Legal Memorandum: Motion for Amended Findings in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, does a motion for amended findings differ from a motion for reconsideration?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for amended findings; Motion for reconsideration
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 572 N.W.2d 313; 554 N.W.2d 110
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2008

In Lewis v. Lewis, 572 N.W.2d 313 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997), the district court determined that the wife’s motion for amended findings did not make any new legal or factual arguments, and was thus actually a motion for reconsideration despite the wife’s characterization of the motion as one for amended findings.  572 N.W.2d at 315.  The wife’s motion for amended findings in Lewis essentially did no more than repeat the arguments she had previously made in her motion to vacate the judgment, and thus the wife’s motion was incomplete.  Id.  

The court reached in similar conclusion in Ganyo v. Engen, No. A05-394 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 6, 2005) (unpublished opinion).  There, the court reiterated that, when a motion for amended findings does not make any new legal or factual arguments, so that it does no more than reargue a prior motion, it is really a motion for reconsideration, not a motion to amend the findings.  Id., citing Carter v. Anderson, 554 N.W.2d 110, 113 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996).  Motions to reconsider are prohibited except by express permission of the court, the Ganyo court explained, which will be granted only upon a showing of compelling circumstances.  Id.  In Ganyo, the district court denied the motion to amend, finding that “[t]o the extent that petitioner seeks a review of those determinations contained in the findings of fact, etc., he seeks a motion for reconsideration, for which no authorization was sought or granted.”  Id.

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