The response to COVID-19 has impacted access to courthouses and may change the way cases are handled.
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Update, March 23, 2021: 

The Minnesota Judicial Branch continues to be in a transitional phase, as established by orders from the Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea:

 
To continue operations consistent with public health guidance and in a manner that prioritizes health and safety, the following will govern activities in court facilities:  
  • 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: Hearings across all case types 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 circumstances.
  • 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. 
 
Health and Safety Protocols: The Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan addresses exposure control measures and protocols that state courts must follow for in-person activities.
  • Face Coverings: Face coverings are required in all court facilities. Visitors who do not have access to a face covering will be provided one.
  • Social Distancing: Everyone in a court facility is required to maintain 6 feet social distancing.
  • Exposure Notification: Courts will notify individuals who were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, per guidance and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health.

County-specific District Court Information

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For information about Aitkin County’s local requirements for courthouse entry and other county-specific information, please visit the Aitkin County COVID-19 webpage.


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