Minnesota Court of Appeals opinions may be published or unpublished.
According to Minnesota Statute 480A.08 only when the decision:
- establishes a new rule of law;
- overrules a previous court of appeals decision that had not been reviewed by the supreme court;
- provides important procedural guidelines in interpreting statutes or administrative rules;
- involves significant legal issues; or
- aids significantly in the administration of justice. (Minn. Stat. §480A.08)
Unpublished opinions are designed to give the parties a brief explanation of why the court decided as it did. They are not intended to be used as precedent and can be cited in arguments before the courts of the state only in limited circumstances. They are, however, still public documents and are available in the opinion archive and through commercial (fee-charging) services such as Westlaw. (Westlaw is available for public use at no charge in the Law Library.
Related Topics: "I'll See You in Court".