The response to COVID-19 has impacted access to courthouses and may change the way cases are handled.
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In-Person Criminal Jury Trials Resume, Limited Access to Court Facilities Continues

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

In-Person Criminal Jury Trials Resume, Limited Access to Court Facilities Continues

In-person criminal jury trials for all case types have resumed in all state district courts, but limited access to court facilities remains in place until June 14, 2021, under a new statewide order issued by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea.
 
Below is a summary of the order; for full details, see the order.
  • Criminal Jury Trials: In-person criminal jury trials in all case types may take place, in accordance with the Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and approved local jury trial plans. 
  • Civil Jury Trials: No in-person civil jury trials will commence before June 14, 2021, unless an exception is granted by the chief judge after consultation with the Chief Justice.
  • Hearings: All hearings will be conducted remotely to the extent possible; exceptions may include sentencing hearings in criminal cases where there is a presumptive commitment to the Department of Corrections, and contested hearings when evidence is submitted in Major Criminal cases, Child Protection (CHIPS and Permanency) cases, Juvenile Delinquency cases, and omnibus hearings in Major Criminal cases, among other limited circumstance.
  • Appellate Courts: Proceedings in appeals pending before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court will continue as scheduled by those courts.
  • Case Filings: All courts will continue to accept case filings.
  • Public Access: At least one public service counter must be open in each county, and for the appellate courts, during normal business hours, excluding court holidays. Access to court facilities is subject to conditions posed by county officials. Services may be provided remotely, by appointment, or in person. Contact the county court for more information.
  • Media Access: For updates on county court operations and access to public access terminals (courthouse terminals), contact the Court Information Office.
  • Self-help center services are available by appointment, remotely, or by telephone.
  • The Minnesota State Law Library is open by appointment only.