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Overview of the Minnesota Court System

The Minnesota court system is comprised of six separate courts in a four-tiered, hierarchical structure. The first tier consists of the municipal courts, which generally handle traffic infractions, preliminary hearings and ordinance violations in Minnesota's more densely populated areas. Also on the first tier are the tax courts, which handle all tax affairs, and the workers' compensation courts, which handle all workers' compensation matters.

The Minnesota district courts are the original courts of general jurisdiction, meaning that they see all initial cases going through the court system. These courts handle probate/estate matters, family law concerns, civil affairs, criminal proceedings, traffic and code infractions, and juvenile cases.

Any decisions made by the district courts can be appealed by either party to the decision, which may result in the case being sent to the Court of Appeals. This court consists of 19 judges who oversee appellate cases in three-judge panels. They may overturn the lower court's decision or let it stand.

Decisions may be further appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. As the court of last resort, the Supreme Court consists of seven justices. In addition to its role as the final appellate court in Minnesota, it provides advisory opinions to the governor, sets procedure and handles court administrative matters.

Minnesota Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Minnesota attorney by location and by practice area. We have Minnesota attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Minnesota Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Minnesota legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own.
Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Protect yourself from major landlord/tenant liabilities with one of LawInfo's Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement. Such a form can serve as a template for a rental agreement contract made between a landlord and tenant that essentially protects the landlord and his or her property from damage or harm. While renting can provide significant financial benefits, challenges include the risks inherent in trusting a tenant with your real estate assets. A good contract can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind.

While many people don't believe they need a Last Will and Testament, the truth is that an accident can happen at any time. If you pass away, you want to make sure that your loved ones receive an inheritance according to your wishes. Dying intestate, or without a will, means that you forfeit your ability to choose how your possessions are divided up among your family members. A last will can help you and your family plan for the uncertain future.

When you get sick or if you get severely injured, there is a chance that you will be unable to make decisions that directly affect your finances, health care or legal matters. You can designate someone in your life to have a Power of Attorney, available free from LawInfo, which enables that person to make those decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. An accident can happen at any time, so it is important to have your Power of Attorney documents squared away

Starting a Minnesota Business

Minnesota business owners are renowned for their determination and savvy, and new business owners will find themselves in good company! You can get a crash course in starting your own business from entrepreneurs and coaches through one of many Minnesota Small Business Development Centers. Articles on the website provide important information regarding your business plan as well as funding and marketing tips to get your company off the ground.

There are several different business structures, and you need to choose which one works best for you. When making this consideration, look at taxation levels, personal liability and regulatory concerns. A sole proprietorship may be best if you are more concerned with lower taxes and fewer regulations. Corporations may be best if you are more concerned about limited personal liability.

Minnesota Business Statistics

Small businesses employ 50.1 percent of the Minnesota private-sector work force. The unemployment rate hovered around 5 percent through 2013, which shows that the job market in the state is quite good. Minnesota is home to nearly 497,000 small businesses, accounting for 97.9 percent of employers.

The state enjoyed a generally robust economy in 2011 with a 4 percent gross state product growth. The large business presence in the state is also significant: There are around 2,500 large employers, including major Fortune 500 companies UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY).