COVID-19 Information

Face Coverings
Face coverings may be required in courtrooms and public spaces of court facilities. 
 
Social Distancing
Social distancing is not required in court facilities.
 
Current Court Operations
To continue operations in a manner that prioritizes health and safety, the following is effect:
 

  • In-Person Hearings and Trials: Criminal Jury Trials; Civil Jury Trials; court trials in Major Criminal, Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Protection (including Child in Need of Protection or Services and Permanency cases types) cases; Criminal Settlement Conferences; and Grand Jury Proceedings continue to take place in-person. Mandatory misdemeanor criminal trials and contested hearings in these cases can be held in person beginning August 2, 2021.
  • Remote Hearings: 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.
  • Public Service Counters: At least one public service counter in each county, and one in the appellate courts, will be accessible between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, excluding court holidays. Counter service can be provided remotely, by appointment, or in person.
  • Self-Help Services: Self-Help services continue to be conducted by appointment, remotely, or by telephone.
  • Courthouse Terminals: Courthouse terminals are available based on hours established by the local district court. See below for more details.

 
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.

Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Orders and Information »
Safety Reopening Court Facilities Resources »

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.

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.