Referee Melissa J. Houghtaling

Hennepin County Courthouse
Fourth Judicial District
(612) 348-2040

Chambers Phone: (612) 543-4962
Law Clerk: (612) 543-3880

Fourth Judicial District Judicial Officers

Referee Melissa J. Houghtaling
Appointed:January 2018, Hennepin County Civil and Criminal Divisions
Education:J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 2007
B.A., Hamline University, 2002 
Employment:Human Services Judge, Minnesota Department of Human Services (2017)
Appeals Attorney, Minnesota Tax Court (2016-2017)
Hearing Officer, Saint Paul Public Housing (2017)
Conciliation Court Referee, 2nd and 4th Judicial Districts (2015-2017)
Private Practice (2007-2016)
Professional Memberships:Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Legislative Committee (2007-2011)
Member, Minnesota Lavender Bar Association
  • Chair (2008-2010)
  • Treasurer (2010-2011)
  • Board of Directors (2004-2011)
Member Ramsey County Bar Association
  • Family Law Section Co-Chair (2012-2014)
Member, Minnesota Women Lawyers
Member, National LGBT Bar Association
Community Activities:2017 St. Paul Civilian Police Academy
St. Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission
  • Chair (2017)
  • Rules Committee Chair (2014-2017)
Volunteer Lawyers Network
MSBA High School Mock Trial Program
Teaching:Adjunct Professor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law (2017-2018)
  • Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion
  • Internship Supervising Attorney
Adjunct Professor, Hamline University (2012-2017)
  • Legal Research and Writing  
  • Family and Gender Issues in Law
Adjunct Professor, Inver Hills Community College (2011-2016)
  • Family Law
  • Field Supervising Attorney

Publications:Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook, 3rd Ed., Chapter 20: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Families, Fall 2016
Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook, 2nd Ed., Chapter 20: LGBT Family Issues
The Complete Family Lawyer, Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples, November 2015
Marriage Equality in Minnesota for the Already Married, Lavender Magazine, August 8, 2013.
Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families Deskbook, 2nd Ed. December 2010, updated December 2014.