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Appeal of a Conciliation Court Order

A Conciliation Court order or judgment can be appealed at the District (Trial) Court.

The facts are reviewed “de novo,” which means the case gets a fresh start before the District Court judge. There may be a civil trial and either party can request a jury.

To learn more about appealing a Conciliation Court order, visit the Conciliation Court Help Topic. In the FAQs section, you’ll find information on appeals under the question How do you appeal a judgment of the Conciliation Court?
 

Appeal of a District Court Order

Certain District Court orders or judgments can be appealed at the Court of Appeals.

When someone appeals a District Court order, the Court of Appeals reviews the District Court’s decision for any legal mistakes. The Court of Appeals does not review the facts of the case. There is no new trial, and no new evidence or arguments are allowed. The types of cases that can be appealed to the Court of Appeals include, but are not limited to: civil, criminal, eviction, family, and unemployment benefit cases.

To learn more about appealing a District Court Order, see the Court of Appeals website. There you will find FAQs and a Court of Appeals Help Topic that includes deadlines, procedures, laws, costs, and other information related to appeals. You can also find forms and instructions for filing specific types of appeals on the Resources tab.
 

Appeal of Government Agency Decisions

Government agency decisions can be appealed in a few different ways, depending on which government agency made the decision and what the decision was about.

Some decisions by a government agency can be appealed through the government agency that made the decision, or at the MN Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). To learn more about appealing to the OAH, watch the Guide to OAH Hearings video.

Some decisions by a government agency must be appealed to the Court of Appeals, such as unemployment benefit decisions.

Some decisions by a government agency must be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, such as workers’ compensation and tax court appeals.

If you want to appeal a government agency decision, start by contacting the government agency that made the decision to find out your options. Talk with a lawyer if you need help understanding your options.
 

Affirmed

A ruling from the appellate court stating that the decision that was appealed is correct under the law and does not need to be changed or reconsidered.
 

Appeal

When someone who loses a case in District (trial) Court or before a government agency asks a higher authority (like the Court of Appeals) to review the decision for legal mistakes.
 

Appellant

The party asking for a review of the District Court or government agency decision.
 

Appellate Court

A court that hears appeals, including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
 

Court of Appeals

An appellate court made up of nineteen judges who review decisions made by the District (trial) Court or certain government agencies to decide whether the decisions were wrong based on the law. For more information, please see the Court of Appeals Help Topic and the Clerk of Appellate Courts Help Topic.
 

Opinion

The written explanation of the appellate court’s decision in a case is called an opinion. All appellate opinions are available online.
 

Oral Argument

Spoken presentations to a judge or appellate court of the legal reasons why each party should win the case.
 

Proof of Service

Proof that a document was served on the other parties. Usually, proof of service is (1) an affidavit of service or (2) a certificate of service. Proof of service can also be a written admission by the person who was served that the document was received. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.04. Every document filed in an appeal must include proof that the document was served on the other parties. For more information, please see the Clerk of Appellate Courts Help Topic.
 

Remanded

A ruling from the appellate court sending the case back to District Court for another hearing or trial. Usually, a case is remanded when the District Court’s order is reversed by the appellate court.
 

Respondent

The party responding to another party’s appeal of the District Court or government agency decision. The Respondent is usually the person who won the original case.
 

Reversed

A ruling from the appellate court that the decision that was appealed is incorrect under the law. The Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals “reverse” an order when they find that the lower court made a mistake in interpreting the law or applying the law to the facts of the case.
 

Standard of Review

The guidelines used by the appellate court when reviewing a case. The guidelines are called “standard of review” and they depend on what kind of decision is being reviewed. Most appeals involve the “abuse of discretion,” “de novo.” or “clear error” standards of review. All of these standards require the court to consider if the lower court interpreted or applied the law wrongly, but they require different weight (or “deference”) to be given to the district court judge’s decision. Information on these and other standards of review can be found in The Minnesota Court of Appeals Standards of Review, published by the MN Judicial Branch.
 

Supreme Court

The highest court in the state. The MN Supreme Court reviews decisions by the Court of Appeals and certain government agencies. The Supreme Court also considers certain direct appeals, such as election-related disputes and first-degree murder cases. The decisions of the Supreme Court are binding on lower courts. For more information, please see the Supreme Court Help Topic.
 

Writ of Certiorari

An order that says the appellate court has decided to review a case that they are not required to review. Some appeals must have a writ of certiorari from the Court of Appeals, while others require getting a writ of certiori directly from the MN Supreme Court.
 

How do I appeal my Conciliation Court judgment?

You can appeal a Conciliation Court judgment to the District (Trial) Court in the county where your Conciliation Court case was filed. The facts are reviewed “de novo,” which means the case gets a fresh start before the judge assigned to your case. There may be a civil trial and either party can request a jury.

To learn more about appealing a Conciliation Court Order, visit the Conciliation Court Help Topic. In the FAQs section, you’ll find information on appeals under the question How do you appeal a judgment of the Conciliation Court?
 

How do I appeal my District Court order or judgment?

To learn more about appealing a District Court Order, see the Court of Appeals website. There you will find FAQs and Court of Appeals Help Topics that include deadlines, procedures, laws, costs, and other information related to appeals. You can also find forms and instructions for filing specific types of appeals on the Resources tab.
 

Are there other options to contest a District Court order, besides an appeal?

There may be a number of ways to contest your court order or judgment without filing an appeal. Every option has a deadline. Talk to a lawyer about what your options are and what time frames apply. 
 

How is an appeal different from a District Court case?

An appeal involves reviewing the District Court’s decision for any legal mistakes. An appeal does not involve new evidence, witnesses, or a jury. An appeal is based on a legal argument put in writing, and there is usually only one hearing where each side makes their argument in person (“oral argument”) and answers any questions from the judges. For more information on the process of filing an appeal, visit the Court of Appeals Help Topics.
 
The appellate judges cannot change a District Court decision just because they disagree with it. The District Court has the authority to hear evidence and make its own decision. The appellate judges can only reverse the District Court’s decision if there is a legal mistake and the legal mistake affected the outcome of the case.
 

What happens during oral arguments in an appeal?

Oral arguments can happen when all parties in an appeals case have lawyers and the lawyers request oral argument. At oral argument, the lawyers explain their arguments to the panel of judges and answer the judges’ questions. All oral arguments are open to the public. The parties can attend the oral arguments to listen to what their lawyers say, but the parties themselves cannot testify or present arguments. After an oral argument, the judges discuss the appeal in private and decide the outcome of the case.
 
  • Appellate Case Forms
    • Forms to appeal a District Court order at the Court of Appeals and information about appeals for the following types of District Court cases: Civil, Criminal (including Postconviction Appeal), and Eviction. You can also find information and a packet of forms to appeal an Unemployment Benefits decision.
    • Other forms are available on the Court of Appeals page. Click on the “Resources” tab, then search through the “Court Forms” section for forms and packets published by MN Judicial Branch, such as Notice of Appeal and Family Court Appeal Packet.
  • Conciliation Court Forms
    • The “Appeals” forms, with instructions, can be found at the end of the list of Conciliation Court Forms.
The following is a list of some of the laws and rules that relate to appeals. We encourage you to talk to a lawyer to get advice on how the laws and rules may affect your case. Learn more about Laws, Rules & Legal Research.
  You may be able to get more help with legal research at your local public law library. You may also be able to get help with legal research from the State Law Library. Talk with an attorney to get advice on how the rules and laws may affect your case.
 

Appeals of Agency Decisions

Appeals of District Court Orders