Legal Memorandum: Special Proceedings in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, are declaratory judgment actions considered special proceedings?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Special proceedings; Declaratory judgment actions
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 151 N.W.2d 584
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2015

The Minnesota Supreme Court has specifically held that declaratory judgment actions are not special proceedings.  See Beatty v. Winona Hous. & Redev. Auth., 277 Minn. 76, 79-80, 151 N.W.2d 584, 587 (1967). In the Beatty case, the court explained that, in special proceedings, judgments are unauthorized, and because of that orders entered in those cases are appealable.  Id. at 79, 151 N.W.2d at 586.  Special proceedings usually mean proceedings that may be commenced independently of a pending action by petition or motion, upon notice, in order to obtain special relief.  The Beatty court specifically stated that the declaratory judgment action before it did not constitute a special proceeding.  Id.  Obviously, judgments are not unauthorized in declaratory judgment cases.


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