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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.  A civil appeal is any appeal that does not originate from a criminal case.

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.

For additional information applicable to civil appeals, including the stages of an appeal, how to calculate deadlines in an appeal, the record, the transcript, briefs, and motions, click the Overview tab, above.

For additional information about filing and serving documents in an appeal, click the Proof of Service tab, above.


FAQsFiling an Appeal in a Civil Case
Time to Appeal in a Civil Case
What if I Can't Afford an Appeal?
Appealable Orders and Judgments FAQs