Ramsey County Juvenile and Family Court

Juvenile and Family Court oversees the areas of: Domestic Abuse/Harassment, Family Court, and Juvenile Court.

Please note: The Juvenile and Family Justice Center is downtown and does not provide parking. 

Domestic Abuse /Harassment

Juvenile and Family Justice Center
25 W. 7th St. #B122
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5130

The primary function of the Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office is to provide clerical assistance with the writing and filing of a petition for an Order for Protection (OFP) and/or Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) in Ramsey County.
 

Family Court

15 W. Kellogg Blvd
Room #160
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-2842

Family Court oversees court cases involving family matters, such as dissolutions of marriage, parenting time schedules and disputes, child custody issues, child support establishment and modification, and paternity cases.
 

Juvenile Court

Juvenile and Family Justice Center
25 W. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5115

Ramsey County Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over matters involving persons under 18 years of age who have been charged with a delinquent act, status or traffic violation. Juvenile Court also handles matters involving child protection, child protection-permanency, and adoptions.
 

Juvenile and Family Justice Center

25 West 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5115

Juvenile Court handles any Criminal or Traffic charge against a person under 16 years of age.  It also handles charges against people between 16 and 18 years of age if the charge is a misdemeanor.  Petty misdemeanors traffic offenses charged against 16 to 18-year-olds are handled by the Traffic Violations Bureau.

How do I resolve a Juvenile Court traffic offense?

If the case has been referred to Juvenile Court, a notice will be mailed to the address on the citation.  The notice will tell you if the offense if payable or court-required. This process can take 6-8 weeks.  Please note that the 21 day deadline mentioned on the citation does not apply to a case processed through Juvenile Court.  If you do not receive a notice or if the addess on the citation is incorrect, contact the Juvenile Court at (651) 266-5115.

How does a parent hear that charges have been filed?

If a juvenile is in custody, the Juvenile Detention Center staff makes every effort to contact the custodial parents immediately.

If the juvenile was not taken into custody, the court sends a notice to both the parent and child at the address provided on the petition.

My child has been arrested. Where is he/she?

In Ramsey County, juveniles are held at the Juvenile Detention Center at the Juvenile and Family Court Justice Center at the address above. 

Please visit the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center web page for more information about:

  • How to visit your child when he or she is in custody
  • How to get your child released
  • And other questions

Where will the case be heard?

If the case is filed in Ramsey County, the first hearing will be at:

Juvenile and Family Justice Center
25 West 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5115

Subsequent hearings may be held in the county where the child lives.

What is my next court date?

Juvenile matters are not published on the internet.  Call the Juvenile Court office at (651) 266-5115.  Please have any paperwork with you when you call.

Can I change the court date?

Yes, in certain circumstances.  The answer will depend on the level of offense, whether continuances have been granted to you before, and the type of hearing. Call the Juvenile Court at (651) 266-5115 to see if this is possible. Call as soon as possible. Same-day continuances are not commonly granted.

What do I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?

Turn yourself in at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, 425 Grove Street in St. Paul.  In many cases, you may call the Juvenile Court office at the number above to request a hearing to quash the warrant. 
Note: the warrant remains active until you appear at the court hearing.

Juvenile and Family Justice Center

25 West 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5115

What should I do if I suspect child abuse or neglect?

Report it.  In Ramsey County, these reports are handled by Ramsey County Child Protection Services.  Outside of Ramsey County, visit the Child Protection and Child Welfare page of the MN Department of Human Services website for the agency in your area.  If it's an emergency situation, call your local police or dial 911.

What happens when a report of child abuse is made?

Child abuse charges against adults are handled by the Criminal Court.  Reports of abuse are reviewed by Ramsey County Social Services.  If Social Services determines a petition is appropriate, they will file a CHIPS (Children In need of Protection or Services) petition with Juvenile Court.

If a child I know has been taken out of the home by Child Protection, can I request that the child live with me?

