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Minnesota Court of Appeals


Minnesota Court of Appeals

Minnesota Court of Appeals

Established November 1, 1983 (1983-11-01)
Country Minnesota, United States
Location Minnesota Judicial Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Composition method Nonpartisan election, appointment by the governor if filling midterm vacancy
Authorized by Article VI, Minnesota Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Minnesota Supreme Court
Judge term length Six years with mandatory retirement at the age of 70
Number of positions 19
Chief Judge
Currently Edward Cleary
Since November 1, 2013 (2013-11-01)
Lead position ends October 31, 2016 (2016-10-31)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It began operating on November 1, 1983.


  • Jurisdiction 1
  • Procedure 2
  • Composition 3
  • Members 4
    • Chief judges 4.1
    • Former judges 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over most appeals from the state trial courts, including the Minnesota District Courts, and from many decisions of state agencies and local governments. The only exceptions to this grant of jurisdiction are statewide election contests, first-degree murder cases, and appeals from the Minnesota Tax Court and Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals, all of which go directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has discretionary review. Only about five percent of Court of Appeals decisions are accepted by the Supreme Court for further review, meaning that the Court of Appeals makes the final ruling in the vast majority of the 2,000 to 2,400 appeals filed every year.[1]


Under Minnesota law, the Court of Appeals must issue a decision within 90 days after oral arguments. If no oral argument is held, a decision is due within 90 days of the case's scheduled conference date. This deadline is the shortest imposed on any appellate court in the nation.[1] The court expedites decisions on child custody cases, mental health commitments and other matters in which the parties request accelerated response.


The 19 judges of the Minnesota Court of Appeals are elected to renewable six-year terms.[2] When a midterm vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement to a term that ends after the general election occurring more than one year after the appointment.[3] All judges that have ever served on the court have been appointed by the governor.[4] The chief judge is selected by the governor from amongst the members of the court to serve a fixed three-year term.[5]

Eight seats are associated with Minnesota's congressional districts. Judges for those seats must live in the associated district at the time of appointment or initial election. However, seated judges remain eligible for those positions even if they move to another district later on. Remaining seats are at-large positions that can be filled without regard to residency. The seats associated with congressional districts are redesignated every ten years following reapportionment of the districts. The most recent reapportionment occurred in 2012. The seats on the Court of Appeals were redesignated in January 2013.[6]

Members sit in three-judge panels in various locations throughout the state to hear oral arguments, all of which are open to the public.[1]


Seat Name District Appointed by Appointment begin date Length of service Current term end date
10 Cleary, EdwardEdward Cleary (Chief Judge) 4th congressional district Dayton, MarkMark Dayton December 29, 2011 4 years January 4, 2021
13 Peterson, RandolphRandolph Peterson 6th congressional district Perpich, RudyRudy Perpich December 4, 1990 25 years, 1 month January 2, 2017
7 Halbrooks, Jill FlaskampJill Flaskamp Halbrooks 5th congressional district Carlson, ArneArne Carlson November 2, 1998 17 years, 2 months January 7, 2019
2 Hudson, NatalieNatalie Hudson At-large Ventura, JesseJesse Ventura May 2, 2002 13 years, 8 months January 2, 2017
6 Worke, ReneeRenee Worke 1st congressional district Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty June 9, 2005 10 years, 7 months January 7, 2019
15 Ross, KevinKevin Ross 3rd congressional district Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty February 23, 2006 9 years, 10 months January 4, 2021
17 Johnson, MatthewMatthew Johnson At-large Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 8 years January 2, 2017
18 Schellhas, HeidiHeidi Schellhas At-large Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 8 years January 2, 2017
19 Connolly, FrancisFrancis Connolly At-large Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 8 years January 2, 2017
11 Larkin, Michelle AnnMichelle Ann Larkin At-large Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty July 14, 2008 7 years, 6 months January 2, 2017
14 Stauber, LarryLarry Stauber 8th congressional district Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty August 29, 2008 7 years, 4 months January 2, 2017
5 Bjorkman, Louise DovreLouise Dovre Bjorkman At-large Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty September 8, 2008 7 years, 4 months January 2, 2017
1 Rodenberg, JohnJohn Rodenberg At-large Dayton, MarkMark Dayton February 10, 2012 3 years, 11 months January 4, 2021
12 Chutich, MargaretMargaret Chutich At-large Dayton, MarkMark Dayton February 16, 2012 3 years, 11 months January 4, 2021
3 Hooten, CarolCarol Hooten 2nd congressional district Dayton, MarkMark Dayton June 1, 2012 3 years, 7 months January 4, 2021
9 Kirk, MichaelMichael Kirk 7th congressional district Dayton, MarkMark Dayton August 15, 2012 3 years, 5 months January 4, 2021
4 Smith, JohnJohn Smith At-large Dayton, MarkMark Dayton January 7, 2013 3 years January 4, 2021
8 Reilly, DeniseDenise Reilly At-large Dayton, MarkMark Dayton April 3, 2014 1 year, 9 months January 2, 2017
16 Reyes, PeterPeter Reyes At-large Dayton, MarkMark Dayton April 7, 2014 1 year, 9 months January 2, 2017

Sources: [6][7][8]

Chief judges

Former judges


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links

  • Minnesota Court of Appeals official website

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