Minnesota Court of Appeals
|Minnesota Court of Appeals|
|Method:||Nonpartisan election of judges|
It is the responsibility of the Court of Appeals to provide citizens with prompt and deliberate review of all final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments. Exceptions to this, which go directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court, are appeals from the Minnesota Tax Court, the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals, first-degree murder cases and statewide election contests.
As part of the court's effort to expedite justice and to make access to the appellate system less burdensome and expensive, the court's 19 judges sit in three-judge panels and travel to locations throughout Minnesota to hear oral arguments, which are open to the public. They serve six-year terms.
|Judge Randolph Peterson||1990-2016||Gov. Rudy Perpich|
|Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks||1998-Present||Gov. Arne Carlson|
|Judge Natalie Hudson||2002–2017||Gov. Jesse Ventura|
|Judge Renee Worke||2005-2018||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Kevin Ross (Minnesota)||2006-2020||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Heidi Schellhas||2008-2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Francis Connolly||2008–2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Matthew Johnson||2008–2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Michelle Ann Larkin||2008-2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Louise Bjorkman||2008-2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Lawrence Stauber||2008-2017||Gov. Tim Pawlenty|
|Judge Carol A. Hooten||6/1/2012-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Chief judge Edward J. Cleary||2011-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge Denise D. Reilly||2014-Present||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge at-large John R. Rodenberg||2011-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge Michael Kirk||2012-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge at-large John P. Smith||2012-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge at-large Margaret Chutich||2011-2020||Gov. Mark Dayton|
|Judge Peter M. Reyes, Jr.||2014-Present||Gov. Mark Dayton|
The Court of Appeals' decisions are the final ruling in about 95 percent of the 2,000 to 2,400 appeals filed every year. Typically, approximately five percent of the court's decisions are accepted by the Minnesota Supreme Court for further review.
Each judge participates in roughly 300 cases each year. The judges also share responsibility for hundreds of special term opinions and orders on motions and petitions filed with the court. The Court of Appeals issues a published, unpublished or order opinion on each case it considers.
By law, the court 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. The court expedites decisions on child custody cases, mental health commitments and other matters in which the parties request accelerated response.
|• Minnesota appellate court reverses dismissal in drug case (2015)||Click for summary→|
|Adam Alvarado was stopped by police on October 13, 2013. A search of his body by cops revealed three Fentanyl patches, which are used to treat chronic pain, and 29 grams of marijuana in a baggie in his pocket. The police then searched his car, finding 17.5 grams of methamphetamines. Alvarado was charged with fifth-degree drug possession. He filed a motion to suppress the evidence resulting from the searches conducted by the police.
Judge Jennifer Fischer agreed with Alvarado and granted his motion. Fischer made her ruling after finding that the warrantless search by law enforcement was done illegally as no exception to the requirement for a warrant was present. The state subsequently dismissed the case, as its key evidence for trial was suppressed. The prosecutor on the case, however, appealed Judge Fischer's ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. That court reversed Judge Fischer.
Judge Renee Worke wrote for the court. She said that Judge Fischer was incorrect when she found no exception to the warrant requirement in Alvarado's case. Worke said that the automobile exception existed. Further, law enforcement had probable cause to conduct the search. As a result, suppression of the drug evidence was inappropriate.
The Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Kandiyohi County District Court for trial, which has been set for June.
- Minnesota Supreme Court
- News: Chutich and Rodenberg appointed to Minnesota Court of Appeals, December 28, 2011