Court Forms Information

All statewide court forms published by the Minnesota Judicial Branch will be updated as Fillable Smart Forms that have built-in intelligence. For information on what this means, and how to open the forms, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Forms will be released by categories as they are updated. Each updated form will be labeled "PDF Fillable Smart Form" to download. For help with how to open, save, and work with the Fillable Smart Forms, visit our Tools & Resources for Quick Reference Guides.  

The updated category of forms available are:
Opening Fillable Smart Forms
1. What do I need to open the Fillable Smart Forms?
To open the Fillable Smart Forms, you will need:
 
  1. A laptop or desktop computer. Forms are not available on mobile devices. Please see note below for Chromebook users.
     
  2. Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, version 8 or higher. If you do not have either, you can download Adobe Reader for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/ .

    If asked, you do not need to agree to download any extra programs or software.  Once installed on your computer, it is best to restart your computer.
     
  3. Internet Explorer is the recommended internet browser to open the forms. If you are using Google Chrome or Safari, you may need to change your default settings to open the forms, even with Adobe Reader downloaded. See FAQs below for step-by-step instructions.  Microsoft Edge is not a recommended browser. 
     
Attention Chromebook Users: Because Google’s Chrome Operating System is App based, you may not be able to download the required Adobe Software to open the forms.  You will need to use a laptop with a Windows or Mac Operating System.
 
2. How do I know if I have Adobe installed on my computer?

The easiest and quickest way to check to see if you already have Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobate installed on your computer is check which applications (Apps) you have.

As a general rule you can do the following to check your computer:

Windows OS:

  • Click on Start Menu (or click the Windows key on keyboard) to see all the Apps installed on your computer. They generally appear in alphabetical order.
  • If you do not see the Apps listed in Start Menu, click on "Settings" (picture of cog) and choose "Apps" to see what is installed on your computer. Look for Adobe Acrobate or Adobe Reader version 8 or higher.

Mac:

  • You can find installed Apps in the Application Folder. From the OS X Finder, hit Commond+Shift+A to jump to the /Application Folder.
  • Pull down the View menu and choose "List" to scroll through an easy to read list of all Apps in the folder. Look for Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
If you are unsure how to check your Apps, you can also follow the steps in the FAQ "How do I save the Fillable Smart Form to open" and see if Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat is available to open the form. If not listed, then you will need to install Adobe Reader.
 
3. How do I open the forms using a Mac?
  1. Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, version 8 or higher. If you do not have either, you can download Adobe Reader for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader .

If asked, you do not need to agree to download any extra programs or software. Once installed on your computer, it is best to restart your computer.

You should not have more than one software version of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat loaded on your computer because this can cause software conflicts when attempting to view PDF documents using any browser.

  1. Safari is the recommended browser to use to open the Fillable Smart Forms. Be sure to have the most updated version. Chrome can be used but steps may vary based on your version and own settings.
     
  2. Due to personal settings in browsers, the easiest way to use a Fillable Smart Form is to save the form to your computer to open.
    1. Saving to your computer using Safari (recommended)
      1. Right click on the “PDF Fillable Smart Form”
      2. Choose the “Download linked file as…”
      3. Choose a location to save the form on your computer. Remember where the form is saved.
      4. After saving the form, right click on the saved form and select “Open With” and then “other” if you do not see Adobe Reader listed.
      5. Find Adobe Reader (or whatever version you have installed) in the application list and check the “Always Open With” checkbox.
      6. Click “Open”
      7. Allow access from the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
  3. Check your security settings to allow access from the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
4. Why are forms not opening in Chrome or Safari?
If you are using Chrome or Safari as your internet browser the forms may still not open even with the most current version of Adobe. This is not something that the MN Judicial Branch has control over or may be able to fix with the forms.

To open the forms, you have two options:
  • Change your browser settings to make Adobe Reader your default viewer, or
  • Save the Fillable Smart Form PDF to your computer to open in Adobe Reader.
For steps on changing your browser settings or how to save the Fillable Smart Forms to your computer, read the step-by-step instructions in the FAQs below.
5. How do I change browser settings to open the PDF Fillable Smart Forms?