If you would like the child to be placed with you, contact Ramsey County Social Services, Child Protection division at (651) 266-4444.  Let them know that there is an active child protection case and ask to speak with the social worker in charge of the case.

Can I change my court date?

If you are represented, you should contact your attorney. Changing a court date in a child protection proceeding requires a motion, notification to all other parties and a proposed order. The continuance must be approved by the Judge.

I am a relative of a child who has been taken out of the home.  How can I be involved in this case?

Contact the Court at the number above to request that you receive notices for child protection court hearings. You may contact Ramsey County Social Services to request additional information about the case or to speak to the social worker assigned.

Juvenile and Family Justice Center

25 West 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5115

How do I adopt a child?

File a Petition for Adoption with the court along with the applicable fee.  You must be a resident of Ramsey County.  Adoption can be complicated; consider seeking the advice of an attorney.

More informationabout Adoption »

For Records contact:

District Court Records
15 West Kellogg Blvd. Room 72
St. Paul MN 55102
Phone: (651) 266-8237
Fax: (651) 266-9165
 

Are all Juvenile records sealed?

No, juvenile cases are not generally sealed. However, many juvenile records are not available to the public and some records may be accessed by court order. Legal records for juveniles 16 or older who are charged with felony offenses are generally open to the public.
 

Will my record go away when I turn 18?

No. Court records are retained for a fixed period of time.  Other agencies may keep records according to their own rules.

More information about District Court Record Retention »
 

How do I view my Juvenile record?

Submit a Request to Access Delinquency Records or a Request to Access CHIPS Records to District Court Records at the address above. You may request a summary of your case record, but you may need to obtain a court order to access additional documents.
 

Can I authorize release of my Juvenile record?

No. MN Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch determine who may have access and a person cannot bypass these rules through a release. Access not otherwise allowed would require a court order.
 

How do I request expungement of a Juvenile record?

File a Petition for Expungement with Juvenile Court. Contact Juvenile Court at 
(651) 266-5115 for a hearing date before you serve the paperwork. You may use the Criminal Expungement forms and instructions, but you will need to modify them to comply with juvenile court requirements.  Expungement is a complicated process.  You may want to seek the advice of an attorney.
 

How do I get a background check that includes my juvenile record?

Request a background check from the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). The BCA's phone number is (651) 793-2400.  Juvenile court records only provide access to specific documents in specific court cases. We do not handle background checks.

Family Court Overview

Family Court oversees court cases involving family matters such as dissolutions of marriage, parenting time schedules and disputes, child custody issues, child support establishment and modification, and paternity cases.

Family Court judges, referees, and magistrates hold court hearings on these issues, and the Family Court Clerk’s Office maintains the court files and provides access to records and documents.

In July, 2009, the Second Judicial District implemented Early Case Management, specific resources can be found on the ENE/ECM Help Topic.
 

Location of Family Court

The Family Court Clerk's Office is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55102. Courtrooms for Family Court hearings before referees and magistrates are located in Room 190 of the Courthouse. Courtrooms for Family Court hearings before judges are located at the Juvenile and Family Justice Center, 25 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN. The Family Court Clerk's office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Family Court Organization

Records and Filing Unit
The Family Court Records and Filing Unit is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse. Responsibilities of this unit include maintaining permanent Family Court records, processing documents for filing within those records, responding to requests for copies and information, and collecting appropriate fees. Please see our FAQs  or call (651) 266-2842 for more information.

Approximately 100,000 paper files are maintained by this unit. Other permanent files are kept in archival form either microfilmed records or imaged records. Dissolution records before 1981 are maintained by the Civil Division Records Unit, (651) 266-8237.

Child Support Unit
The Family Court Child Support Unit is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse. Responsibilities of this unit include processing IV-D child support matters, scheduling and holding hearings regarding those cases, and responding to requests for copies and information. Hearings within this unit are heard by child support magistrates. Please see the Self-Help Service Centertab or call (651) 266-2831 for more information.

