2nd District  

Judicial Branch Home > 2nd Home > Civil Division >

Housing Court

15 W Kellogg Blvd Room 170
St. Paul MN 55102
651-266-8230
map/directions
Landlord/
Plaintiff

How do I pursue eviction (unlawful detainer)?
Do I need an attorney to pursue eviction?
Where do I file?
Can I get the forms online?
If the tenant is a business, is the process the same?
What are the grounds for eviction?
How soon can I get a hearing?
Do I have to serve a summons on the tenant?
Can I file an eviction for a storage unit?
How do I collect the money I am owed?
If the judgment is to evict and the tenant(s) will not leave, what can I do?
How do I prepare a lease?

Tenant/
Defendant

Do I need an attorney?
Under what conditions can a landlord evict me?
How do I respond to an eviction summons?
Can I respond in writing to an eviction summons?
Do I have to pay rent if repairs need to be done?
What happens to my belongings if I refuse to remove them after eviction?
How do I petition to have an eviction record expunged (removed)?
Can my landlord keep my property?
Can I be locked out before the court hearing?
Can minor children be listed as tenants in an eviction action?
Can I file a claim against my landlord in Housing Court?

Security
Deposit

Can the landlord keep the security deposit?
How much time does the landlord have to return the security deposit?
What can I do if the landlord does not return my deposit?

Other Questions
Do you provide legal assistance?
What happens at the hearing?
What happens after the hearing?
What can I do if I don't agree with the order of the referee?
Why are cases heard by a referee and not a judge?
How do I... 

Questions on a broader range of topics
Return to the Main FAQ page
Housing Court Fees


Landlord (Plaintiff)

How do I pursue eviction (unlawful detainer)?

File an Eviction Action Complaint with the Court and pay the required fees.  A court date will be set and notices prepared.  It will be up to you to serve the notice(s) on the tenant(s). Note: Corporate landlords must be represented by an attorney and must e-file

For more information, visit the Filing an Eviction / Unlawful Detainer Complaint page of this site or the Starting an Eviction Action page of the Self-Help Center.

Do I need an attorney to pursue eviction?

Only if the owner is a corporation or LLC.  Otherwise, the property owner or an agent may appear on behalf of the property.  If you want to be represented, finding an attorney is your responsibility. 

For more information, visit the Representing Yourself in Court page of the State Self-Help Center.

Back to top of page

Where do I file?

File in the county where the property is located.  For properties in Ramsey County, file at the address above (15 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul MN). Corporations and LLC's must e-file

Can I get the Eviction Action Complaint form online? 

Yes, from the MN Judicial Branch Forms web site.

Back to top of page

If the tenant is a business, is the process the same?

No.  You must draft and file a Commercial Property Eviction Action.  Depending on the location, you will be expected to provide additional information about the property and terms of the lease.  Because of these variables, no form is available online for you to use. 

For more information, call our office at the number at the top of this page or consult a local law library.

What are the grounds for eviction?

Common reasons are failure to pay rent, failure to vacate after legal notice, cancellation of a contract for deed, forclosure of a mortgage, or violation of the terms of a lease.  Other reasons may be considered.

For more information, visit the Starting an Eviction Action page of the State Self-Help Center.

Back to top of page

How soon can I get a hearing?

Seven to fourteen days after you file.

Do I have to serve a summons on the tenant?

Yes.  The Affidavit of Service form is available online, but the clerk of court must prepare the summons before you can serve it.  For more information and instructions, review the Ramsey County Housing Court Service Packet on the State Forms web site.  The packet contains both the instructions and the Affidavit form.  Additional information is available on the Service of Summons and Complaint page on this site.

Back to top of page

Can I file an eviction for a storage unit?

Yes.  You may need to provide additional information pertaining to the size and location of the unit.

How do I collect the money I am owed?

Collection of money owed is a separate action.  Depending on the amount, you must file in Conciliation Court or Civil Court

For more information, visit the Collecting Rent Owed page of the this site or the Tenant moved out, but owes rent page of the Self-Help Center.

