Minnesota Court of Appeals

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Minnesota Court of Appeals
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EstablishedNovember 1, 1983 (1983-11-01)
LocationMinnesota Judicial Center
Saint Paul
Composition methodNonpartisan election, appointment by the governor if filling midterm vacancy
Authorized byMinnesota Constitution
Appeals toMinnesota Supreme Court
Judge term length6 years (mandatory retirement at the age of 70)
Number of positions19
Chief Judge
CurrentlyEdward Cleary
SinceNovember 1, 2013 (2013-11-01)
Lead position endsOctober 31, 2019 (2019-10-31)
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The Minnesota Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It began operating on November 1, 1983.


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 Edward Cleary (Chief Judge) 4th congressional district Mark Dayton December 29, 2011 8 years, 1 month January 4, 2021
7 Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks 5th congressional district Arne Carlson November 2, 1998 21 years, 3 months January 6, 2025
6 Renee Worke 1st congressional district Tim Pawlenty June 9, 2005 14 years, 8 months January 6, 2025
15 Kevin G. Ross 3rd congressional district Tim Pawlenty February 23, 2006 13 years, 11 months January 4, 2021
17 Matthew Johnson At-large Tim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 12 years, 1 month January 2, 2023
18 Heidi Schellhas At-large Tim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 12 years, 1 month January 2, 2023
19 Francis Connolly At-large Tim Pawlenty January 1, 2008 12 years, 1 month January 2, 2023
11 Michelle Ann Larkin At-large Tim Pawlenty July 14, 2008 11 years, 7 months January 2, 2023
5 Louise Dovre Bjorkman At-large Tim Pawlenty September 8, 2008 11 years, 5 months January 2, 2023
1 John Rodenberg At-large Mark Dayton February 10, 2012 8 years January 4, 2021
3 Carol Hooten 2nd congressional district Mark Dayton June 1, 2012 7 years, 8 months January 4, 2021
8 Denise Reilly At-large Mark Dayton April 3, 2014 5 years, 10 months January 2, 2023
16 Peter Reyes At-large Mark Dayton April 7, 2014 5 years, 10 months January 2, 2023
2 Lucinda Jesson At-large Mark Dayton January 4, 2016 4 years, 1 month January 6, 2025
4 Tracy Smith At-large Mark Dayton February 3, 2016 4 years January 6, 2025
12 Diane Bratvold At-large Mark Dayton March 24, 2016 3 years, 10 months January 6, 2025
14 James Florey 8th congressional district Mark Dayton June 14, 2017 2 years, 8 months January 6, 2025
13 Jeanne Cochran 6th congressional district Mark Dayton November 7, 2018 1 year, 3 months January 4, 2021
9 Randall Slieter 7th congressional district Mark Dayton December 3, 2018 1 year, 2 months January 4, 2021

Sources: [6][7][8]

Chief judges[edit]

Former judges[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Court of Appeals" (PDF). Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 7". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Minn. Const. art. VI, sec. 8". Minnesota Constitution. Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "Judges of the Minnesota Court of Appeals". Chronological Listing of Judges and Justices of the Minnesota Appellate Courts. Minnesota State Law Library. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  5. ^ "Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 480A.03, subdivision 1". Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Administrative Order Filed In re Designations of Court of Appeals Judges for Congressional Districts Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 480A.02, Subdivision 5" (PDF). Minnesota Judicial Branch. January 4, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  7. ^ "State Judiciary" (PDF). 2017–2018 Minnesota Legislative Manual (Blue Book). Minnesota Secretary of State. pp. 371–375. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Court of Appeals Judges". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved January 11, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°57′16″N 93°6′1″W / 44.95444°N 93.10028°W / 44.95444; -93.10028