Assignment Unit
The Assignment Unit responsibilities include scheduling and holding hearings regarding Family Court cases other than IV-D child support matters, staffing the Self-Help Service Center, and responding to requests for information. Hearings within this unit are heard by Family Court judges and referees. Please see the Self-Help Service Center tab or call (651) 266-5125 for more information.

When and where is my next court date?

Check online, in the Search Court Records section of this site, or call us at the number above.  Be prepared to provide your case number.


How do I schedule a motion hearing?

If you are an attorney, contact a scheduling clerk in Family Court for a hearing date.  If you are representing yourself, come in to the Family Court Self-Help Service Center to schedule a hearing. 
 

What should I do if I can't appear at a hearing that's been scheduled? / Can I request a new court date?

Submit a written Request for Continuance for a new hearing date to Family Court in Room 160.  The court will also accept a letter.  Send a copy of the request to all other parties in the case.  The judicial officer will issue an order granting or denying your request or a scheduling clerk will contact you.

Are files confidential?

Actions for dissolution of marriage, child custody, and child support are public cases.   Actions to establish paternity are confidential cases.

Regarding documents, some documents in public cases are confidential.  Any document within a confidential case is confidential.


How do I view a file?

Non-confidential case information is online through the Access Case Records page.  File documents may be viewed by coming to the Family Court office on Kellogg Blvd (the addresson the right).  You will need a photo ID if the information is restricted to parties in the case.

How do I obtain a copy of a court document?
Copies may be purchased at the Kellogg Blvd location above.  There is a fee.

You may also mail a request to the Kellogg Blvd office along with a check made out to Ramsey District Court.  Tell us which document you would like to receive and the file number.  It will take about two to four weeks to complete your request.

Copies of confidential documents are available only to the parties and their attorneys.  When requesting a copy of a confidential document at the counter, a driver's license or state-issued ID must be produced.  If requesting a copy by mail, a photocopy of the license or ID must accompany the written request.


How do I obtain a transcript of a hearing?

Transcripts are prepared upon request. Contact the court reporter and request it.    To contact the court reporter, call (651) 266-8303. The court reporter will give you an estimate of the cost and timeline.

If your hearing was in front of a Child Support Magistrate, submit a Request for Transcript form. The transcriber will contact you regarding cost and timeline.


How much does it cost to file?

Current fees are available on the Family Court Fee Schedule.


Can court fees be waived if I can't afford to pay them?

Yes, but you are expected to provide financial information to demonstrate that you cannot pay.  This information must be verifiable.  The process is known as In Forma Pauperis (IFP), and you must submit an IFP form.  If you have questions about the form, Family Court Self-Help Service Center staff can review the document with you.
Announcement:

Family Court Seeks Applicants for Financial Early Neutral Evaluation and Social Early Neutral Evaluation Rosters

The Second Judicial District Family Court Division is again seeking applications for Financial Early Neutral Evaluation and for private Social Early Neutral Evaluation providers. Applications will be accepted through Friday, June 29, 2018.
Application instructions and more information about Early Neutral Evaluation »


The Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center is located on the first floor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Center at 25 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN.


About the Service Center

Front Desk Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Walk-in Review Hours
Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Availability is on a first come, first served basis

Appointment Review Hours
Monday - Friday
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Call (651) 266-5152 to schedule an appointment 

Walk-in customers will be accepted between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m, Monday through Thursday.

  • Availability is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • It is required to have all documents reviewed by Self-Help Center staff if you are representing yourself in a Family Court matter.
  • If you are unable to arrive during walk-in hours, you will need to schedule an appointment in order to have your documents reviewed.

Purpose

The Family Court Self-Help Service Center (SHSC) provides self- represented litigants with access to forms available from the Minnesota Judicial Branch, explains processes and procedures to self- represented litigants, provides information about other resources to assist self- represented litigants, and reviews self- represented litigants documents for completeness and adequacy.  These services are limited to dissolution of marriage, child support, paternity, custody and parenting time matters in Ramsey County. 

