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Unpublished Decisions

Minnesota Court of Appeals opinions may be published or unpublished.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Unpublished opinions are designed to give the parties a brief explanation of why the court decided as it did.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

DISCLAIMER:  As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts.)  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.  For links to resources on finding an attorney click here.

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