19 Members, Three-Judge Panels
District court decisions (except first-degree murder convictions), administrative agency decisions (except Tax Court & Workers’ Compensation Court), decisions of local governments
Writs of mandamus or prohibition, which order a trial judge or public official to perform or not perform a certain act
2017 Court of Appeals Case Information
Habeas / Certified Questions
Discretionary Review / Writs
Unlawful Detainer / Eviction
Court of Appeals in 2017
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 2017, Judge James Florey
joined the Court, succeeding Judge Larry Stauber, Jr., who retired. A number of senior judges also assisted the Court throughout 2017.
The Court disposed of approximately 2,000 cases in 2017, filing opinions in 1,365 cases, issuing 1,875 orders, hearing oral arguments in about 670 cases, and considering about the same number at non-oral conferences. The number of published, precedential opinions increased more than 60% as compared to 2016 (from 94 to 152), as the Court addressed a number of cases involving issues of first impression and public importance. Filings in 2017 were up slightly, with noticeable increases in the number of juvenile delinquency and criminal appeals. More than 160 appeals were referred to the Court’s Family Law Appellate Mediation Program in 2017. Almost 30% of those cases were resolved by agreement of the parties in 2017, reducing overall costs and delays for many families.
In July 2016, e-filing became mandatory for all attorneys, court reporters, and state agencies. E-filing remains optional for self-represented litigants. In the first full year of e-filing, more than 47,000 documents were e-filed with the appellate courts. E-filing substantially reduces copying, postage, and courier costs for litigants. Documents relating to pending appeals may be e-filed 24 hours a day, even when the appellate clerk’s office is not open. Attorneys and litigants are no longer required to file duplicate copies of appeal papers, motions, and other routine filings. These changes have already saved attorneys and litigants thousands of dollars in copying and mailing costs, making access to justice more affordable. To ensure that judges and court staff have access to needed documents, the Clerk of the Appellate Courts also creates an electronic image of paper filings and makes the images available on a secure internal site. 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.
With 19 judges, about 2,000 new filings per year, and strict deadlines for issuing written decisions, the Court of Appeals has always been a very busy place. Because of the dedication of the judges and staff and their commitment to initiatives that enhance efficiency and ensure that every case receives timely consideration and review, the Court of Appeals continues to provide meaningful access to appellate review to thousands of citizens every year.