The Minnesota Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state. Any decisions that come from the trial courts, state agencies or local government can be appealed in the Court of Appeals. A panel of three judges sit to review the original verdict, all case files, transcripts, briefs, and oral arguments and they determine if any errors were made in applying the law. Their job is to free up the Supreme Court to resolve more serious constitutional and public policy issues. The Minnesota Court of Appeals was established on November 1, 1983. It is called the “error-correcting court.”
The Court of Appeals opinions are considered final ruling in most cases. However, some cases are appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals handles about 2,000-2,400 cases per year, and the Supreme Court only accepts about 5% of the cases for an additional review. Generally, cases are resolved within 90 days after oral arguments are heard.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has 19 judges, and they sit in panels of three to hear each case. They travel to locations throughout the state when they need to listen to oral arguments.
In an effort of efficiency, the court system in Minnesota is online, and they use an electronic case management system to track the progress of every appeal. Their goal is to eliminate delays in processing and help make quick decisions.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch website has extensive resources for the public and attorneys using the Court of Appeals. Along with guides to the appeals process, the site also has court rules, a law library of information, calendar of events, judge’s information, FAQs, the schedule of oral arguments, other resources and recently published opinions. Additionally, all forms needed for a Court of Appeals case are also available on the website.