The scope of services for the SHSC does not include assistance for Court of Appeals, annulment of marriage, legal separation, or grandparent visitation matters.  Additionally, the scope of services for the SHSC does not include assistance with matters outside the scope of Ramsey County Family Court, including adoptions, termination of parental rights, or domestic abuse cases, civil, criminal, juvenile, or probate matters.

Court staff cannot provide legal assistance and cannot act as an attorney for self- represented litigants.  If an individual chooses to be self-represented, that individual will have the same responsibility as an attorney to follow court rules and procedures to move the case forward.

Please remember that Self-Help personnel are not responsible for the outcome of your case.

 


What to Expect

When you file a motion regarding modifying child support in an existing case or if you want to start a dissolution/divorce action, custody action, or similar family court action or motion:
  • The Self-Help Service Center can provide you with forms and instructions appropriate to your situation; however, the Center does not have forms for every situation.  A fee is charged for form packets.  You may pay by cash, personal check, Visa or MasterCard.
  • Form checklists are available at the Self-Help Service Center to assist in completing the form.
  • Standard motion packets are are available at the Self-Help Service Center for $5.00.  These forms are also available, at no cost, at Get Forms.
You may take the forms home to complete or complete them at the Center.  However, all appropriate supporting documentation (pay stubs, proof of public assistance, most recent tax returns, child support calculator worksheets, etc.) must be included.

When you have completed the forms and have attached all appropriate documentation, return the documents to the Self-Help Service Center.  You will either need to arrive as a walk-in between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday, or schedule an appointment to have your documents reviewed.  You may not return your documents by mail unless you live at least 100 miles outside of the Metro area.

While you wait, court staff will review your documents for neatness, readability, completeness, and consistency.

Once your forms have been reviewed and are ready to be submitted for filing with the Court, you will be required to pay a filing fee.  See Filing Fee Schedule.  Filing fees may be waived by court order if you meet certain financial requirements. Fee waiver forms are available at the Self-Help Service Center.  Fee waivers are valid for one year and must be renewed when expired.

Your forms must be complete in order to be assisted at the Self-Help Service Center. Court staff cannot help you complete your forms.

Because we give you and others individual attention, you may need to wait for assistance. 

Please plan to spend 1-2 hours at the Self-Help Service Center and do not expect to take care of your business in one visit. Also, please remember that Self-Help personnel are not responsible for the outcome of your case nor can they provide legal advice or strategy.


Certificate of Settlement Efforts Now Required

On February 15th, 2012, the Second Judicial Family Court announced that it will now require a Certificate of Settlement be filed prior to any motion scheduled to be heard by the court.  
Pursuant to Rule 303.03(c) of the MN Family Court Rules, Settlement Efforts.

Except in parentage cases when there has been no court determination of the existence of the parent and child relationship, and except in situations where a court has ordered that no contact occur between the parties, the moving party shall, within 7 days of filing a motion, initiate a settlement conference either in person, or by telephone, or in writing in an attempt to resolve the issues raised.  Unless ADR is not required under Rule 310, this conference shall include consideration of an appropriate ADR process under Rule 114. The moving party shall certify to the court compliance with this rule or any reasons for not complying.  The moving party shall file a Certificate of Settlement Efforts in the form developed by the state court administrator not later than 24 hours before the hearing.  Unless excused by the Court for good cause, no motion shall be heard unless the parties have complied with this rule.  Whenever any pending motion is settled, the moving party shall promptly advise the court.

Failure to file the Certificate of Settlement may result in a motion to be stricken from the court’s calendar.

The Certificate of Settlement is available on the Second Judicial website Certificate of Settlement Efforts, or at the Family Self-Help Service Center.


Legal Clinic

A legal clinic is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3:00 p.m. for parties proceeding without attorneys. To schedule an appointment with a volunteer attorney at this legal clinic, call (651) 266-5125. For more information, please see our brochure.


