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Appealing a Conciliation Court Decision
How do you appeal a judgment of the Conciliation Court?
Appeal procedures are more complex than Conciliation Court rules. Although it is not required, it is suggested that the appealing party be represented by an attorney. Court administration staff are not attorneys and cannot practice law. Therefore, they cannot assist you in preparing your appeal. However, forms are available at the Conciliation Court office or online. Click here to download and appeal/removal form.
If both parties appeared at the Conciliation Court Hearing and if either party is dissatisfied with the judgment, the case may be removed to the District Court. To do this, you must file a form called a Demand for Removal, Affidavit of Good Faith, and Affidavit of Service with the Court Administrator within twenty (20) days of the date the judgment was mailed. The appealing party must pay the District Court filing fee of $320.00. District Court is more formal than Conciliation Court and its proceedings are governed by the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.
What happens upon an appeal?
Filing an appeal (removal) means a completely new trial will take place. If you want a trial by jury, a Jury Trial Demand must be made at the time the appeal if filed. An additional fee of $100.00 is required for a jury trial demand. Attorneys may represent both parties in District Court. Again, you should prepare to present your case, have your witnesses ready to testify, and have all your other evidence available.
If you appeal and do not win, you will pay the other party $50 as costs.
You will not have to pay the other party $50 if:
1) you win your case in District Court and get either 50% of what you asked for or more than $500 in money or goods.
2) the other party wins some amount in Conciliation Court but nothing in District Court.
3) you win at least $500 in money or goods or 50% more in District Court than you received in Conciliation Court.
4) the other party has the amount won from you in Conciliation Court reduced by at least $500 or 50% by the District Court.
How do you collect a Conciliation Court judgment?
Although a case is decided in your favor, it is not always easy to collect a judgment. Conciliation Court is not a collection agency and cannot assist you in locating assets of the other party.
A separate brochure about the collection process is available from Conciliation Court or District Court.
The preceding information is not intended as legal advice but as a guide to the legal process. If you do not understand any of these procedures, we suggest you consult an attorney.