Below are the GENERAL steps for updating your internet browser to automatically download and open up the PDF Fillable Smart Form in Adobe Reader. Your browser may be set up a little differently based on personal preferences and security settings.

After updating your browser, be sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

 

Internet Explorer (8 and higher)

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click "Tools" at the top of the screen
  2. Click "Manage Add-ons"
  3. Under add-on types, click "Toolbars and Extensions"
  4. Show "All add-on" in the drop-down menu
  5. Choose "Adobe PDF Reader"
  6. Click "Disable"

Chrome

Version 60 and newer
  1. At the top right in Chrome, click "Customize and control Google Chrome" or click on the three dots on top right sidebar
  2. Click "Settings"
  3. At the bottom of the page, click "Advanced"
  4. Under Privacy and security, click "Content settings" or "Site settings"
  5. Near the bottom, click "PDF documents"
  6. Turn on "Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome"
Version 57-59
  1. Go to Settings (Show advanced settings) > Privacy > Content settings > PDF documents
  2. Check the box that says "Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application."

All future PDFs opened in Chrome will be downloaded to your computer.

Firefox

  1. Choose Tools > Options
  2. In the Options dialog, click Applications
  3. In the Applications tab, type PDF in the search field
  4. For Portable Document Format (PDF) content type in the search result, select Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox) from the Action drop-down list
  5. Click OK
  6. Restart Firefox

Safari (Mac)

You will need to change the default PDF viewer to Adobe Reader.

  1. Download the PDF to your computer by choosing the "Download linked file as...."
  2. CTRL+Click the PDF and select "Open With" and then "Other"
  3. Find Adobe Reader in the application list and check the "Always Open With" checkbox
  4. Click "Open"

You will only need to do these steps once. All future PDFs will open in Adobe Reader by default.

 

6. How do I save the Fillable Smart Form to open?

If you receive an error when trying to open the form and you already have the updated version of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, you may need to open the forms in a different way. This is usually an issue when using a Mac with Chrome or Safari.

You can either change your browser settings (see question above) or you can save the form to your computer to open in Adobe.

Internet Explorer (8 and higher)

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save target as..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Chrome

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save link as..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Firefox

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save Page As..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Safari (Mac)

You will need to change the default PDF viewer to Adobe Reader.

  1. Right click on the "PDF Fillable Smart Form"
  2. Choose the "Download linked file as...."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the saved form and select "Open With" and then "Other"
  6. Find Adobe Reader in the application list and check the "Always Open With" checkbox
  7. Click "Open"

You will only need to do these steps once. All future PDFs will open in Adobe Reader by default.

7. I have Adobe but am getting a message that a form has changed. What now?

If you have been able to open up Fillable Smart Forms but now receive an error message that says:

"This document enabled extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader. the document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Please contact the author for the original version of this document."

Please try clearing your browsing history from your internet browser. This can generally be done through the settings and internet options. The form may have been reloaded to the website but your browser is trying to pull up an older version of the form, which will no longer work.

If this still does not work please try to open the form using a different browser. For example, if you clear your browsing history in Internet Explorer and you still can't open the form, please try using Chrome to open the same form. You will need to be sure the settings are correct for that browser.



How to use the Fillable Smart Forms
8. What are Fillable Smart Forms?
Fillable smart forms have built in "intelligence" which means:
  • When you type your answer in one field, that answer will show up in another spot on the form that asks for the same information.
  • Questions on the form that are not necessary will stay hidden (for example, if you say you do not have children, then you won't see questions about children's names).
  • Some answer fields will expand to allow you to type in longer answers so you will not have to use another piece of paper for your answer.
9. How do I open the form?
To use the full functionality of the forms, you will need to either  save the form on your computer or change your internet settings so that pdf forms are opened in Adobe Reader. Information on changing your settings is explained in "How do I change browser settings to open PDF Fillable Forms?"
 

