Appealing a Judgment
Appeal procedures are more complex than those for the original filing in Conciliation Court. Although it is not required, it is suggested that the appealing party be represented by an attorney. Court Administration staff are not attorneys and cannot practice law. Therefore, they cannot assist you in preparing your appeal. However, forms are available at the Court Administrator's Office or online.
Required Form & Fees
If both parties appeared at the Conciliation Court Hearing and if either party is dissatisfied with the judgment, the case may be appealed / removed to the District Court. To do this, you must file a Demand for Removal, an Affidavit of Good Faith, and an Affidavit of Service with the Court Administrator within 20 days of the date the judgment was mailed. The appealing party must pay a District Court filing fee. If a jury trial is requested, a jury fee must also be paid. The District Court is more formal than Conciliation Court and its proceedings are governed by the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.
If the matter is appealed to the District Court, a completely new court trial will take place before a different judge. You may file a Jury Trial Demand if you wish the appeal be heard before a jury. An additional fee is required for a jury trial demand. Attorneys may represent both parties. Again, you should be prepared to present your case, have your witnesses ready to testify, and have all your other evidence available.
Court Ordered Costs
If you appeal to the District Court from the Conciliation Court judgment and do not win, you will pay the other party $50 as court ordered costs.
You will not have to pay the other party $50 if:
You win your case in District Court and get either 50% of what you asked for or more than $500 in money or goods.
The other party wins some amount in Conciliation Court but nothing in District Court.
You win at least $500 in money or goods or 50% more in District Court than you received in Conciliation Court.
The other party has the amount won from you in Conciliation Court reduced by at least $500 or 50% by the District Court.
If you do not understand these procedures, contact an attorney. The Conciliation Court employees are trained to assist you with procedures, but they are forbidden by law to give legal advise. Conciliation Court is not a collection agency.