Here are the stages of the appeal, which started back in July 2020.
First Stage - Service and filing of appeal papers (Done)
To bring an appeal, the party who wants to challenge the decision must serve the appeal papers on the other parties, and file them with the Court of Appeals and the district court or governmental agency, before the deadline to appeal. If the party filing the appeal does not meet the deadline for appeal, the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction and cannot review the decision. The Court of Appeals cannot increase the time to serve and file a civil appeal, or extend the deadline for any reason.
Second Stage - Transcript and record preparation (Done)
After the documents to start the appeal are filed, the district court prepares the record of what happened in the district court or the government agency. The record includes exhibits and papers filed with the district court or government agency decision-maker, and may include a written record (a transcript) of testimony presented by witnesses and parties. After the record is prepared, it will be sent to the Court of Appeals to be reviewed in the appeal.
When the Court of Appeals is deciding an appeal, only the evidence presented to the district court or agency decision-maker will be considered; the Court of Appeals cannot consider any new evidence on appeal.
Third Stage - Briefing (Done)
The appellant must file a written argument (called a brief) with the Court and serve it on the other parties.
After the appellant's brief is served and filed, the other parties to the appeal submit their written arguments, explaining why they think the Court of Appeals should affirm the decision. After the other parties file their briefs, the appellant may also choose to file a reply brief.
Fourth Stage - Nonoral conference or oral arguments (scheduled for January 28, 2020 at 9:30am)
After the respondent’s brief has been filed (or after the time to file briefs has expired), the appeal is ready to be scheduled and assigned to a panel of three judges. The appeal will be scheduled for either an oral argument or a nonoral conference:
Oral arguments may be scheduled for appeals where all parties have lawyers and where the lawyers request oral argument. At oral argument, the attorneys appear before the three-judge panel to explain their arguments and answer the judges’ questions. All oral arguments are open to the public. The parties are welcome to attend the oral arguments to listen to what their lawyers say, but the parties themselves cannot testify or present arguments. After an oral argument, the judges will discuss the appeal in private and decide the outcome.
After the Court of Appeals schedules the appeal for oral argument or nonoral conference, the parties or their attorneys will receive a Notice of Oral Argument or Notice of Nonoral Conference, which will include (1) the date, time, and location of the oral argument or the date of the nonoral conference and (2) the names of the judges who are assigned to hear the appeal. For most appeals, the parties receive the Notice of Oral Argument or Notice of Nonoral Conference within 1-2 months after the appeal becomes ready for scheduling. However, scheduling depends upon multiple factors, including the current case load before the Court of Appeals and the lawyers’ availability, so the time it takes to schedule an appeal can vary.
The date of the oral argument or nonoral conference is typically 1-2 months after the date the parties receive the Notice of Oral Argument or Notice of Nonoral Conference.
Fifth and Final Stage - Decision
In most cases, a written decision (called an opinion) will be filed within 90 days after the date of the nonoral conference or the oral argument. The opinion explains the reasons for the judges' decision on appeal. The Court of Appeals will not reconsider or rehear an appeal after the opinion has been filed. All decisions of the court are public information and are available free of charge. Appellate opinions are accessible on the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website and other Internet sources. After an opinion is filed, it cannot be removed from the Internet.