Court of Appeals Help Topics

The Minnesota Court of Appeals Help Topics answer some of the frequently asked questions about appeals and petitions to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals Standards of Review

The Minnesota Court of Appeals Special Term Opinion Subject Matter Index
 

Important Question: Do I need to discuss my appeal with an attorney?

Appeals are usually very different from proceedings before a trial court, an administrative agency, or a child support magistrate:
  • You must make all your arguments in writing.
  • You cannot present witnesses.
  • You cannot present new evidence.
  • You can make arguments only about issues that:
    • you raised in the trial court or agency proceedings, and
    • were decided (ruled on) by the judge or other decision-maker.
  • You usually cannot make new arguments on appeal.
Most appeals do not focus on whether the trial judge or decision-maker correctly determined the facts of the case. Instead, most appeals focus on the legal issues and whether the judge or decision-maker correctly applied the law after deciding any factual disputes. You must conduct research to see whether the trial court made legal errors that the Court of Appeals can correct.  Just because you are unhappy with the decision, or a decision contains some minor mistakes, that does not mean that it is legally wrong. 

If you lose on appeal in a civil case, you may be ordered to pay the opposing party's costs and disbursements (such as brief printing and copying charges). If the Court finds that your appeal is frivolous, or was taken for improper purposes, such as harassment of another party, you could be ordered to pay double costs and/or attorney fees. It is important to consider these potential costs when deciding whether or not to file an appeal.

These Help Topics are general guide to appellate procedures, but there are many different types of cases and many exceptions to the rules explained here. You are responsible for researching court rules, caselaw, and statutes that govern your case and for evaluating whether there is any reason to appeal in your case.

Court staff must be neutral and cannot give you legal advice about your case. This means that they cannot help you fill out papers, discuss the merits of your case, or tell you if you will win or lose. The information you get from this site or from your discussions with court staff cannot replace legal advice from an attorney. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your appeal or petition with an attorney. There are organizations that can help you find an attorney, including the Minnesota State Bar Association. The Minnesota State Law Library also provides various legal referrals and hosts monthly self-help clinics, at which you may be able to briefly discuss your case with a volunteer attorney.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch makes no endorsement or warranty of quality of services by linking to an outside organization from this website.

What is a Civil Appeal?

Under the laws of Minnesota and applicable court rules, some decisions of the district (trial) courts and of governmental agencies or bodies (such as city councils, school boards, and state departments) can be appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Not all decisions are appealable immediately; often a party must wait until the district court or governmental body has decided all issues in the same case or proceeding before an appeal can be filed.

If there is a right to appeal, the party who appeals usually must show that the district court judge or governmental decision-maker made errors of law that affected the decision and that the Court of Appeals should reverse (overturn) the decision or remand (send it back) to the district court judge or governmental decision-maker for more proceedings.

Appeals are usually very different from proceedings before a district court, an administrative agency, or a child-support magistrate. On appeal:
  • You must make all your arguments in writing.
  • You cannot present witnesses.
  • You cannot present new evidence.
You can make arguments only about issues that:
  • you raised in the district court or other proceeding, and
  • were decided (ruled on) by the judge or other decision-maker.
  • You usually cannot make new arguments on appeal.
Most appeals do not focus on whether the district judge or decision-maker correctly determined the facts of the case. Instead, most appeals focus on the legal issues and whether the judge or decision-maker correctly applied the law after deciding any factual disputes. You must conduct research to see whether the trial court made legal errors that the court of appeals can correct. Just because you are unhappy with the decision, or a decision contains some minor mistakes, that does not mean that it is legally wrong.

If you lose on appeal in a civil case, you may be ordered to pay the opposing party's costs and disbursements (such as brief printing and copying charges). If the Court finds that your appeal is frivolous, or was taken for improper purposes such as harassment of another party, you could be ordered to pay double costs and/or attorney fees. It is important to consider these potential costs when deciding whether or not to file an appeal.

These Help Topics are a general guide to appellate procedures, but there are many different types of cases and many exceptions to the rules explained here. You are responsible for researching court rules, caselaw, and statutes that govern your case, and for evaluating whether there is any reason to appeal in your case.


There are usually five stages to an appeal:


First Stage - Service and filing of appeal papers

To bring an appeal, the party who wants to challenge the decision must serve the appeal papers on the other parties, and file them with the Court of Appeals and the district court or governmental agency within the time allowed; otherwise, the appellate court has no jurisdiction and cannot review the decision. The Court of Appeals cannot increase the time to serve and file a civil appeal, or extend the deadline for any reason.
 

Second Stage - Transcript and record preparation

In the second stage of most (but not all) appeals, the record of what happened in the district court or before the governmental agency must be prepared. The record includes exhibits and papers filed with the district court or agency decision-maker, and may include a written record (a transcript) of testimony presented by witnesses and parties.

In an appeal from a governmental agency's decision, the party bringing the appeal (the relator) should contact the agency to order the transcript.  The agency will coordinate preparation of the transcript.

In most appeals from district court, the appellant must ask the court reporter to prepare a transcript and must pay the court reporter to do so. If you don't know who the court reporter was or how to contact the court reporter, you can get help from district court administration for the county where your hearing took place.

Any party that orders a transcript must work with the court reporter or governmental agency to fill out and file a transcript certificate. This form tells the Court of Appeals that you have requested the transcript and will pay the court reporter (unless a judge has granted a fee waiver for this cost).  The certificate must include:
(1) The date that you requested the transcript from the court reporter
(2) An estimated date that the court reporter will complete the transcript, deliver it to the parties, and file it with the district court
(3) Your signature (if you are acting as your own attorney)
(4) The signature of the court reporter or agency representative.

The court reporter will prepare the transcript from notes or tape recordings. The court reporter will file and deliver the transcript electronically. A party may request a paper copy of the transcript from the reporter (for an additional cost), or a party may print a copy of the transcript that was delivered electronically.

When it is requested by the Court of Appeals, the electronic file, including all of the papers and exhibits given to the district court or governmental agency, along with the transcript, will be sent to the Court of Appeals to be reviewed. If there was no oral testimony or if a transcript is not needed, the Court of Appeals will review the written documents and exhibits.

