• March 28, 2014

The New Appellate Rules:  Three Twists

 Minnesota Litigator - 3 photoNew appellate rules for the Minnesota courts were just released and go into effect on July 1.  The rules accompany the appellate courts’ conversion to digital records.  Last week I gave you an overview of the new rules.

Here are three little wrinkles to those rules:

First, even though briefs will be transmitted to the appellate courts electronically, parties will still be required to submit paper copies of the briefs.  This will mean that we lawyers will have more work to do under the new rules, and not less.  The reason:  some judges will want to review paper copies of briefs, and some will want to review them online.  But it is part of a transition, and eventually I think we can expect that digital brief copies only will be required and paper ones will be phased out.  The number of paper copies required will not be set by the appellate rules, but instead in standing orders.   So an order issued by the Supreme Court now requires that attorneys submit 5 paper copies of briefs (2 unbound) to that Court.  A Court of Appeals order also requires 5 paper copies (but only one unbound).   The paper copies are not required until three days after the electronic copies are due and filed.   New orders will be issued down the line when the courts are ready to require fewer paper copies.

Second, appellants no longer need to submit certified copies of the decision being appealed from.  That will save the bother of getting that certified copy.  The reason:  the appellate court will be receiving the electronic record with an authentic copy of the decision.  Even though a certified copy will not be required, an uncertified copy must be filed with the notice of appeal.  This will help the court staff assess whether the order or judgment at issue is really appealable before the district court has sent the electronic copy of the file.

Last, the appellate court will be receiving the file in electronic form from the district courts.  However, the court will still be receiving the record in paper form for certain other kinds of decisions.  So the record will be transmitted in paper form for appeals from executive branch agencies.  (Appeals from DEED, the Tax Court, the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Workers Compensation Court of Appeals, and other executive branch agencies.)   An interface has been created to connect district court records (in MNCIS) and appellate court records (in P-MACS).  An interface still needs to be created so executive branch agency records can be transmitted to the appellate courts.  We can expect this sometime down the line.

Questions?  Let me know.


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