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News Item
Court of Appeals Special Term Orders Now Available Online

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2023

State Law Library website offers searchable format

The Minnesota Court of Appeals, in partnership with the Minnesota State Law Library, is now making available the Court of Appeals’ Special Term Orders in an easily searchable online database on the State Law Library website. The database includes Special Term Orders issued beginning January of this year.

Special Term is a weekly calendar of the Court of Appeals in which a three-judge panel of the Court decides issues concerning the Court’s jurisdiction to hear appeals, motions, petitions for discretionary review, and petitions for extraordinary writs, such as for mandamus or prohibition. The Court of Appeals Chief Judge typically presides at these calendars, joined by two other judges on a rotating basis.

While all orders of the Court of Appeals are available through the Minnesota appellate courts’ public access system, P-MACS, the new database allows people to research Special Term Orders using a topic or keyword search. Special Term Orders can only be located in P-MACS by case name or number and are not available in commercial online legal research services, such as Westlaw or Lexis, except for those Orders designated as precedential. 

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this service as part of our goal of improving public accessibility,” said Chief Judge Susan Segal. “It is our hope that easy access to these Orders will provide helpful guidance to parties involved in appeals. Many thanks are owed to the State Law Library for being such an enthusiastic partner on this project.”

The Special Term Orders are being added to the State Law Library’s existing archive of appellate documents available online free of charge. Those documents include opinions, briefs to the Minnesota Supreme Court, briefs to the Court of Appeals in precedential cases, and others. The Special Term Orders are located in the tab labeled, “Search COA Orders.” Special Term Orders prior to January 2023 will continue to be publicly available in P-MACS but are not included in the Law Library database.