When the Court of Appeals is deciding an appeal, only the evidence presented to the district court or agency decision-maker will be considered; the Court of Appeals cannot consider any new evidence on appeal.
 

Third Stage - Briefing

The appellant must file a written argument (called a brief) with the Court and serve it on the other parties, describing what happened at the district court and explaining why the Court of Appeals should reverse or remand the case.

The appellant must include legal authorities (case citations, statutes, rules) and references to the transcript or record to support all statements of fact and arguments contained in the brief. After the appellant's brief is served and filed, the other parties to the appeal submit their written arguments, explaining why they think the Court of Appeals should affirm the decision.
 

Fourth Stage - Nonoral conference or oral arguments

In the fourth stage of most appeals, the Court will schedule the appeal to be discussed and decided by a panel of three judges.

If any party does not have a lawyer, none of the parties can make an oral argument to the judges. In that case, the judges will read the briefs and then discuss and decide the appeal at a nonoral conference. The parties and their lawyers cannot attend a nonoral conference.

If all of the parties who filed written briefs on appeal have lawyers, and if their lawyers have asked for oral arguments, the Court may schedule oral arguments before a three-judge panel. All oral arguments are open to the public; the parties are welcome to attend the oral arguments to listen to what their lawyers say, but the parties cannot testify or argue themselves. Any party who fails to file and serve a written brief on appeal can listen to oral arguments by the attorneys, but the parties cannot make oral arguments themselves, under any circumstances. After an oral argument, the judges will discuss the case in private and decide the appeal.
 

Fifth and Final Stage - Decision

The fifth and final stage of most appeals is the decision. In most cases, a written decision (called an opinion) will be filed within 90 days of the date of the nonoral conference or the oral arguments,  explaining the reasons for the judges' decision on appeal. The Court will not reconsider or rehear an appeal after the opinion has been filed. All decisions of the court are public information and are available free of charge. Appellate opinions are accessible on the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website and other Internet sources. After an opinion is filed, it cannot be removed from the Internet.

After an appeal has been decided, the party who won may be able to ask the Court to order the party that lost the appeal to pay the winning party’s costs and disbursements related to the appeal. The party who lost may petition the Minnesota Supreme Court to grant further review in the case, but there are additional fees, criteria for obtaining review, and time limits that apply to a petition for further review. You should look at Rule 117 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure for more information on that process.

Filing a Criminal Appeal (Generally)

​This tab will give you general guidance only for filing a criminal appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. If you were convicted of first-degree murder, you must file an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court. You should carefully review this information, but you must also read the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure and, where applicable, the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure. If you do not do so, you may miss a deadline or an important step, and you could lose your opportunity to appeal.


Time to Appeal

There are different filing deadlines for different types of criminal appeals. In general, a criminal defendant has 90 days after sentencing to appeal a felony or gross misdemeanor sentence or conviction, 30 days to appeal a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor case, and 60 days to appeal an order denying a postconviction petition.

You must read rule 28.02, subdivision 4(3) of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure (abbreviated "Minn. R. Crim. P.") to confirm the deadline that applies to your appeal.

The Court of Appeals may extend the time for a defendant to appeal in a criminal case for up to 30 days, but you must make a motion and show "good cause" to get an extension. No extension period is available if you are filing a sentencing or probation revocation appeal under Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.05.

If you had a previous appeal involving the same felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor conviction, and you were represented by an attorney from the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender in that appeal, you may not be entitled to an appointed attorney for any subsequent appeal. See Minn. Stat. § 611.25, subd. 1(a)(2). If this is your first appeal on this conviction, and you meet certain financial eligiblity requirements, you may be entitled to a public defender on appeal.

You must apply to:

Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender
540 Fairview Avenue North, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN  55104
(651) 201-6700

In some cases, the appellate public defender's office may pay for the preparation of a transcript, even if the office does not have to provide you with an attorney on appeal. You should contact that office for more information.
 

The Parties

You, as the appealing party, are called the appellant. The other party in a criminal appeal is the State of Minnesota and is called the respondent. The State of Minnesota is represented by the county attorney and the Minnesota Attorney General.


Appeal Documents

The Notice of Appeal (Form 103A) must show: (1) who is filing the appeal; (2) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all attorneys who have appeared in the case; (3) the date of the postconviction order you are appealing; and (4) the court where your appeal is being filed (Minnesota Court of Appeals).

The Statement of the Case (Form 133) provides general information about your case and is used by the Court of Appeals to process and schedule your case. You must follow Form 133 and Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 133.03 and answer questions about: (1) the date of the order you are appealing; (2) the rule or statute that you believe authorizes you to appeal, see Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02; (3) the issue you intend to raise on appeal (only a general discussion is necessary, because you will have the chance to present your arguments in more detail later); and (4) whether a transcript is required for your appeal. The statement of the case asks whether you are requesting oral argument, but oral argument will not be allowed if any party does not have an attorney.

Notice of Appeal form
Statement of the Case form
 

Filing Fees

Criminal appeals require you to pay a $550 filing fee to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts, but the filing fee will be waived if the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender has determined that you are indigent. A defendant who is indigent must apply to the appellate public defender, who will evaluate the defendant's financial resources and eligiblity. However, no filing fees are required to file a postconviction appeal under Minn. Stat. § 590.06.
 

Filing

"Filing" means giving documents to the Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts. You may file documents by hand-delivering them to the Clerk's Office or by placing them in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, by the filing deadline. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.01. Filing by facsimile (fax) or other electronic means currently is not allowed unless authorized by an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The appellate courts have an electronic-filing system, but you will still be able to file an appeal by hand-delivery or by mail.

Documents must be filed with:

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2581
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., weekdays

Important: You must also file a copy of your notice of appeal with the district court administrator of the county in which you were convicted.
 

Service

"Service" means giving a copy of documents to the other party to the appeal (called the respondent). Every document filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts must be served on the other party to the appeal, either personally or by mail. You must serve on the respondent a copy of all appeal documents and every motion, brief, or other document that you file on appeal.

