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Minnesotans like to sue

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In 2008, more Minnesotans went to court. Are we becoming sue-happy?

The Associated Press is reporting that the state's district courts handled 27,000 more cases in 2008 than in 2007. The caseload total exceeded 1.9 million actions, according to the AP.

About a quarter of the increase -- 5,000 cases -- came from civil filings, like personal injury and harassment. But the number of major criminal cases actually fell by a few thousand.

Hmm... it's not a huge increase, but are these civil disputes evidence that Minnesota Nice is becoming a little passive and, um, a little more aggressive?

Maybe ... maybe not. Looks like a lot of it has to do with our bad driving, according to the AP.

Much of the boost is attributed to minor civil proceedings, such as conciliation court and implied consent actions for people suspected of driving while drunk. Parking, traffic and low-level assault crimes also saw an uptick.