COVID-19 Information

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required in courtrooms and public spaces of court facilities. Individuals should talk to court staff immediately upon entry if they do not have access to a face covering or have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one. Face coverings will be provided to individuals who do not have access to one. Judges may direct people to remove face coverings as necessary to conduct court hearings.
 

Distancing

Distancing measures should be considered among people while in court facilities to the extent possible.
 

Symptoms and Contact

Do not visit any court facility if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. 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.
 

Current Court Operations

The following types of hearings and trials may take place in person:
 

  • 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.

  • Remote Hearings: All other district court proceedings will be held remotely unless the chief judge 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 will continue to be conducted by appointment, remotely, or by telephone.

  • Courthouse Terminals are available based on hours established by the local district court. See below for more details.

 

Health and Safety Protocols

All courts are expected to meet conditions established by the Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (October 18, 2021). The Plan addresses exposure control measures and specific recommendations the Judicial Branch will follow to manage in-person activities in a manner that prioritizes health and safety.
 
Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Orders and Information »
Safety Reopening Court Facilities Resources »

Face Coverings

Face coverings may be required in courtrooms and public spaces of our court facilities.  Contact us for more information.  Individuals may wear face coverings in court facilities if they choose to do so.  Judges may direct people to remove face coverings as necessary to conduct court hearings.

When entering the Sibley County courthouse please note:
  • Hand-sanitizing stations are available, and
  • Disclose if you have had any COVID-19 symptoms or are not feeling well
If you have a court case scheduled in Sibley County District Court, call (507) 237-4051 to determine if your case will be heard or scheduled to a future date. You may also contact the court by email.

If you do not have access to internet, or are unable to connect by video and audio for a Zoom hearing, please contact the local Court Administrator’s Office for further information.

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.