Legal Memorandum: Requirements for Motions in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, is a court required to hear a motion if the supporting documents are not timely filed?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Requirements; Moving party, supporting documents, time limits
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 470 N.W.2d 154; 464 N.W.2d 130; 240 Minn. 165; 402 N.W.2d 143; 60 N.W.2d 74
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 303.03(a)(1), 303.03(b); Minn. Stat. § 549.21 (1990)
Date: 05/01/2000

The Minnesota Rules of General Practice require that “no motion shall be heard” unless the moving party serves upon opposing counsel, and files with the court, the Notice of Motion, Motion, supporting affidavits and exhibits, and any memoranda of law “at least 14 days prior to the hearing.”  Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 303.03(a)(1).  If a moving party fails to comply with these requirements, the court may cancel the hearing.  Id. at R. 303.03(b).    In the alternative, the court may “refuse to permit oral argument by the party not filing the required documents, may consider the matter unopposed, may allow reasonable attorney’s fees, or may take other appropriate action.”  Id. 

The trial court has broad discretion in deciding whether to admit late filings into evidence.  Uselman v. Uselman, 464 N.W.2d 130, 138 (Minn. 1990)*FN1; Wolfe v. City of Austin, 240 Minn. 165, 168, 60 N.W.2d 74, 76-77 (1953) (noting discretion of court to allow for late submissions).   Axford v. Axford, 402 N.W.2d 143 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987), similarly confirmed that a trial judge has discretion in deciding whether to allow the admission of untimely submissions.  In Axford, the appellate court determined that the trial court was within its discretion in basing a child support determination on the evidence in the record before it, and that it would not, as the trial court had similarly refused to do, consider the forty affidavits […]

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