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Subpoena a Witness
Conciliation Court hearings are informal, but you must be prepared to present your case. Attorneys are only allowed to represent parties in Conciliation Court with permission of the Judge or Referee. All parties and witnesses who appear will testify under oath. The witnesses should be present and ready to testify.
If a witness is reluctant to appear, you may get a subpoena to compel them to appear. You can get a subpoena from the Conciliation Court Office, Room 170, Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. You will need one subpoena for each witness you want to testify. There is a fee of $18.00 for each subpoena requested.
Subpoena's must be served by an uninterested third party. A subpoena cannot be served by a party to the case (the plaintiff or defendant) or another witness. The person serving the subpoena must fill out an affidavit of service. This form is available at the Conciliation Court Office and can be picked up when you request your subpoena(s). Under Minnesota Statute 357.22 the witness must be paid a witness fee of $20.00 per day plus mileage expenses of .28 cents per mile to be calculated to and from the witnesses place of residence and the court. A check for the amount of these expenses must accompany the subpoena. Minnesota Statute 357.22 subdivision 2 states: No person is obliged to attend as a witness in any civil case unless one day's attendance and travel fees are paid or tendered the witness in advance.
Written statements and affidavits of persons not present in court have little value if you try to use them in court as evidence and in some cases may not be allowed as evidence at all.
You should also bring to court all other evidence, such as receipts, repair bills, estimates, photographs and other items to help prove your claim. You can also get a subpoena for documents relating to your claim that the defendant or some other person has but will not give to you.
Before you go to court, prepare a list of facts you wish to present. Organize your presentation as clearly and completely as possible so you will not forget important facts and details.