Filing an Eviction Appeal
If the district court has entered judgment in an eviction case against you, you can appeal your eviction in the Court of Appeals. The party who files an eviction appeal is called the “appellant.” The party or parties who won in the district court are called the “respondent” or “respondents.” This tab will help parties without an attorney understand how to appeal an eviction judgment.
In addition to the information in this tab, the Eviction Appeal Packet and Checklist
includes forms and instructions for filing your appeal. If you choose to file an appeal without an attorney, it is important that you read all of the instructions carefully before you try to appeal, and that you fill out the forms completely.
Steps of the Eviction Process
In an eviction proceeding, the only
decision that can be appealed is the eviction "judgment"
entered by the court administrator, after the judge has ruled on the case. No appeal can be taken from the judge’s "order for judgment." No appeal can be taken from the "writ of recovery of the premises and order to vacate" issued to the sheriff. These steps of the eviction process are described in more detail below.
Order for Judgment
An order for judgment is the judge’s written decision telling the court administrator to enter a judgment in the eviction case. The order for judgment is not appealable, but the Court of Appeals will review the order for judgment if you serve and file a timely appeal from the judgment once it has been entered.
Entry of Judgment
After the district judge issues an order deciding the eviction case, the court administrator will enter a judgment. To enter judgment, the court administrator may prepare a separate document titled “judgment” or “judgment roll,” or the court administrator may add a sentence to the order, after the judge’s signature, that says something like: “The above conclusions of law and order constitute the judgment of the court.” The court administrator will sign and date this statement (or the separate judgment document) and will record this action. It is this action which constitutes entry of the judgment.
The order for judgment from the judge is not
appealable; once the court administrator enters judgment, that judgment is appealable.
Writ of Recovery of the Premises
Once judgment is entered, the next step is for the district court to issue a "writ of recovery of the premises and order to vacate" (often referred to as “the writ of recovery” or just “the writ”). The writ authorizes the sheriff or other officials to remove the occupant(s) from the property. The writ cannot be issued until the judge issues an order and the court administrator enters a judgment.
The appeal must
be taken from the judgment; not
from the writ of recovery, and not
from the judge’s order.
Notice of Appeal
The notice of appeal is the document that an appellant files with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and the court administrator in the district court, and also serves on each respondent, to start the appeal process.
Deadline to Appeal an Eviction
To appeal an eviction judgment, you must:
If you do not file a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts regarding the eviction judgment within 15 days of the date that the court administrator in the district entered judgment in the case, your appeal will be dismissed. If you do not serve the notice of appeal on the attorneys for each of the respondents (or on the respondents themselves, if the respondents do not have an attorney) within 15 days after the court administrator entered the judgment, your appeal will be dismissed.
- file a notice of appeal form with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts within 15 days of the date that the district court administrator entered a judgment on the eviction order, and
- serve the notice of appeal on the attorneys for the respondents (or on the respondents themselves, if the respondents do not have an attorney) within that 15-day period.
The 15-day appeal period starts to run when the district court enters the eviction judgment whether or not you are notified of the judgment
. The Court of Appeals cannot extend the time to serve and file an eviction appeal, no matter how good the reasons for doing so.
The appellant in an eviction matter must either:
- pay a $550 filing fee to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts; or
- obtain an order from the district court waiving the filing fee. An order waiving the filing fee is sometimes referred to as an order granting the appellant permission to proceed on appeal “in forma pauperis,” or as an order granting permission to proceed “IFP.”
Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.01, subd. 1; 109 (filing fee, in forma pauperis motions).
If you make a motion and qualify, the judge whose decision you are appealing can waive the filing fee. For additional information about filing fees and requesting a waiver of fees, see What if I Can't Afford an Appeal? FAQs
Options for Stopping Eviction During your Appeal
Filing an appeal does not
automatically stay enforcement of an eviction judgment, and it does not
automatically stay enforcement of the writ of recovery.
If an appellant in an eviction proceeding wants to remain in or at the property while the appeal is being decided, the appellant must make a motion in the district court
to stay enforcement of the judgment.
If the appellant makes a motion in the district court for a stay, the district court will decide whether
to grant the stay and on what conditions. Often the district court will require the appellant to continue paying rent or other amounts while the appeal is being decided. Note that even when an appellant is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, if that appellant asks to stay on the property while the appeal is pending, the district court can still require that appellant to pay rent or other amounts
(usually to the landlord or the district court) while the appeal is pending
. If the appellant does not satisfy the conditions set by the district court for the stay, the appellant can be evicted even though an appeal is pending, and even though the appellant has been granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis in that appeal.
If any party thinks that the district court improperly decided the question of whether to grant a stay, or incorrectly set the conditions for a stay, that party may file a motion with the court of appeals (and serve the motion on the other parties to the appeal) seeking relief from the district court’s decision regarding the stay.
The motion should be accompanied by:
- a copy of the district court’s order addressing the stay question;
- a memorandum explaining why the party believes he or she is entitled to a different decision; and
- copies of all documents that the parties submitted to the district court regarding the request for a stay.
If additional facts are necessary for the court of appeals to fully understand the challenge to the district court’s stay decision, those facts should be submitted to the court of appeals in the form of an affidavit, keeping in mind that the court of appeals generally does not consider evidence or arguments that were not first presented to the district court.
A response to a motion challenging a district court decision regarding a stay pending appeal must be served and filed within five days after service of the motion. Any reply in support of the motion must be served and filed by the moving party within three days after service of the response.
The court of appeals usually decides a motion challenging a district court’s decision on a request for a stay pending appeal soon after a response is received.
If an appellant is being evicted soon, and the district court has denied a stay pending appeal (or set conditions for a stay pending appeal that the appellant cannot satisfy), an appellant who has filed a motion in the court of appeals challenging the district court’s stay decision should ask the district court for a temporary
stay, so the court of appeals can decide the appellant’s motion for relief. The district court’s ruling on a request for a temporary stay can also be reviewed by the court of appeals.
The parties may be able to reach an agreement for the occupant to remain on the property while the appeal is pending. For example, the parties might agree that the sheriff will not enforce the writ of recovery for several days to allow the parties to make a motion for a stay in the district court and to seek review from the court of appeals, if needed. Be sure to tell the court of appeals about any such agreement if you file a motion for a stay.
Even if a writ of recovery has been issued by the court administrator, the sheriff may have other duties that will delay enforcement of the writ in a particular case. Be sure to give the court of appeals any information you have about when the sheriff is scheduled to enforce the writ if you file a motion for a stay.
Additional Information Relevant to Eviction Appeals
For definitions of other terms related to eviction proceedings, consult Minn. Stat. § 504B.001
For further information about eviction appeals, please review Minn. Stat. § 504B.371
and the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure
(abbreviated “Minn. R. Civ. App. P.”).
For additional information applicable to eviction appeals, including the stages of an appeal, how to calculate deadlines in an appeal, the record, the transcript, briefs, and motions, see the Overview
For additional information about filing and serving documents in an appeal, see the Proof of Service