Assistant Chief Judge Mark J. Kappelhoff

Hennepin County Courthouse
Fourth Judicial District
(612) 348-6000

Chambers Phone: (612) 543-3519
Law Clerk: (612) 543-3518

Fourth Judicial District Judicial Officers

Assistant Chief Judge Mark J. Kappelhoff


Appointed July 1, 2016, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2025.


J.D., American University, Washington College of Law
B.S., St. John’s University

Past Employment:

  • Associate Clinical Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Special Counsel, Civil Rights Division, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Chief, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota
  • Assistant Public Defender, Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Professional Activities:

Adjunct Professor, Univeristy of Minnesota Law School
     (co-teach Human Trafficking seminar)
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association Diversity
     and Inclusion Committee
Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
Member, Warren E. Burger Inn of Court
Former Board Member, University of Minnesota Law School
     Academic Engagement Committee, 2012-13
Former Member, American Bar Association, Standing Committee on
     Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, Advisory Group on
     the Language Access Project, 2010-2011

Court Leadership Positions:

Member, Statewide Strategic Planning Committee
Member and Former Chair, Hennepin County District Court
     Equal Justice Committee
Member, Statewide Committee on Equality and Justice
Member, Children’s Justice Initiative Advisory Committee
     (Chair, Mental Health Subcommitee)
Tri-Chair, Youth Justice Council, 2020-2023
Presiding Judge, Juvenile Division, 2021-2023
Delegate, Minnesota District Judges Association, 2017-2022

Community Activities:

Member, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, MN Girls Are Not For Sale Committee, 2013-2016
Board Member, 180 Degrees, Inc., 2013-2016
Board Member, Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, 2005  


Presidential Rank Award, Senior Executive Service, Meritorious Executive, 2010

United States Department of Justice:

  • Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, 2015
  • Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, 2010
  • Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, 2003 
  • Director’s Award for Superior Performance, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, 2003
  • Meritorious Award, Civil Rights Division, 2001 & 2002
  • Special Achievement Award, Civil Rights Division, 1999 & 2000 

Assignment History:

Criminal - July 2016 to June 2018
Juvenile Division – July 1, 2018 to February 2024
     (Presiding Judge 2021-2023)
Criminal Division - February 2024 to present

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