Back to top of page

If the judgment is to evict and the tenant(s) will not leave, what can I do?

Obtain a Writ of Recovery from Housing Court.  There is a fee for the writ and a fee for the Sheriff for service of the writ.  The tenant will have 24 hours from the time of posting to vacate.  If a tenant or tenants do not comply with the writ, you may ask the Sheriff to physically remove them.  If the tenant does not take personal belongings, you will have to arrange for moving and storage for 60 days and pay the fees.  If the tenant does not claim the property, you may auction it to offset these fees.  For more infomation, refer to the pages on this site titled Liability for Tenants' Property and Obtaining a Writ.

How do I prepare a lease?

The court cannot provide legal assistance, but the Minnesota Bar Association offers a  Minnesota Standard Residental Lease form.

Back to top of page


Tenant (Defendant) 

Do I need an attorney?

It is your responsibility to secure legal representation if you wish to be represented. Otherwise, you may want to consider attending the Housing and Conciliation Clinic offered by Ramsey Court.

For more information, see the Representing Yourself in Court page of the State Self-Help Center.

Under what conditions can a landlord evict me?

When a landlord can evict depends on the terms and status of your lease and on the status of the property itself.  The reasons for eviction will be stated on the Eviction Action Complaint, such as: failure to pay rent, failure to vacate after legal notice, cancellation of a contract for deed, foreclosure of a mortgage, or violation of the terms of a lease are all reasons to evict.

Back to top of page

How do I respond to an eviction summons?

Appear in court on the date, time, and location specified.  If you don't appear, the court may decide against you and order eviction.

For more information, visit the Responding to an Eviction Action page of the Self-Help Center.

Can I respond in writing to an eviction summons?

Yes, but doing so doesn't excuse you from attending the court hearing. 

For more information, visit the Responding to an Eviction Action page of the Self-Help Center.

Back to top of page

Do I have to pay rent if repairs need to be done?

Rent must be paid to the landlord or put into an escrow account with the court.  For more information, visit the Tenant wants repairs made page of the State Self-Help Center.

What happens to my belongings if I refuse to remove them after eviction?

The landlord must remove them and store them for 60 days.  To recover them, you must pay the cost of removal and storage.  If you do not, the items may be auctioned off.

For more information, refer to the page on this site titled Liability for Tenant's Property.

Back to top of page

How do I petition to have an eviction record expunged (removed)?

You may be given the option to expunge the record when the Judge issues a decision.  In this case, you would file an Affidavit of Compliance.  If no such option was offered and the case is over, you will need to file a Motion for Expungement of Eviction Records.  For more information about these processes, visit the Expungement of Unlawful Detainer Record page on this site or the Expungement of Eviction Record page of the State Self-Help Center site.

Can my landlord keep my property?

If you have disobeyed an Order of Eviction and refused to claim your property within 60 days of removal the landlord may have the right to sell or dispose of your property.   For more information, refer to the page on this site titled Liability for Tenants Property.

Back to top of page

Can I be locked out before the court hearing?

No.  If this happens, you may file a petition to re-enter the premises.  For more information, see the page on this site titled Lockout Petition or the Lockout page of the State Self-Help Center.

Can minor children be listed as tenants in an eviction action?

No.  Children under 18 years of age should not be listed on the eviction action complaint.  If a minor is listed you should notify the Referee in Court to have the name(s) removed from the case.

Back to top of page

As a tenant, can I file a claim against my landlord in Housing Court?

You can file for return of rent paid (rent abatement), you can file to put your rent in escrow pending resolution of a dispute with your landlord, and you can file an action for violation of state, county or city housing codes.  For more information on these processes, visit the Rent Escrow Action page of this site, or the During the Tenancy page of the Minnesota Attorney General site.


Security Deposit

Can the landlord keep the security deposit?

Yes, if there is cause to do so.  A written explanation as to why is required.  If you feel the landlord has kept the deposit illegally, you must sue in Conciliation Court to recover the money. 

For more information, see the page on this site titled Return of Security Deposit or the Landlord kept the security deposit page of the State Self-Help Center.