Service by mail is made by depositing the documents in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid. If you decide to have the documents served personally, this may be done by the sheriff or another person 18 years or older who is not a party to the appeal. Because the State of Minnesota always is represented by the Minnesota Attorney General and the county attorney, you must also serve those attorneys.
 

Proof of Service

Every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal. Usually, proof of service is (1) a notarized 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.

The person who served the document in person or by mail must complete the affidavit or certificate of service, which must include a description of the documents that were served, the date of service, the method of service (by mail or in person), the name of the person who was served, and the address to which the papers served by mail were sent. The affidavit or certificate of service must be signed by the person who served the papers.

Affidavit of Service. An affidavit of service must be signed in front of a notary by the person who served the document. The notary must also sign and date the document. Notary services are available at many financial institutions for a small fee. The Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts will notarize an affidavit of service at no charge.

Certificate of Service. A certificate of service does not need to be notarized. A certificate of service must contain a statement by the person who signs the certificate that the person declares, under the penalty of perjury, that everything stated in the document is true and correct. The certificate must show the date of signing and the county and state where the certificate was signed.

Affidavit of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Affidavit of Service by Personal Delivery
Certificate of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Certificate of Service by Personal Delivery

You may file one affidavit or certificate listing multiple documents if you serve those documents on the same date and on the same parties.

You should make extra copies of the form because you must prepare one every time you submit documents for filing.


Calculating Time Periods

To figure out the deadline for filing and serving documents, apply these rules:
  • Do not count the day of the event that starts the time period (the date of filing of the district court's order; the date of service of the respondent's brief), but start counting the next day.
  • Continue counting calendar days.
  • Do not skip weekends or legal holidays. If the last day of the period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline is the next business day.
Court Holidays
 

The Record

The record on appeal consists of the documents filed in the district court, the exhibits, and the transcripts of proceedings, if any. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110.01. A transcript is a typed record of what the parties, attorneys, and district court judge said at the hearing or trial. The parties must order a transcript for the appeal if they want to make arguments about what was said at the hearing or trial. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 8; Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110.01. If you don't know who the court reporter was or how to contact the court reporter, you can get help from district court administration for the county where your hearing took place.

Any party that orders a transcript must work with the court reporter to fill out and file a transcript certificate. This form tells the Court of Appeals that you requested the transcript and will pay the court reporter (unless a judge has granted a fee waiver for this cost). The certificate must include:
(1) The date that you requested the transcript from the court reporter
(2) An estimated date that the court reporter will complete the transcript, deliver it to the parties, and file it with the district court
(3) Your signature (if you are acting as your own attorney)
(4) The signature of the court reporter

The district court administrator will transmit the electronic record to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts when it is requested by the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals cannot consider new evidence on appeal, and the arguments in your brief must be based on the evidence presented in the district court.


Briefs

The brief is your written argument on appeal. You must file five copies of your brief with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts (four bound and one unbound) and serve two copies on respondent's attorneys. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.03.

You must also file proof of service for the brief with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts.  (See "service" and "proof of service" above.)

If you ordered transcripts of the district court proceedings, in most criminal appeals you must serve and file your appellant's brief within 63 days after the date that the court reporter mailed the transcript to you. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 10; Minn. R. Crim. P. 34.04. If no transcript was ordered and prepared for the appeal, then you must serve and file your brief within 60 days of filing the notice of appeal. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 10. The Court will not remind you of this deadline.

The appellant must file a brief explaining why the district court's decision should be reversed, or the appeal will be dismissed. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 142.02.

There are three types of briefs:
  • a formal brief, which must be bound and include a table of contents, a statement of the legal issues, a statement of the case and the facts, an argument, a conclusion, and an addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02, Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02);
  • an informal brief, which may be stapled and includes a written argument and addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1); or
  • a short letter argument that supplements written arugments submitted to the district court.  This type of brief can be used only when written arguments were filed in the district court in support of the postconviction petition. When it is used, it may be stapled (not formally bound by a printer), and it must include an addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 2).
Many pro se postconviction appellants file an informal brief. Every appellant's brief, no matter what form used, must include an addendum. The addendum must include, at the least, a copy of the district court order being appealed. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02.

A sentencing or probation revocation appeal, however, has very short briefing deadlines and requires you to file an informal sentencing or probation revocation brief. You should review Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.05.
 

Time Extensions or Other Requests (Motions)

If you cannot serve and file your brief by the deadline, or if you want some other type of relief from the Court of Appeals, you must serve and file a written motion. Any motion for an extensoin should be served and filed before the deadline that you are seeking to extend.

The requirements for a motion are found in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127. The motion must state the relief requested, the reasons for wanting relief, and the authority (cases, statutes, or rules) for the request. You must serve the motion on the attorneys for the respondent. (See "parties" above.) You must also file proof of service for the motion and one signed motion with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts.
 

How Your Case Will be Decided

After the parties have filed their briefs, the appeal will be scheduled for consideration by a panel of three judges. If you are not represented by an attorney, the Court will not allow oral arguments. See Minn. App. Spec. R. Pract. 2.

The Clerk of the Appellate Courts will send out a notice when the appeal has been assigned to a panel, with the names of the judges and the date that the judges will consider the case.

The Court of Appeals will generally file a written decision on a postconviction appeal within 90 days of the nonoral conference or oral arguments.

Any party can request further review from the Minnesota Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing of the Court of Appeals decision. See Minn. R. Crim P. 29.04, subd. 2.
 

Questions?

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN  55155
(651) 296-2581
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

NOTE: The Clerk's Office can answer questions about the Court's procedures and rules, but cannot fill out the forms for you or give you any legal advice about your case.

Filing a Postconviction Appeal


This tab will explain how you can file an appeal from a district court order denying a postconviction petition. You should carefully review this information and complete every step.

Postconviction Appeal Packet and Checklist

NOTE: This page only covers postconviction appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. If you were convicted of first-degree murder and are appealing an order denying postconviction relief from that conviction, you must file an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court. If you are filing any other type of criminal appeal, see the tab on this page entitled "Criminal Appeal."
 

