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Expedited Civil Litigation Track Pilot Project Begins July 1

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Minnesota Supreme Court has adopted court rule amendments authorizing an Expedited Civil Litigation Track Pilot Project, effective July 1, 2013. Some new civil cases filed in the district courts in Dakota County (the Hastings location) and the city of Duluth, which is in St. Louis County, will be assigned to the pilot track.

The goal of the project is to test whether a process that assures early involvement by a judge, limited discovery, curtailed continuances, and the setting of a trial date within four to six months can reduce the duration and cost of civil suits.

“We want people a year from now to say that this is a great way to get these cases done quickly,” said Dakota County District Court Judge Jerome Abrams, who was on the Civil Justice Reform Task Force, which recommended the amendments.

The pilot project, which will focus on cases involving contract disputes, consumer credit, personal injury, and some other types of civil cases, could affect as many as 450 cases in Dakota County and 150 in Duluth over a 12-month period.

Judges will determine if cases meet certain criteria in Duluth, and in Dakota County, cases will be assigned randomly.

Case Management:

  • Mandatory Early Case Management Conference
  • Trial Date Certain within 4-6 Months
  • No Continuances (unless extraordinary circumstances as decided by the judge)

Read the Supreme Court order, the special rules, and the amendments (PDF)

For additional information contact:

  • Dakota County: 651-438-8199 (Civil Division)
  • St. Louis County -Duluth: 218-726-2460, X3 (Civil Division)

Note:  This is a pilot and will be evaluated after one year. Attorneys and litigants will be asked to complete an electronic survey when the case is closed to aid in the evaluation process.  Thank you in advance for participating in the evaluation.