• March 27, 2015

Minnesota Litigator - federal rule changesThe Minnesota Supreme Court is considering an array of proposed amendments to the court rules. Many are occasioned by the move to e-filing and digital court records.

One new rule will make everything easier. It will simply require that all documents filed be consecutively numbered. So, for example, an affidavit with exhibits will have to be numbered from beginning to end, running from the first page of the affidavit to the last exhibit page.

The changes will apply to documents filed in support of motions and to trial exhibits.

Why is this change important?

It will help save time and effort in the district court, as all participants will be able to pinpoint the exact page of a document being considered.

And this change will be especially helpful at the appellate level. Under amendments to the appellate rules adopted last year, appendices are eliminated. Addenda may now be longer (up to 50 pages in addition to the order or judgment at issue). But attorneys will no longer be able to include everything they want to cite to in a long appendix. Judges will be working with digital files. So it will be important to be able to direct them to the exact page.

This proposed amendment will work in sync with an administrative change made by the court recently.

The district courts are now assigning unique numbers to docket entries in the case register (as in the federal courts). So instead of citing to Affidavit of Mary Roe filed on March 18, 2014 at page x, you will be able to cite to a document entry number, for example, Doc. ID # Y at page x. (Or ROA # Y at page x to refer to the Register of Actions. The same thing with a different name.)

These ways of citing will be shorter and more precise, especially since Mary Roe may have filed more than one affidavit on a day!  So watch for the numbered docket entries and use them in citing.

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