Time to Appeal

In general, you have 60 days to appeal to the Court of Appeals after the district court files an order denying a petition for postconviction relief. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 4(3)(c). Appeals to the Court of Appeals in other types of criminal cases, including direct appeals of felony or misdemeanor convictions, have very different filing deadlines. You must read rule 28.02, subdivision 4(3) of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure (abbreviated "Minn. R. Crim. P.") to confirm the deadline that applies to your appeal. 

Your appeal time begins to run on the date that the district court administrator files the order; not when you receive a copy of the order. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 33.03. The Court of Appeals can extend the appeal deadline for up to 30 additional days, but you must make a motion for an extension, and you must show "good cause" to get an extension. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 4(3)(g).

If you had a previous appeal involving the same conviction, and you were represented by an attorney from the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender in that appeal, you may not be entitled to an appointed attorney for postconviction proceedings. See Minn. Stat. § 611.25, subd. 1(a)(2). If this is your first appeal on this conviction, and you meet certain financial eligibility reuqirements, you may be entitled to a public defender on appeal. You must apply to:

Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender
540 Fairview Avenue North, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 201-6700
 

The Parties

You, as the appealing party, are called the appellant. The other party in a postconviction appeal is the State of Minnesota and is called the respondent. The State of Minnesota is represented by the county attorney and the Minnesota Attorney General. The title of a postconviction appeal is as follows: "(Your name), petitioner, Appellant, vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent."
 

Appeal Documents

The Notice of Appeal (Form 103A) must show: (1) who is filing the appeal; (2) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all attorneys who have appeared in the case; (3) the date of the postconviction order you are appealing; and (4) the court where your appeal is being filed (Minnesota Court of Appeals).

The Statement of the Case (Form 133) provides general information about your case and is used by the Court of Appeals to process and schedule your case. You must follow Form 133 and Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 133.03 and answer questions about: (1) the date of the order you are appealing; (2) the rule or statute that you believe authorizes you to appeal, see Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02; (3) the issue you intend to raise on appeal (only a general discussion is necessary, because you will have the chance to present your arguments in more detail later); and (4) whether a transcript is required for your appeal. The statement of the case asks whether you are requesting oral argument, but oral argument will not be allowed if any party does not have an attorney.

Notice of Appeal Form
Statement of the Case Form
 

Filing Fees

No filing fees are required to file a postconviction appeal under Minn. Stat. § 590.06.
 

Filing

"Filing" means giving your appeal documents to the Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts. You may file documents by hand-delivering them to the Clerk's Office or by placing them in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, by the filing deadline. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.01. Filing by facsimile (fax) or other electronic means currently is not allowed unless authorized by an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The appellate courts have an electronic-filing system, but you will still be able to file an appeal by hand-delivery or by mail.

Documents must be filed with:

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2581
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. weekdays 

Important: You must also file a copy of your notice of appeal with the district court administrator of the county in which the order you are appealing was filed.
 

Service

"Service" means giving a copy of documents to the other party to the appeal (called the respondent). Every document filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts must be served on the other party to the appeal, either personally or by mail. You must serve on the respondent a copy of all appeal documents and every motion, brief, or other document that you file on appeal.
Service by mail is made by depositing the documents in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid. If you decide to have the documents served personally, this may be done by the sheriff or another person 18 years or older who is not a party to the appeal. Because the State of Minnesota always is represented by the Minnesota Attorney General and the county attorney, you must also serve those attorneys. 
 

Proof of Service

Every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal. Usually, proof of service is (1) a notarized 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.

The person who served the document in person or by mail must complete the affidavit or certificate of service, which must include a description of the documents that were served, the date of service, the method of service (by mail or in person), the name of the person who was served, and the address to which the documents served by mail were sent. The affidavit or certificate of service must be signed by the person who served the documents.

Affidavit of Service. An affidavit of service must be signed in front of a notary by the person who served the document. The notary must also sign and date the document. Notary services are available at many financial institutions for a small fee. The Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts will notarize an affidavit of service at no charge.

Certificate of Service. A certificate of service does not need to be notarized. A certificate of service must contain a statement by the person who signs the certificate that the person declares, under the penalty of perjury, that everything stated in the document is true and correct. The certificate must show the date of signing and the county and state where the certificate was signed.

Affidavit of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Affidavit of Service by Personal Delivery
Certificate of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Certificate of Service by Personal Delivery

You may file one affidavit or certificate listing multiple documents if you serve those documents on the same date and on the same parties.

You should make extra copies of the form so you can submit one every time you submit documents for filing. 
 

Calculating Time Periods

To figure out the deadline for filing and serving documents, apply these rules:
  • Do not count the day of the event that starts the time period (the date of filing of the district court's order; the date of service of the respondent's brief), but start counting the next day.
  • Continue counting calendar days.
  • Do not skip weekends or legal holidays. If the last day of the period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline is the next business day.
Court Holidays
 

The Record

The Court of Appeals will obtain the district court file, which includes motion papers and documents filed with the district court. If you requested and received an evidentiary hearing before the district court on your petition for postconviction relief (Minn. Stat. § 590.04), any testimony, arguments, or evidence that was submitted at that hearing will be part of the record on appeal.  A transcript is a typed record of what the parties, attorneys, and district court judge said at the hearing.

The parties must order a transcript for the appeal if they want to make arguments about what was said at the hearing. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 8; Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110.01. If you don't know who the court reporter was or how to contact the court reporter, you can get help from district court administration for the county where your hearing took place.

Any party that orders a transcript must work with the court reporter to fill out and file transcript certificate. This form tells the Court of Appeals that you have requested the transcript and will pay the court reporter (unless a judge has granted a fee waiver for this cost). The certificate must include:
(1) The date that you requested the transcript from the court reporter
(2) An estimated date that the court reporter will complete the transcript, deliver it to the parties, and file it with the district court
(3) Your signature (if you are acting as your own attorney)
(4) The signature of the court reporter

The court of appeals cannot consider new evidence on appeal, and the arguments in your brief must be based on the evidence you presented in the district court.
 

Briefs

The brief is your written argument on appeal. You must file five copies of your brief with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts (four bound and one unbound) and serve two copies on the attorneys for each respondent. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.03.

