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Legal Memorandum: Motion for Amendment of Findings in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, may a party bring a motion asking the court to amend its findings or to make additional findings after the court enters its findings of fact, conclusions of law, order for judgment, and judgment and decree?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Amend findings of fact; Additional findings; Amend judgment and decree
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 383 N.W.2d 402; 290 Minn. 159; 673 N.W.2d 169; 199 N.W. 817; 572 N.W.2d 313; 62 N.W.2d 63
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02
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.  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”)).     

A motion to amend findings may be appropriate in several situations.  If there are errors […]

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