Minnesota Court of Appeals opinions may be published or unpublished.
Opinions are published 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Unpublished opinions are designed to give the parties a brief explanation of why the court decided as it did.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 Lexis and Westlaw. (Lexis and Westlaw are available for public use at no charge in the Law Library.)
Related Topics: Minnesota State Court System - Opinions and Orders
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