You must also file proof of service for the brief with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts. (See "service" and "proof of service" above.) 

If you received an evidentiary hearing in the district court on your postconviction petition and ordered a transcript of that hearing, you must serve and file your appellant's brief within 63 days after the date that the court reporter mailed the transcript to you. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 10; Minn. R. Crim. P. 34.04. If you did not have an evidentiary hearing in the district court and no transcript will be prepared for appeal, then you must serve and file your brief within 60 days of filing the notice of appeal. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 10. The court will not remind you of this deadline.

The appellant must file a brief explaining why the district court's decision should be reversed, or the appeal will be dismissed. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 142.02.

There are three types of briefs:
  • a formal brief, which must be bound and include a table of contents, a statement of the legal issues, a statement of the case and the facts, an argument, a conclusion, and an addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02, Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02);
  • an informal brief, which may be stapled, and includes a written argument and addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1); or
  • a short letter argument that supplements written arguments submitted to the district court. This type of brief can be used only when written arguments were filed in the district court in support of the postconviction petition. When it is used, it may be stapled (not formally bound by a printer), and it must include an addendum (see Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 2).
Many pro se postconviction appellants file an informal brief. Every appellant's brief, no matter what form used, must include an addendum. The addendum must include, at the least, a copy of the district court order being appealed. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02. 
 

Time Extensions or Other Requests (Motions)

If you cannot serve and file your brief by the deadline, or if you want some other type of relief from the Court of Appeals, you must serve and file a written motion. Any motion for an extension should be served and filed before the deadline that you are seeking to extend.

The requirements for a motion are found in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127. The motion must state the relief requested, the reasons for wanting relief, and the authority (cases, statutes, or rules) for the request. You must serve the motion on the attorneys for respondent. You must also file proof of service for the motion and one signed motion with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts.


How Your Case Will be Decided

After the parties have filed their briefs, the appeal will be scheduled for consideration by a panel of three judges. If you are not represented by an attorney, the Court will not allow oral arguments. See Minn. App. Spec. R. Pract. 2.

The Clerk of the Appellate Courts will send out a notice when the appeal has been assigned to a panel, with the names of the judges and the date that the judges will consider the case. 
The Court of Appeals will generally file a written decision on a postconviction appeal within 90 days of the nonoral conference or oral arguments. 

Any party can request further review from the Minnesota Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing of the Court of Appeals decision. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 29.04, subd. 2.


Questions?

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2581
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

NOTE: The Clerk's Office can answer questions about the Court's procedures and rules, but cannot fill out the forms for you or give you any legal advice about your case.

Filing an Eviction Appeal


This tab will help parties without an attorney appeal an eviction judgment.

It is important that you read the entire tab carefully before you try to appeal, and that you fill out the required forms completely. 

Eviction Appeal Packet and Checklist

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. No appeal can be taken from the writ of recovery of the premises and the order to vacate issued to the sheriff. 

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.”).
 

Eviction Appeals Process


Appeal Time
To appeal an eviction judgment, you must:
  • 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.
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.

The 15-day appeal period starts to run when the district court enters the eviction judgment whether or not you are notified of the judgmentThe Court of Appeals cannot extend the time to serve and file an eviction appeal, no matter how good the reasons for doing so.

Calculating the Time to Appeal
When you count the 15 days, do not count the day that the court administrator in the district entered the judgment. Start counting the next day. For example, if the court administrator entered the judgment on a Friday, Saturday would be the first day of the 15-day appeal period. 

Continue counting calendar days. Do not skip weekends or legal holidays; if the last day of the 15-day appeal period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline is the next business day. For example, if the fifteenth day is a Saturday and the following Monday is a legal holiday, an appeal served and filed on the following Tuesday will be timely.

Court Holidays

Parties
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.”
 

Terms and Definitions

For definitions of other terms related to eviction proceedings, consult Minn. Stat. § 504B.001.

Proof of Service
Every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal. Usually, proof of service is (1) a notarized affidavit of service or (2) a certificate of service. A less frequently used third option for showing proof of service is a written admission by the person who was served that the document was received. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 125.04.

The person who served the document in person or by mail must complete the affidavit or certificate of service, which must include a description of the documents that were served, the date of service, the method of service (by mail or in person), the name of the person who was served, and the address to which any documents served by mail were sent. The affidavit or certificate of service must be signed by the person who served the documents.

Affidavit of Service. An affidavit of service must be signed in front of a notary by the person who served the document(s). The notary must also sign and date the affidavit. Notary services are available at many financial institutions for a small fee. The Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts will notarize an affidavit of service at no charge.

Certificate of Service. A certificate of service does not need to be notarized. A certificate of service must contain a statement by the person who signs the certificate that the person declares under the penalty of perjury that everything stated in the document is true and correct. The certificate must show the date of signing and the county and state where the certificate was signed.

Affidavit of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Affidavit of Service by Personal Delivery
Certificate of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Certificate of Service by Personal Delivery

You may file one affidavit or certificate listing multiple documents if you serve those documents on the same date and on the same parties.

Because every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal, make extra copies of the form(s) so you can submit one showing service every time you submit documents for filing.

Entry of Judgment
After the district judge issues an order deciding the eviction case, the court administrator will enter a 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 from the judge is not appealable; once the court administrator enters judgment, that judgment is appealable.

Once judgment is entered, the next step in the district court proceedings is usually the issuance of a writ of recovery of the premises and order to vacate (often referred to as “the writ of recovery” or just “the writ”).  This writ authorizes the sheriff or other officials to remove the occupant(s) from the property.  The writ of recovery is not appealable.  The appeal must be taken from the judgment entered by the court administrator, not the writ of recovery.

Filing
“Filing” means giving documents to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts. You may file documents by hand-delivering them to the clerk (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays) or by mailing the documents to the clerk. 

For filing by mail, the document will be considered timely if it is deposited in the U. S. mail by the deadline with correct postage and the correct address, even though the clerk’s office will not receive a document on the day you deposit it in the mail.

The clerk does not accept filings by facsimile transmission (faxes).

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.

