The response to COVID-19 has impacted access to courthouses and may change the way cases are handled.
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Update, May 25, 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 in a manner that prioritizes health and safety, the following is effect June 14, 2021 – September 6, 2021:
  • Criminal jury trials will be held in person.
  • Civil jury trials can be held in person.
  • Major Criminal, Juvenile Protection (including CHIPS and Permanency), and Juvenile Delinquency trials and contested hearings will be held in person.
  • Criminal settlement conferences will be held in person.
  • Grand jury proceedings will be held in person.
  • Mandatory Misdemeanor Criminal trials and contested hearings are to be held in person beginning August 2, 2021.
  • All other district court proceedings will be held remotely unless the Chief Judge of the Judicial District grants permission for an in-person proceeding based on extenuating circumstances.
  • Appellate Courts: Proceedings in appeals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court will continue as scheduled by those courts.
  • Public Service Counter: At least one public service counter must be open in each county, and for the appellate courts during normal business hours, excluding court holidays. 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 

Currently, all state courts require six-feet social distancing and mandatory use of face coverings in all areas of a court facility through June 13, 2021.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan addresses exposure control measures and protocols that state courts must follow for in-person activities beginning June 14, 2021:
  • Social distancing is not required for brief interactions or when people are wearing face coverings. Brief interaction is defined as when two or more different households are within six feet of each other for less than 15 minutes total within a 24-hour period.
  • Face coverings are required inside courtrooms and in jury deliberation spaces. Presiding judges may allow for removal of face coverings in the courtroom if deemed necessary, as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained while the face covering is removed. Face coverings in public areas of a county-owned court facility will only be required if local government guidelines mandate their use. Any person who wishes to wear a face covering in a court facility may so do.
  • Exposure Notification: Courts will notify individuals who were determined to be in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health.

County-specific District Court Information


Select a County:

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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