Types of Reviews of Trial Court Decisions

Magistrate Review

The process for seeking review of a magistrate’s order depends on whether the order or judgment is one in which “consent was necessary.”  Consent refers to whether consent of the parties was necessary for the matter to be heard by a magistrate.  A party may seek review of a final order or judgment entered in a proceeding where consent was not necessary by filing a petition for review of the magistrate’s order or judgment.  The petition must be filed within 14 days following entry of the final order or judgment if the parties are present when the magistrate’s order is entered, or 21 days from the date the final order or judgment is sent to the parties.

Findings of fact made by the magistrate may not be altered unless they are found to be clearly erroneous.  The party seeking review must file the transcript of the proceedings, or the court will presume that the record would support the magistrate’s order.

The magistrate’s order will be reviewed by one or more district court judges.  Except in particular, limited circumstances, this is the only method for reviewing of a magistrate’s order.  An appeal of a magistrate’s order may not be taken to the appellate court unless a timely petition for review has been filed and decided by a reviewing court.

Orders entered in a proceeding where consent is necessary are not subject to review by the trial court.  These orders must be appealed to the Court of Appeals in the same manner as an order or judgment of a district court.