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You recently took your case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and, against all odds, emerged victorious. Problem is, what initially seemed like a success may no longer feel desirable. Chances are, your case was remanded back to the same judge who, in your opinion, messed up in the first place. Talk about frustrating! While it may seem that there is no rhyme or reason to this arrangement, there may be some wisdom in presenting the same case before the same judge on two different occasions — as we clarify below:

Appeals and Remanded Cases: The Basics

In Minnesota, family law appellate cases are heard by the state’s Court of Appeals. Occasionally, the appellate court will opt for a family case to be remanded to the original court in which it was heard. Reasons vary considerably from one case to the next, but typically, the decision involves a matter of incorrect legal procedure. For example, a trial judge’s clerical errors may have negatively impacted the original case.

Why the Original Trial Judge?

The judge who originally heard your case may have made a mistake, but could reverse that decision in light of procedural errors revealed by the appellate court. The original judge is thoroughly familiar with the details of your case and is therefore better equipped to handle a second trial efficiently. Keep in mind that a different judge could easily make the same mistakes you witnessed at the initial trial.

The odds may seem stacked against you as you pursue a family law appeal or return to trial court, but success is far from impossible. Look to the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for proactive support as you navigate Minnesota’s appellate system.