Minnesota Lawsuits are Dead If Not Filed in 1 Year

Under a new Minnesota state court rule, most cases not filed in court within one year of their commencement (cases start by service of process on the parties) will be dismissed with prejudice unless the parties agree in writing to extend this deadline.

“Dismissed with prejudice” means the case cannot be started again, and is essentially like losing the case.

Specifically, Rule 5.04 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows:

Any action that is not filed with the court within one year of commencement against any party is deemed dismissed with prejudice against all parties unless the parties within that year sign a stipulation to extend the filing period. This paragraph does not apply to family cases governed by Rules 301 to 378 of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.

This is great news for defendants who can wait and see if the plaintiff blows the deadline. Rule 5.04 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure could result in some big consequences.

Bottom line: The parties must file a lawsuit with the court within one year of service of process unless they have a written agreement to extend this deadline.