Back to top of page

How much time does the landlord have to return the security deposit?

The Landlord has 21 days from the date you vacate to return the security deposit or notify of you why it is being kept.  You must provide  the landlord with your contact information or forwarding address.

For more information, see the page on this site titled Return of Security Deposit or the Landlord kept the security deposit page of the State Self-Help Center.

What can I do if the landlord does not return my deposit?

File a claim in Conciliation Court.

Back to top of page


Other Questions

Do you provide legal assistance?

No, but the Court sponsors a legal clinic to assist unrepresented parties prepare and file matters in Housing Court. Volunteer attorneys and law students are available for brief consultation meetings every Tuesday afternoon from 1 to 4PM.  

For more information review the Housing and Conciliation Clinic document on this site. Additional Information can be found on the Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities page of the Minnesota Attorney General's web site. If you wish to hire an attorney, consult the Find a Lawyer page of the State Self-Help Center.

What happens at the hearing?

A referee hears the case and each party testifies.  After testimony, the referee may ask specific questions on the record.  At the end of the hearing, the referee may announce his or her decision or take the matter into consideration.

Back to top of page

What happens after the hearing?

The referee's recommended findings and orders are sent to a district court judge. These become the findings and order of the court when confirmed by the district judge and the parties are notified.  If the findings are for the landlord, the order will contain specific instructions to the tenant on when to vacate the premises.

What can I do if I don't agree with the order of the referee?

File a request for review and serve a notice of your proposed order or finding on the other party within 10 days. This notice must explain the reasons for requesting a review and state the specific parts of the recommended findings or orders that are disputed. After receiving this notice, a time for the review hearing will be set. A District Court Judge will review the request, the court record, the referee's recommendation, and any testimony.  The judge will then decide whether to accept, reject or change the referee's recommended decision.

Why are cases heard by a referee and not a judge?

Housing Court ensures housing claims are brought before a single, trained referee. This is to encourage consistent decisions and prompt compliance with Minnesota's housing laws.

Back to top of page


 

Ramsey County Courthouse Hours: 8:30 - 4:30
Room 170 Monday - Friday
15 West Kellogg Boulevard  
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 Closed on Legal Holidays
(651) 266-8230  

The Second Judicial District is pleased to offer a legal clinic to assist unrepresented parties prepare and file matters in Housing Court!  Volunteer attorneys and law students are available for brief consultation meetings every Tuesday afternoon from 1 to 4PM.  Please click here to learn more about the Housing and Conciliation Clinic.

EFiling Logo

Eviction Affidavits of Service and Information for Landlords and Tenants. 

Housing Court in Ramsey County hears and decides civil cases related to residential rental housing under Minnesota Statute 504B (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=504B&view=chapter) and criminal cases related to housing code enforcement.  This includes, for example, claims for rent abatement, rent escrow proceedings, eviction actions, and actions for violation of state, county or city housing codes.  Housing Court ensures housing claims are brought before a single, trained referee.  This is to encourage consistent decisions and prompt compliance with Minnesota's housing laws.

Ramsey County District Court appoints a referee to hold hearings and make recommended decisions.  After the hearing in each case, the referee's recommended findings and orders are sent to a district court judge.  These become the findings and order of the court when confirmed by the district judge.  The landlord or tenant may ask the district court judge to review any order or finding recommended by the referee.  The person who is requesting the review must file and serve (provide to the other party) a notice of the recommended order or finding within 10 days of the order.  This notice must explain the reasons for requesting a review and state the specific parts of the recommended findings or orders that are disputed.  After receiving this notice, a time for the review hearing may be set.  Upon review of the request, the court record, the referee's recommendation, and testimony (if a hearing was required), the judge will decide whether to accept, reject or change the referee's recommended decision.

Ramsey County landlords and tenants are encouraged to use the Housing Court to resolve housing related disputes that they cannot work out themselves.

Eviction/unlawful detainer actions by landlords

Actions to enforce tenants rights

Additional Information about Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities can be found at www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/housing