New Limitations at Court Facilities
Per an order
from Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea, the Minnesota Judicial Branch is limiting in-person activities in court facilities in response to increased COVID-19 infection rates in Minnesota:
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
- Jury Trials: Jury trials in progress will continue until complete. No new jury trials will begin prior to February 1, 2021. Exceptions may be granted for in-person proceedings under limited circumstances.
- Remote Hearings: All hearings will be conducted remotely. Exceptions may be granted for in-person proceedings under limited circumstances.
- Public Access: At least one counter service window must be open during normal business hours. Services may be provided remotely or by appointment only. See below for current information on public access to our court facilities.
- Self-Help Center services are available by phone and email.
Effective November 30, 2020 Dakota County will have public counter and public access terminals available as follows:
- Judicial Center, Hastings: Open for walk-in service
- Western Service Center, Apple Valley: Appointments are required. Contact (952) 891-7299 to schedule an appointment
- Northern Service Center, West St. Paul: Closed
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.