Save the PDF Fillable Smart Form from the website:

Internet Explorer (8 and higher)

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save target as..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Chrome

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save link as..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Firefox

  1. Right click on "PDF Fillable Smart Form."
  2. Choose "Save Page As..."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. After saving the form, right click on the file and select "Open with Adobe Reader (or Acrobat).

Safari (Mac)

You will need to change the default PDF viewer to Adobe Reader.

  1. Click on the "PDF Fillable Smart Form"
  2. Choose the "Download linked file as...."
  3. Choose a location to save the form on  your computer. Use the form name or court form number (bottom left corner) so it is easier to find.
  4. Click "Save" to save the form to your computer.
  5. CTRL+Click the PDF and select "Open With" and then "Other"
  6. Find Adobe Reader in the application list and check the "Always Open With" checkbox
  7. Click "Open"

You will only need to do these steps once. All future PDFs will open in Adobe Reader by default.

NOTE: If you use any other PDF viewer, the form will not open correctly.

10. Can I use these forms on my mobile device?
While you may be able to view and/or print the new Fillable smart forms on a mobile device, depending on which browser you use, you are not able to fill out the forms. If you do not have your own computer or laptop, you can visit one of the SRL Workstations at your local county courthouse or a public computer at your local public library.
11. What are the "buttons" on the top of the form?

All Fillable Smart Forms have buttons along the top of the page that are only seen on the computer, not when printed.

  • Prepare for eFile - If you plan to electronically file you will need to create a static PDF which means it cannot be edited. This button is used to "flatten" the Fillable Smart Form to create a static PDF.
  •  
  • Save for Editing - This button allows you to easily save the document to your computer or flash drive to review and edit your answers as needed.
  •  
  • Print Blank Form Only - If you do not want to type your answers, you can simply use this button to print blank forms and handwrite your answers.
12. Do I have to type my answers?
You are not required to type your answers in order to use the forms. To handwrite your answers, once you have the form open on your computer, click on the "Print Blank Form" to print out a blank copy of the form to fill out by hand.
13. Are the forms available in Word format?
Now that the fillable smart forms allow users to type their answers easily and expands fields for longer answers, there is no longer a need for forms in Word format.

Converting a fillable smart form to Word format is not advised and may not work because you will not see all of the questions or information. Remember that some areas of the form are hidden, and will only show up if you need to answer certain questions.
14. Can I save my answers on a form?
Yes. If you cannot finish the forms at one time or want to save your work so that you can make changes later, be sure to use the "Save for Editing" button on the top of the form. You will need to either save to your desktop on your computer or a USB flash drive.

For steps on how to save your forms, look at our Quick Reference Guide .
15. How do I use these forms to electronically file (eFile)?

In order to eFile your forms through eFS, you must have a PDF that cannot be edited (also called a static or flattened PDF). Once you have have typed all of your answers into the form, save a copy to your computer or flash/usb drive with the "Save for Editing" button. When you save the form, you can make changes without having to type your answers all over again. When saving your form, it is a good idea to use the form number and title for the file name.

When your forms are ready to eFile, click on the "Prepare for eFile" button. If you have not yet typed your name into the signature field, you will need to do that now. Once the signature field is filled in, a new window will open with your form. If your page opens to an Error page, be sure you have opened the form correctly as instructed in the QRG.

Save this flattened form as a new document on your computer or flash/usb drive. Give it a name that you will remember for eFiling (name it something different than what you named the form when you clicked the "Save for eFiling" button).

Next, visit the File a Case page to file in the eFS system.

For more information, read our "Working with Fillable Smart Forms" Quick Reference Guide.

16. Why isn't the Prepare for eFiling button working?
Using this button creates a flattened uneditable PDF that you can then upload when electronic filing in the eFS System. If you have clicked on the button and the form is not flattening it may mean that the server is being blocked by your internet service. This may be common with some employers or public wi-fi services that have firewalls in place for certain activity for security.

If this is the case and you are at work, you could talk with your local IT department to allow access to the server to flatten the form. Otherwise, try again when using your own internet service or know that there are no firewalls in place.