Notice of Appeal form

Order for Judgment
An order for judgment is the judge’s written decision telling the court administrator to enter a judgment.  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.

Service
Each document that you submit for filing to the clerk must be provided to the attorneys for the respondents (or to the respondents themselves, if the respondents do not have attorneys) at or before the time of filing.

Service can be accomplished in person or by mail, but if a party has an attorney, you must serve the attorney rather than the party.

A party to the action cannot serve documents in person on another party to the action.  If another party to the case does not have an attorney, the appellant can serve the documents by mail or have someone else (the sheriff or a person who is 18 years or older and not a party to the appeal) serve the documents personally on the other party.

Service by mail is accomplished by depositing the documents, correctly addressed, in the U.S. Mail, first-class postage prepaid.

Transcript
A transcript is a typed record of what the witnesses, the parties, and the judge said at a hearing or trial.  Any party that orders a transcript must work with the court reporter to fill out and file a transcript certificate.  This form tells the Court of Appeals that you have requested the transcript and will pay the court reporter (unless a judge has granted a fee waiver for this cost). The certificate must include:
(1) The date that you requested the transcript from the court reporter
(2) An estimated date that the court reporter will complete the transcript, deliver it to the parties, and file it with the district court
(3) Your signature (if you are acting as your own attorney)
(4) The signature of the court reporter

If you don't know who the court reporter was or how to contact the court reporter, you can get help from district court administration for the county where your hearing took place.

Writ of Recovery of the Premises
A writ of recovery of the premises and order to vacate tells the sheriff 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.
 

Filing Fees

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.”
See 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.
 

The Record

The record that the court of appeals will consider on appeal includes the documents filed in the district court, the exhibits, and the transcript of the proceedings, if there is one. 

If you want a transcript prepared for your appeal, you must order the transcript from the court reporter.  For more information, review Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110 and the Civil Appeal tab of this page. If you make a motion in the district court to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, and if you qualify, the court can order the state to pay for the cost of preparing and copying all or part of the transcript.  If not, you must pay these costs.

The court of appeals will request the record from the district court after the parties file their briefs.

You may not submit additional evidence on appeal, and your brief must be based on evidence that was submitted to the district court during its handling of your case.
 

Briefs - Generally

Your brief is your written argument on appeal.  You must file five copies of your brief with the clerk and serve two copies on each respondent.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.03  (see also the standing order regarding briefing for appeals to the court of appeals).  You must also file proof of service for the brief. 

If your appeal involves a transcript, you must serve and file your brief within 33 days after the date the transcript was mailed to you (not when it is received, but when it was mailed).   If there is no transcript, you must serve and file your brief within 30 days of the date you filed the appeal.See Minn. R. Civ. App. P 131.01, subd. 1.

As the appellant, you must file a brief, or your appeal will be dismissed.  See Minn. App. Civ. App. P. 142.02. 

You may file a formal brief or ask the court of appeals for permission to file an informal brief.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1 (informal brief); 128.02, subd. 1 (formal brief).

Your brief must include an “addendum.”  Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02, subd. 1(f). The addendum must contain, among other things, a copy of any order, judgment or ruling by the district court directly relating to the issues in your appeal. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02(a) (listing items that must be included in the addendum); see also Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.04 (listing other items that, in some cases, also must be included in an addendum or in the brief). The addendum may also contain up to an additional 50 pages of documents from the record or statutes, rules, cases, or other authorities that would be helpful to the court when reading your brief.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02 (b). On appeal, you cannot submit new evidence, whether in your addendum or otherwise.

Each respondent will also have the chance to file a brief responding to the appellant’s brief. If a respondent’s brief raises a new topic that was not addressed in the appellant’s brief, you may, but do not have to, file and serve a reply brief. If you choose to file a reply brief, and you were personally served with the respondent's brief, your reply brief is to be filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and served on each respondent within 10 days of the date the respondent's brief was served on you. If the respondent's brief was served on you by mail, any reply brief you choose to file and serve is to be filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and served on each respondent within 13 days of the date the last respondent's brief was mailed to you (not when it is received, but when it was mailed). A reply brief is not required and is not commonly filed in eviction appeals.

Formal Brief
A formal brief includes a table of contents, a statement of the legal issues, a statement of the case and the facts, an argument, a conclusion, and an addendum.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02.

A formal brief must have a binding that meets the requirements of the court. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 132.01.

Informal Brief
An informal brief may be stapled (it does not have to be bound by a printer), and it must include a written argument and addendum. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1 (addressing informal briefs); 130.02 (addressing addendums).

Memorandum & Short Letter Argument
If written arguments were submitted to the district court (this is uncommon in eviction cases), a party may elect to rely on the written memorandum that was submitted to the district court, plus a short letter argument to the court of appeals.

This form of brief may be stapled (it does not have to be bound by a printer), and it must include an addendum. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 2 (addressing memorandum and short letter arguments); 130.02 (addressing addendums).

A memorandum and short letter argument may be filed only if you submitted a written memorandum of law to the district court. The short letter argument should not repeat the arguments made in the memorandum filed in the district court. The letter should address the decision that was made by the district court and the reasons that you believe the decision should be reversed on appeal.

Time Extensions or Other Requests (Motions)
If you cannot serve and file your brief or another document on time and you need more time, or if you want other relief from the court of appeals, you must serve and file a written motion.  A motion to extend any deadline must be served and filed before that deadline expires.  The requirements for a motion are found in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127.

In a motion seeking more time to file your brief or seeking other relief, always state the relief you are requesting, your reasons for the request, and any cases, statutes, or rules that support your request.

You must serve the written motion on the respondent(s) and file an affidavit of service.  You must file a signed original motion.

NOTE: The court cannot extend the time to serve and file the notice of appeal.
 

How Your Case Will Be Decided

After the parties have filed their briefs, the court will schedule the appeal to be discussed and decided by a panel of three judges.

If any party does not have a lawyer, none of the parties can make an oral argument to the judges. In that case, the judges will read the briefs and then discuss and decide the appeal at what the court refers to as a "nonoral conference." The parties and their lawyers cannot attend a nonoral conference.

