Whenever you are considering appealing a district court decision, it is crucial to immediately calculate the appeal deadline. Unlike some other court deadlines, the appeal deadline generally cannot be extended or waived the court. If you miss the deadline, you lose the right to appeal.

Setting the Clock

In Minnesota, parties typically have 60 days to appeal a decision, unless a specific statute provides otherwise. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 104.01. In federal court, the appeal generally must be filed within 30 days. Fed. R. App. P. 4.

Starting the Clock

In Minnesota, the countdown begins when judgment is entered or when a party serves the notice of filing of the order. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 104.01. In federal court, it runs from the entry of the judgment or entry of the order to be appealed. Fed. R. App. P. 4.

Tolling the Time Period

The deadline to appeal is tolled when a party files a timely post-trial motion, such as a motion for a new trial, a motion for judgment as a matter of law, or a motion for amended findings. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 104.01; Fed. R. App. P. 4. Importantly, motions for reconsideration do not extend the time to appeal.

Stopping the Clock

If the last day of the appeal period lands on a weekend or on a court holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 126.01; Minn. R. Civ. P. 6.01; Fed. R. App. P. 26. The list of court-recognized holidays changes from time to time and should always be double checked. Of course, the best practice is to file your appeal well in advance of the deadline to ensure there is no question as to its timeliness.

In short, calculating your appeal deadline can be complicated, but it is crucially important that it is done correctly.

If you have questions about a possible appeal, please contact Michelle Kuhl and Kay Hunt.  Michelle Kuhl can be reached at 612.336.9328 or mkuhl@lommen.com. Kay Hunt can be reached at 612.336.9341 or kay@lommen.com.