Reviews and Appeals

After you have received a court order, there is usually some type of review or appeal process available to you. These options include a request the court reconsider its decision, a motion for amended findings, and an appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

When you request the court reconsider its decision the same judge reviews your request to decide whether to allow the hearing to happen all over again. This step is used when you do not feel the court made an error in its findings, but rather, did not come to the correct conclusion. This option is only used in the most extreme cases, and motions to reconsider are prohibited except by express permission of the court. It is not very often that a court decides you should have the opportunity to “try again” on the same issues.

Another option, and usually the first step in an appeal, is to request the district court amend its findings and require a new hearing on the issue. Similar to requesting the court reconsider its decision, a request for the court to amend its findings is heard by the same judge that decided the case initially. A request for the court to amend its findings is made when you feel that the judge did not correctly understand the facts of the case, and is necessary to allow the appellate court to do the most thorough review of your case.

The last option available to change your court order is to appeal the order to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Appeals to the Court of Appeals generally have three outcomes: the trial court is affirmed (nothing changes), the trial court is reversed, or the Court of Appeals “remands” or sends the case back to the trial court to be “re-decided.” If the Court of Appeals remands the case, sometimes the Court of Appeals will give the trial court further instructions on a point of law, though the trial court may often still have the ability to decide the case in favor of either party.

Review and appeal issues are time sensitive. In general you have thirty to sixty days to review or appeal the order depending on what avenue you are pursuing. If you are considering a review or appeal you should talk with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are preserved.