Child Support Motion Clinic

If you need assistance completing your child support motion forms, the Self-Help Service Center holds a child support motion clinic on the first and third Fridays of the month at 9:00 a.m.  Please see the flier for more information.

Contact

Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center
Juvenile and Family Justice Center
25 West 7th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5125
 

Juvenile and Family Justice Center

Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office
25 West 7th St. #B122
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5130

Services in the Ramsey County Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office are generally provided on a walk-in basis. Accommodations may be made for individuals who do not speak English as their first language or for individuals that may require other special accommodations due to the inability to read and/or write English. Please call the office prior to coming in to make those arrangements.

Our office assists in the writing and filing of Petitions for Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders. We encourage you to call the Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office for information about the filing process. A clerk will ask you a few questions to help you determine which petition to file, and to determine if Ramsey County is the proper county for you to file your documents. You may obtain forms online or the clerk will provide them to you upon arrival. You must complete the paperwork.

Our office is part of a community collaborative that provide services to victims of domestic abuse. Additional assistance may be available for you. Please go to Bridges to Safety's website for additional information.

Once your paperwork is completed and turned into the clerk, a clerk will draft and/or review the Petition and Affidavit and a proposed order for the Judicial Officer to consider. Then, the clerk will route the paperwork to a Judicial Officer for consideration. 

Upon receipt of the Judicial Officer's decision, the clerk will contact you, provide you with copies and information about next steps.
 
 

What is an Order for Protection (OFP) and a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO)?

See Basics on Domestic Abuse & Harassment


Will a hearing be required?

It depends. A request for certain relief will require a hearing; the Petitioner may request a hearing; the Respondent may request a hearing within the time provided in statute; or the Judge may order a hearing.

How is the paperwork served upon (received by) the Respondent?

If an address is provided for the Respondent, the clerk will forward the order to be served.

A sheriff will attempt to personally serve the Respondent at the addresses that the Petitioner provided, with a copy of the Petition and Order including the details of allegations and indicating any court date and conditions of the order.

The Petitioner may call the sheriff’s department to find out if the order was served.

If a court hearing is set the Petitioner must appear in court, regardless of service results.

If there is no court appearance set and service is unsuccessful, the Petitioner may return to the Domestic Abuse and Harassment Office to sign an Affidavit and Order for Alternate Service or Publication.


How does a person dismiss or change an Order?

The party seeking a change to the Order needs to file the appropriate paperwork to motion to amend or dismiss the order along with a filing fee, if required.


What if the Petitioner Moves?

File a Notice of Change of Address with the Domestic Abuse and Harassment Office. Upon request, the Petitioner’s address may remain confidential.

What if a party needs an interpreter?

The party needing the interpreter should contact the Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office at (651) 266-5130 so that the clerks may arrange for an interpreter for appointments and court appearances.

May I be represented by an attorney?

You may choose to retain an attorney to represent you or you may represent yourself, however attorneys (i.e. public defenders) are not appointed to represent you in Domestic Abuse/Harassment cases.

How do I request a continuance for my court hearing?

You must submit any request and supporting documentation to continue the matter in writing, as soon as possible. The request will be forwarded to the Judicial Officer and the response, if any, will be provided to you.

What Happens at Court?

The Respondent and Petitioner should appear.
The parties should bring their petition and order and any witnesses or evidence to court with them.
The parties may be represented by an attorney.
The Judicial Officer may ask the Petitioner if s/he still wants the Order.
The Judicial Officer may ask the Respondent how s/he would like to respond to the issuance of an Order.
If the Respondent requests an evidentiary hearing (trial) and there is not sufficient time to conduct a trial or if the Respondent was not served with enough notice, the judicial officer may continue the case to another date.
If there is a trial, the judicial officer will hear the case and either issue an order or dismiss it. If the order is issued, all or some of the requested relief may be granted.
 

What should I do if the Respondent violates the order?

Contact law enforcement to report the violation.