney rather than the party.

A party to the action cannot serve papers in person on another party to the action.  If another party to the case does not have an attorney, the appellant can serve the papers by mail or have someone else (the sheriff or a person who is 18 years or older and not a party to the appeal) serve the papers personally on the other party.

Service by mail is accomplished by depositing the papers, correctly addressed, in the U.S. Mail, first-class postage prepaid.

Transcript:

A transcript is a typed record of what the witnesses, the parties, and the judge said at a hearing or trial.

Writ of Recovery of the Premises:

A writ of recovery of the premises tells the sheriff to remove a tenant from the property. 

The writ cannot be issued until the judge issues an order and the court administrator enters a judgment.

The appeal must be taken from the judgment, and not from the writ of recovery.

Filing Fees and Cost Bonds 

The appellant in an eviction matter must either:

  • pay a $550 filing fee to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and file a $500 cost bond with the district court; or
  • obtain an order from the district court waiving the filing fee and cost bond (an in forma pauperis order).

See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.01, subd. 1; 107; 109 (filing fee, cost bond, in forma pauperis motions).

If you make a motion and qualify, the judge whose decision you are appealing can waive the filing fee and cost bond.

For more information, review rule 109 and What if I Can't Afford an Appeal.

The Record

The record that the Court of Appeals will consider on appeal includes the papers filed in the district court, the exhibits, and the transcript of the proceedings, if there is one. 

If you want a transcript prepared for your appeal, you must order the transcript from the court reporter.  For more information, review Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110 and Overview of the Civil Appellate Process.   If you make a motion in the district court and you qualify, the court can order the state to pay for the cost of preparing and copying the transcript. 

The Court of Appeals will request the record from the district court after the parties file their briefs.

You may not submit additional evidence on appeal, and your brief must be based on evidence that was submitted to the ditsrict court during the hearing in your case.

Briefs

Your brief is your written argument on appeal.  You must file seven copies of your brief with the Clerk and serve two copies on each respondent.  See Rule 131.03.  You must also file proof of service for the brief. 

If your appeal involves a transcript, you must serve and file your brief within 33 days after the date the transcript was mailed to you.   If there is no transcript, you must serve and file your brief within 30 days of the date you filed the appeal. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P 131.01, subd. 1.

As the appellant, you must file a brief, or your appeal will be dismissed.  See Minn. App. Civ. App. P. 142.02. 

You may file a formal brief or ask the Court of Appeals for permission to file an informal brief.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1 (informal brief); 128.02, subd. 1 (formal brief).

Your brief must also include an "addendum" and an "appendix."  The addendum must contain:

  • a copy of any ruling by the district court directly relating to the issues in your appeal and
  • up to 15 pages of short excerpts from the record (other than testimony) that would be helpful to the Court when reading your brief.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02, subd. 3.

Each respondent will also have the chance to file a brief responding to the appellant's brief.  If a respondent's brief raises a new topic that was not addressed in the appellant's brief, the appellant may serve and file a reply brief within 10 days after the last respondent's brief is served.  A reply brief is not required and they are not commonly filed in eviction appeals.

Formal Brief:

A formal brief includes a table of contents, a statement of the legal issues, a statement of the case and the facts, an argument, a conclusion, and an appendix.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02.

A formal brief must have a binding that meets the requirements of the Court. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 132.01.

Informal Brief:

An informal brief may be stapled, and it must include a written argument and appendix.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1.

Memorandum & Short Letter Argument:

If written arguments were submitted to the district court (this is uncommon in eviction cases), a party may elect to rely on that written memorandum, plus a short letter argument.

This form of brief may be stapled (it does not have to be bound by a printer) and it must include an appendix.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 2.

A memorandum and short letter argument may be filed only if you submitted a written memorandum of law to the district court.  The short letter argument should not repeat the arguments made in the memorandum, but should address the decision that was made by the district court and the reasons that you believe the decision should be reversed on appeal.

