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Legal Memorandum: Motion to Amend Findings in MN

Issue: Whether evidence that was not a part of the original record may included in a motion to amend findings.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to amend findings; Original record; Evidence
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 219 N.W.2d 641; 256 N.W.2d 491; 720 N.W.2d 360; 368 N.W.2d 293
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02; Minnesota Practice—Civil Rules Annotated § 52.19; Minnesota Practice—Civil Rules Annotated § 52.16
Date: 06/01/2008

A motion to amend findings must be based only on the files, exhibits, and minutes of the trial court—not on evidence that was not a part of the original record.  Zander v. Zander, 720 N.W.2d 360, 364 (Minn. Ct. App. 2006) (citing Otte v. Otte, 368 N.W.2d 293, 299 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985) (applying Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02)).  That is, when considering a motion for amended findings, the district court “must apply the evidence as submitted during the trial of the case,” and “may neither go outside the record, nor consider new evidence.”  Id. at 364 (quoting Rathbun v. W.T. Grant Co., 300 Minn. 223, 238, 219 N.W.2d 641, 651 (1974)).    

Moreover, a motion to amend permits the court to review all of the record evidence, and not just that relating to those findings claimed by the movant to be inaccurate.  See 2 Herr & Haydock, Minnesota Practice—Civil Rules Annotated R 52.02 § 52.16, Author’s Comments (citing McCauley v. Michael, 256 N.W.2d 491 (Minn. 1977)).  In other words, a party moving for amended findings may not “pick and choose” among the findings, claiming only certain ones to be defective, in the hope of limiting the trial court’s review of the record to only those parts supporting the motion.  See McCauley, 256 N.W.2d 491, cited in 2 Herr & Haydock, Minnesota Practice—Civil Rules Annotated R 52.02.  “A party will usually have difficulty convincing […]

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