Limited In-Person Activities at Court Facilities
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: Criminal jury trials in all case types may be held in-person 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 in which 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 counter service window must be open in each county and for the appellate courts during normal business hours, excluding court holidays. Services may be provided by appointment, remotely or by telephone. See below for more information.
- Media Access: For updates on access to public access terminals (courthouse terminals) and attending in-person court proceedings, contact the Court Information Office.
- Self-Help Center services are available by appointment, remotely, or by telephone.
Face coverings are required in all court facilities. If you do not have a face covering, see court staff immediately.
Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Orders and Information »
Safely Reopening Court Facilities Resources »
If you are required to visit a court facility but have COVID-19 symptoms or have had COVID-19 exposure in the last 14 days contact the court or your attorney as soon as possible.
It is recommended that phones, online services, and drop boxes are used to conduct court business as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19
The courthouse public service counter and public access terminals (courthouse terminals) are open from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm at all three locations:
- Judicial Center, Hastings
- Western Service Center, Apple Valley
- Northern Service Center, West St. Paul
If you have a court case scheduled in Dakota County District Court, call (651) 438-8100 to determine if your case will be heard or scheduled to a future date. You may also contact the court by email and use the dropdown menu to select the appropriate county.
If you are scheduled for a remote hearing and you do not have access to appropriate technology or internet access to join the hearing remotely, you may visit a location offering these services for attending remote hearings.
The Dakota County courthouse has implemented additional screening requirements for entry. Before entering the courthouse you will be required to:
- Wear a face covering
- Maintain social distancing
Dakota County COVID-19 Pandemic Family Case Process:
Dakota County updated its family case processing plan effective September 21, 2020. Learn more about the updates at Dakota County COVID-19 Pandemic Family Case Processing
Remote Expedited Temporary Relief (RETR) in Family Cases:
All counties in the 1st Judicial District will be participating in the Remote Expedited Temporary Relief (RETR) Program. RETR is a temporary program to facilitate case management during the COVID-19 Emergency. RETR is a Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 114.02(a) (10) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.
This program permits the parties to retain a third party to provide binding ADR services to resolve temporary relief issues in family cases. The process is truncated in at least three ways: volume of submissions, time limits on the process, and deadlines. RETR follows the Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) / Moderated Settlement Conferences (MSC) model for fees and includes a four hour flat fee rate charged by the ADR provider. To participate review RETR program information and file Stipulation and Order for RETR.