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Legal Memorandum: Motion for Amended Findings in MN

Issue: WHETHER GROUNDS FOR AMENDMENT CAN BE PRESENTED AFTER A COURT HAS ANNOUNCED AN ORDER FOR JUDGMENT.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for amended findings; Amend the judgment and decree
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 383 N.W.2d 402; 290 Minn. 159; 240 Minn. 468; 673 N.W.2d 169; 199 N.W. 817; 572 N.W.2d 313; 189 N.W.2d 392; 62 N.W.2d 63
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02; Minnesota Practice—Civil Rules Annotated R 52.02 § 52.16
Date: 06/01/2008

After the court enters its findings of fact, conclusions of law, order for judgment, and judgment and decree, either party may bring a motion asking the court to amend its findings or to make additional findings, and to amend the judgment and decree accordingly.  See Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02; see generally 14 Martin L. Swaden & Linda A. Olup, Minnesota Practice—Family Law § 14.1 (2d ed. 2007).  Such a motion is an opportunity for the court to review its findings of fact to determine whether or not modification should be made.  That is, the purpose of a motion for amended findings “is to permit the trial court a review of its own exercise of discretion.”  Lewis v. Lewis, 572 N.W.2d 313, 315 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997)*FN1 (quoting Johnson v. Johnson, 563 N.W.2d 77, 78 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997); Stroh v. Stroh, 383 N.W.2d 402 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986)); see also 14 Swaden & Olup, Minnesota Practice—Family Law § 14.1.*FN2  Thus, it necessarily follows from this purpose that a proper motion for amended findings must both identify the alleged defect(s) in the challenged findings and explain why the challenged findings are defective.  Lewis, 572 N.W.2d at 315 (citing 2 David F. Herr & Roger S. Haydock, Minnesota Practice § 60.6 (1995) (stating that motions for amended findings should, among other things, “specify the objections to the findings”)).  Importantly, a “defective” finding is not simply one that the movant does […]

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