Hearing Office Opens on Saturdays in Hennepin County
Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
The Fourth Judicial District serving Hennepin County will now schedule appointments with hearing officers on Saturday mornings for court customers to resolve tickets. Hearings will be held at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, 401 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis, the second Saturday of each month, from 8 a.m. to noon. The new Saturday hearings will be available starting April 26, 2014.
Individuals who receive a payable ticket in Hennepin County have the option to pay a fine or see a hearing officer to discuss payment options or dispute the ticket.
Appointments continue to be available Monday-Friday at four additional Hennepin County court locations.
To make an appointment with a hearing officer, call 612-348-2040, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Walk-ins will not be accepted on Saturdays.
“Expanding the hours of the Hearing Office provides people with the opportunity to have the court consider their case without having to take time off from work,” said Fourth Judicial District Administrator Mark Thompson. “In 2013, hearing officers conducted administrative hearings on 159,015 citations with 192,387 charges in Hennepin County. Offering Saturday morning appointments to the citizens of Hennepin County increases their access to justice.”
Restorative justice is available to individuals unable to pay fines. A referral to the Hennepin County Sentence to Service (STS) program provides court customers with the opportunity to “work off” the fine in lieu of cash payment. STS work shifts are available seven days per week.
Hearing officers are district court employees, and are the first people court customers see regarding any payable traffic, parking, or criminal ticket. Hearing officers examine each individual situation to offer the best resolution possible under existing guidelines and laws.
The extended hours in the Hearing Office is a collaborative effort between the Fourth Judicial District and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.
“Unresolved parking tickets, fines, and fees prevent people from getting jobs, securing housing and moving forward with their daily activities,” commented Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins, Second District. “Offering diversion, a payment plan, or community service instead of a fine gives hope to get back on track.”
“I want to thank the Fourth District bench for providing this opportunity, we’re all better off if people can get back on a productive path,” says Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Fourth District. “This initiative will help make that happen.”
For more information, visit the Fourth Judicial District Tickets and Fines website.