Time Extensions or Other Requests

If you cannot serve and file your brief or another document on time and you need more time, or if you want other relief from the Court of Appeals, you must serve and file a written motion.  A motion to extend any deadline must be made before the time has  expired.  The requirements for a motion are found in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127.

Always state the relief you are requesting, your reasons for the request, and any cases, statutes, or rules that support your request.

You must serve the written motion on the respondent(s) and file an affidavit of service.  You must file a signed original motion and four copies, except that no copies are required if you are moving for an extension of time to file a brief.

NOTE: The Court cannot extend the time to serve and file the notice of appeal.

How Your Case Will Be Decided

After the parties have filed their briefs, the appeal will be scheduled for consideration by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals. 

If any party who has filed a brief does not have an attorney, or if the attorneys did not request oral arguments, the appeal will be scheduled for a nonoral conference.

The parties will receive notice that the case has been scheduled for oral arguments or a nonoral conference.  The notice will give the names of the judges on the panel that will decide the case.

In eviction appeals, the Court has 90 days to issue a written decision. 

Any party can file a petition for further review by the Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing of the Court of Appeals decision.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 117.

Seeking a Stay of Eviction Pending Appeal

Filing an appeal does not automatically stay enforcement of an eviction judgment or writ of recovery.

If an appellant in an eviction proceeding wants to remain in or at the property while the appeal is being decided, the appellant must make a motion in the distict court to stay enforcement of the judgment.

If the appellant makes a motion for a stay, the district court will decide whether to grant the stay and on what conditions.  Often the district court will require the appellant to continue paying rent while the appeal is being decided.  Note that even if appellant is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, the appellant still must pay rent (usually to the landlord or the district court) as ordered by the district court while the appeal is pending.  If the tenant does not satisfy the conditions set by the district court, he or she can be evicted, even though an appeal is pending.

If any party thinks that the district court improperly decided the question of whether to grant a stay or incorrectly set the conditions for a stay, that party may file a motion with the Court of Appeals (and serve the motion on the other parties to the appeal) seeking relief from the district court's decision regarding the stay.  

The motion should be accompanied by:

  • a copy of the district court's order addressing the stay question;
  • a memorandum explaining why the party believes he or she is entitled to a different decision; and 
  • copies of all papers that the parties submitted to the district court on the request for a stay.

If additional facts are necessary for the Court of Appeals to fully understand the challenge to the district court's stay decision, those facts should be submitted to the Court of Appeals in the form of an affidavit, keeping in mind that the Court of Appeals generally does not consider evidence or arguments that were not first presented to the district court.

A response to a motion challenging a district court decision regarding a stay pending appeal must be served and filed within five days after service of the motion.  Any reply in support of the motion must be served and filed by the moving party within two days after service of the response. 

The Court of Appeals usually decides motions challenging a district court decision on a request for a stay pending appeal soon (within a few days) after a response is received.

If an appellant is being evicted soon, and the district court has denied a stay pending appeal, the appellant should ask the district court for a temporary stay, so the Court of Appeals can decide the appellant's motion for relief from the denial.  The district court's ruling on a request for a temporary stay can also be reviewed by the Court of Appeals.

The parties may be able to reach an agreement for the tenant to remain on the property while the appeal is pending.  For example, the parties might agree that the sheriff will not enforce the writ of recovery for several days to allow the parties to make a motion for a stay in the district court and to seek review from the Court of Appeals, if needed.  Be sure to tell the Court of Appeals about any such agreement if you file a motion for a stay.

Even if a writ of recovery has been issued by the court administrator, the Sheriff may have other duties that will delay enforcement of the writ in a particular case.  Be sure to give the Court of Appeals any information you have about when the sheriff is scheduled to enforce the writ if you file a motion for a stay.

Contact

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2581
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

NOTE: The Clerk's office staff can answer questions about the forms and the procedures of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, but they cannot fill out forms for you or give you legal advice about your case.