If all of the parties who filed written briefs on appeal have lawyers, and if their lawyers have asked for oral argument, the court may schedule oral arguments before a three-judge panel. All oral arguments are open to the public. The parties, whether or not they filed a brief, are welcome to attend the oral arguments to listen to what their lawyers say, but the parties cannot testify or argue themselves under any circumstances. After an oral argument, the judges will discuss the case in private and decide the appeal.

In most cases, a written decision (called an opinion) will be filed within 90 days after the date of the nonoral conference or the oral arguments,  explaining the reasons for the judges' decision on appeal. The court will not reconsider or rehear an appeal after the opinion has been filed. All decisions of the court are public information and are available free of charge. Appellate opinions are accessible on the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website and other Internet sources.  After an opinion is filed, it cannot be removed from the Internet.

After an appeal has been decided, the party who won may be able to ask the court to order the party that lost the appeal to pay the winning party’s costs and disbursements related to the appeal. The party who lost may petition the Minnesota Supreme Court to grant further review in the case, but there are additional fees, criteria for obtaining review, and time limits that apply to a petition for further review. You should look at Rule 117 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure for more information on the process for seeking review of an opinion of the court of appeals by the supreme court.
 

Seeking a Stay of Eviction Pending 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.

Filing an Unemployment Benefits Appeal

For persons who do not have an attorney and wish to appeal an administrative decision involving unemployment benefits, the Court of Appeals has prepared an Unemployment Benefits Packet of instructions and forms.

The Law Library’s free Unemployment Appeal Legal Advice Clinic brochure is also available.

The purpose of this information is to help unemployment-benefits applicants file an appeal without an attorney. Staff from the Clerk of the Appellate Courts office can answer basic questions, but they cannot fill out the forms or give legal advice.
 

Court of Appeals Opinions are Available to the Public

Once your appeal is decided, this court’s opinion will be available to the public on the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website. After an opinion is filed, it cannot be removed from the Internet.  This means that anyone who searches for your name on the Internet may be able to find and read the opinion.
 

Explanation of the Appeal Process

These materials are important if you wish to appeal a final decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) regarding a claim for unemployment benefits.  The ULJ’s order ruling on a request for reconsideration is the final decision.  You cannot appeal the ULJ’s initial decision unless a timely request for reconsideration was made and the ULJ issued a final decision on reconsideration.
 
If you are or will be represented by an attorney, please give this material to the attorney.

If you will be handling the appeal yourself, please read this material carefully.  It includes copies of the forms you need.
 

The Parties

You, as the appealing party, are called the “relator.”  The other parties are called the “respondents.” The respondents are:
  1. the employer (if any), and
  2. the Department of Employment and Economic Development (the department)

Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

The Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure apply to all appeals.  While we have given you a simplified version of what you need to do, you should read the rules yourself for more information.  You also can find these rules at the Minnesota State Law Library or at public libraries.
 

Filing

“Filing” means giving documents to the office of the clerk of appellate courts.  You may file documents by hand-delivering them to the clerk’s office or by placing the documents in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, within the time required to file the document.  Filing by facsimile (fax) or other electronic means currently is not allowed unless authorized by an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The appellate courts are in the process of changing to an electronic filing system, but presently you must still file by mail or in person.
 
If you do not file the petition for the writ of certiorari within 33 days after the ULJ’s decision on reconsideration was mailed, or within 30 days after the decision was sent to you by electronic transmission, your appeal will be dismissed. This time cannot be extended.
 

Service

You must give a copy of all appeal papers to all respondents (usually the employer and the department) either personally or by mail.  This is called “service.” Service by mail is made by depositing the papers in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, within the appeal period.  If you decide to have the papers served personally, this may be done by the sheriff or another person 18 years or older who is not a party to the appeal.   Because you are a party to the appeal, you may not personally serve the papers on a respondent who does not have an attorney.  If a respondent has an attorney, you may personally serve the attorney.
 
The petition for the writ of certiorari must be served on the department (either the ULJ or the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development), and on the employer.  If you do not serve the petition for the writ of certiorari on all of the respondents within 33 days after the ULJ’s decision was mailed, or within 30 days after the decision was sent to you by electronic transmission, your appeal will be dismissed.  This time cannot be extended.
 
At this time, service by facsimile (fax) or other electronic means is allowed only with the consent of the party to be served and it is effective upon receipt.
 

Time Periods

You have 30 days to appeal from the time the ULJ’s decision on reconsideration was sent to you.  If the ULJ’s decision was mailed to you, you have an extra three days to appeal.  If the ULJ’s decision was sent to you by electronic transmission, then you do not get the extra three days for mailing. To figure out when the period of time to file and serve a document ends, apply the following rules
 
When you start counting the days, do not count the day that the event occurred that started the time period, but start counting the next day.  For example, if the decision was mailed to you, the day after the ULJ’s decision was mailed to you is the first day of your 33-day appeal period.  If the decision was sent by electronic transmission, the day after the decision was transmitted is the first day of the 30-day appeal period.  Continue counting calendar days.  Do not skip weekends or legal holidays.  If the last day of the period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline is the next business day.
 
Court Holidays
 

Proof of Service

Every document submitted to the clerk of the appellate courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal.  Usually, proof of service is (1) a notarized 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.
 
The person who served the document in person or by mail must complete the affidavit or certificate of service, which must include a description of the documents that were served, the date of service, the method of service (by mail or in person), the name of the person who was served, and the address to which the papers served by mail were sent. The affidavit or certificate of service must be signed by the person who served the papers.
 
Affidavit of Service.  An affidavit of service must be signed in front of a notary by the person who served the document. The notary must also sign and date the document. Notary services are available at many financial institutions for a small fee. The Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts will notarize an affidavit of service at no charge.
 
Certificate of Service.   A certificate of service does not need to be notarized. A certificate of service must contain a statement by the person who signs the certificate that the person declares under the penalty of perjury that everything stated in the document is true and correct. The certificate must show the date of signing and the county and state where the certificate was signed.
 
The forms for the affidavit of service and certificate of service are included at the back of this packet.  We have given you copies of the forms, but you may still need to make extra copies.
 

