Court of Appeals

19 Members, Three-Judge Panels

Appeals from:

District court decisions (except first-degree murder convictions), administrative agency decisions (except Tax Court & Workers’ Compensation Court), decisions of local governments
 

Original Actions:

Writs of mandamus or prohibition, which order a trial judge or public official to perform or not perform a certain act


2018 Court of Appeals Case Information

 
Cases Filed
Dispositions
General Civil
439
427
Criminal
860
839
Administrative Rule
2
1
Economic Security
88
88
Writs - Certiorari
86
74
Habeas / Certified Questions
9
10
Commitment
51
36
Family
223
199
Juvenile Delinquency
17
22
Juvenile Protection
106
101
Implied Consent
19
42
Discretionary Review / Writs
81
75
Probate
26
19
Unlawful Detainer / Eviction
43
31
Total
2050
1964


Court of Appeals in 2018

The Minnesota Court of Appeals provides citizens with prompt, deliberate review of final decisions of the district courts and some decisions of state agencies and local governments. The decision of the Court of Appeals is the final judicial resolution in more than 95% of cases filed, with review being granted by the Supreme Court in less than five percent of cases.

The Court of Appeals is composed of 19 judges who hear cases in three-judge panels at the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul and at various locations around the state. In 2018, Judges Jeanne Cochran and Randall Slieter joined the Court, succeeding judges Randolph Peterson and Michael Kirk, who retired. A number of senior judges also assisted the Court throughout 2018, providing coverage for vacancies and absences.

The Court disposed of 1,964 cases in 2018, filing opinions in 1,328 cases, issuing more than 2,000 orders, hearing oral arguments in over 600 cases, and considering almost 750 cases at non-oral conferences. In addition to argument calendars at the Judicial Center and at Minnesota law schools, three-judge panels held arguments on 86 cases at locations outside the Twin Cities metro area. Judges also met with school and community groups in conjunction with eight of the travel calendars, providing opportunities for dialogue and education about the role of the Court of Appeals.

The Court addressed a number of cases involving issues of first impression and public importance in 2018, filing 120 published, precedential opinions. Although total filings were similar to 2017, there were noticeable increases in the number of appeals from administrative agencies, appeals involving mental commitments, and family matters. Almost 200 appeals were referred to the Court’s Family Law Appellate Mediation Program in 2018. About 35% of the cases mediated were resolved by agreement of the parties, reducing overall costs and delays for many families.

July 2018 marked the second anniversary of mandatory e-filing for all attorneys, court reporters, and state agencies. E-filing remains optional for self-represented litigants, but has been widely embraced by litigants with Internet access. E-filing substantially reduces copying, postage, and courier costs for litigants, and it makes electronic service on other parties to the appeal free and nearly instantaneous. Documents related to pending appeals may be e-filed 24 hours a day. E-filing has dramatically improved access to justice at reduced cost to litigants and attorneys. These efforts to move to an electronic environment have substantially reduced the time and money spent by the Court of Appeals on storing and retrieving paper files, and they ensure that judges can securely access case files and relevant documents from the bench and when traveling to hearings around the state.

With 19 judges, hundreds of oral arguments and non-oral conferences, almost 2,000 new filings per year, and strict deadlines for issuing written decisions, the Court of Appeals is very busy. The Court continues to provide meaningful access to appellate review to thousands of citizens every year, through the dedication of judges and staff, and their commitment to initiatives that enhance efficiency and ensure that every case receives timely consideration and review.