Filing Fees

An applicant appealing the denial of unemployment benefits does not have to pay a filing fee. Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subds. 6(b), 7(c).
 
Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Writ of Certiorari, and Statement of the Case
A copy of each form you need to fill out for this appeal is at the back of the packet.  You must file these with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and serve them on all of the respondents (the department and, usually, the employer) within the time to appeal.  The petition for a writ of certiorari tells the court and the respondents that you want to appeal the ULJ’s decision.
 
The writ of certiorari is a form that the clerk’s office will sign and give back to you; once signed, it is called an “issued writ.”   You will serve the issued writ on all of the respondents.   The writ tells the department to send your records to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts so that the court of appeals can review them for the appeal.
 
The statement of the case is a form in which you give us information about your case and you briefly explain why you think the decision by the ULJ is wrong.
 

The Record

The record that the court of appeals will look at is the evidence used in the hearing before the ULJ and any new evidence on reconsideration, if you asked for a new hearing.  The department will send the record to the court of appeals.  You may not give new evidence on appeal without first getting permission from the court of appeals. The court of appeals generally does not accept new evidence.
 
If testimony was given at the hearing, the department will prepare a transcript of the audiotape of the hearing free of charge.  A transcript is a typed copy of what all of the parties and the ULJ said at your hearing.  If you request it, the department will also send you a copy of all exhibits introduced into evidence without charge.
 

Briefs

The brief is your written argument on appeal.  You must file five copies of the brief with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts, and serve two copies on each of the respondents.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.03. You must also file proof of service for the brief.  (See “Service” above.)
 
The department will prepare an itemized list of the contents of the record, which may include a transcript of the hearing before the ULJ.  The department is required to serve on all parties the itemized list of the contents of the record within 30 days after service of the petition for certiorari (the appeal papers) or 14 days after delivery of the transcript, whichever is later.  Your brief is due within 30 days after the department serves the itemized list of the contents of the record on you.  If the department serves the itemized list by mail, then you have 33 days after the date that the list was mailed to serve and file your brief.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 115.04, subd. 4.
 
As the relator (appealing party), you must file a brief, or your appeal will be dismissed.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 142.02.  You may file either a formal or an informal brief, or you may use a memorandum of law that you gave to the ULJ with a short letter argument.  Most applicants for benefits file informal briefs.
 
A formal brief includes a table of contents, a statement of the legal issues, a statement of the case and the facts, an argument, a conclusion, and an addendum.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.02.  A formal brief must be bound.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 132.01 (includes the supreme court’s order regarding acceptable types of binding).
 
An informal brief may be stapled and must include a written argument and addendum.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1.
 
If you gave a written memorandum of law to the ULJ, you may file as your brief that memorandum to the ULJ and a short letter argument that addresses the ULJ’s decision.  This may be stapled and must include an addendum.  See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 2.
 
Regardless of the type of brief you file, you must include an addendum to your brief that contains a copy of the ULJ’s decision that you are appealing. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02.
 

Time Extensions or Other Requests (Motions)

If you cannot serve and file your brief within 30 days and you need more time, or if you want any other relief from the court, you must serve and file a signed, written motion asking the court for the relief you need.  Your motion should be made before the deadline you wish to extend.  The requirements for a motion are found in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127.  The motion must state the relief requested and your reasons for the request.  You must serve the written motion on the department and the employer and file proof of service for the motion.  Caution:  As previously stated, the court of appeals cannot extend the time to serve and file the petition for writ of certiorari.
 

How Your Case Will be Decided

After the parties have filed their briefs, your appeal will be submitted to a panel of the court of appeals consisting of three judges.  If you are not represented by an attorney, the court of appeals will not allow oral argument by any party.  See Minn. App. Spec. R. Pract. 2.  You will receive notice of the date of oral argument or nonoral consideration by the panel, and the names of the judges assigned to decide your case.

The court of appeals will issue a written decision within 90 days after the appeal is considered by the judges.  You then have 30 days to file a petition requesting review by the Minnesota Supreme Court. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 117.
 
Clerk of the Appellate Courts
305 Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2581
Service and Proof of ServiceService
"Service" means giving a copy of documents to the other parties to the appeal.  Every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be served on all other parties to the appeal.  Please consult the tab that applies to your appeal for instructions on how to serve the other parties.  For information regarding electronic filing and service, review the Appellate eFiling tab on the Clerk of Appellate Courts' webpage.

Proof of Service
Every document submitted to the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for filing must be accompanied by proof that the document was served on the other parties to the appeal. Usually, proof of service is (1) a notarized 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.

The person who served the document in person or by mail must complete the affidavit or certificate of service, which must include a description of the documents that were served, the date of service, the method of service (by mail or in person), the name of the person who was served, and the address to which papers served by mail were sent. The affidavit or certificate of service must be signed by the person who served the papers.
 
  1. Affidavit of service. An affidavit of service must be signed in front of a notary by the person who served the document. The notary must also sign and date the document. Notary services are available at many financial institutions for a small fee. The office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts will notarize an affidavit of service at no charge.
  2. Certificate of service. A certificate of service does not need to be notarized. A certificate of service must contain a statement by the person who signs the certificate that the person declares under the penalty of perjury that everything stated in the document is true and correct. The certificate must show the date of signing and the county and the state where the certificate was signed.
Affidavit of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Affidavit of Service by Personal Delivery
Certificate of Service by U.S. Mail Delivery
Certificate of Service by Personal Delivery

You may file one affidavit or certificate listing multiple documents if you serve those documents on the same date and on the same parties.
Family Law Appellate Mediation Program Overview

The Minnesota Court of Appeals Family Law Appellate Mediation Program is structured to reinforce and work cooperatively with the early-neutral-evaluation and other alternative-dispute processes in the district courts.

Referral to mediation takes place after the statement of the case has been filed and the filing fee has been paid, but occurs before the briefing stage and before litigants incur the substantial costs of ordering transcripts from the district court where the case originated. 

Although the mediation involves a cost, which is shared by the appellant and the respondent, our research shows that appellate family-law mediation has a great potential to save litigants significant time and money.