WASHINGTON COUNTY DISTRICT COURT

Minnesota map with Washington County highlighted.

Washington County Courts

Locations and DirectionsWashington County Courthouse
14949 62nd Street North
P.O. Box 3802
Stillwater, MN 55082
Phone: (651) 430-6279
Fax: (651) 430-6300
Get Directions to Washington County Courthouse
Hours of Business and HolidaysWashington County Courthouse Hours
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
*Note: Court Administration opens at 9:00 on Tuesdays. This means that each Tuesday morning counter services and public phone lines are unavailable for the one-hour period from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.; however court remains in session as scheduled.

Washington County South Service Center Hours
Hearing Office only by appointment (651) 430-6279

Court Holidays
 

Washington County Judicial Officers

Chief Judge John C. Hoffman

Chief Judge John C. Hoffman Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge B. William Ekstrum

Judge B. William Ekstrum Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Gregory G. Galler

Judge Gregory G. Galler Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Mary E. Hannon

Judge Mary E. Hannon Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Richard C. Ilkka

Judge Richard C. Ilkka Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Tad V. Jude

Judge Tad V. Jude Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Ellen L. Maas

Judge Ellen L. Maas Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge John R. McBride

Judge John R. McBride Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Susan Miles

Judge Susan Miles Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Judge Gary R. Schurrer

Judge Gary R. Schurrer Tenth Judicial District
Washington

Administration

Annette Fritz, Court Administrator
Washington County Courthouse

14949 62nd Street North
P.O. Box 3802
Stillwater, MN 55082
map
Phone:  (651) 430-6263

The Department of Court Administration is responsible for carrying out the non-judicial functions of the court including:

  • Management of the jury
  • Court finances
  • Fines collection
  • Case flow management of all civil, criminal, traffic, juvenile, family and probate matters
  • Records management

In addition, Court Administration provides a wide range of services to the public, judges, attorneys, agencies and other members of the judicial branch.

Annette Fritz was sworn in as the Washington County Court Administrator and Clerk of District Court for Washington County on July 27, 2009.

The Court Administrator:

  • Develops and implements all policies, programs and procedures for the Office of Court Administration
  • Oversees all activities and functions of Court Administration and its employees
  • Administers personnel regulations of the State Judicial Branch employees and the provisions of collective bargaining agreements
  • Approves and administers records retention/destruction policy
  • Ensures security of all court records and exhibits
  • Oversees administration of the court departmental budget

The Clerk of District Court, known as the Court Administrator, is a public official; the office is created by Article VI, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota.  Appointment of the Court Administrator is by the Judges of the Tenth Judicial District with the authority to act as set forth in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 485.

Washington County Court is located in Stillwater, MN.
 

Policies and Procedures

Court CalendarCourt calendars reflect scheduled courtroom hearings, but they do not include all matters handled by the court each day.

Confidential cases are not posted in this calendar, so if your case does not appear on the calendar, do not assume that your court appearance has been cancelled or rescheduled.

The calendar is in searchable .PDF format. You can use your computer or mobile device to find your name or the name of an attorney.
 
Washington County Weekly Public Court Calendar

Please note:                                                                                                                                   
 
  • This calendar is posted at 7:00 AM each business day and updated hourly throughout the day.                                                                                                                                  
  • Calendar hearings are subject to change as there are often changes in scheduled cases, judge assignments, and courtroom assignments.
  • Printed calendars located outside the courtrooms or in public lobbies contain the most current daily calendar information.
  • If you have any questions about the calendar, please contact the local court administrator’s office.
  • Information in the calendar is subject to the MN Rules of Public Access.

The Criminal Division is responsible for processing higher level and/or court-required criminal and traffic charges which occur within Washington County. 

Criminal charging documents may be in the form of a citation (after which a Notice with a court date is mailed to the defendant at the address noted on the citation) or a formal complaint (which is served upon the defendant by a peace officer).

Criminal and traffic cases are scheduled for court at the Washington County Courthouse in Stillwater, with office hours of Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30.  Questions regarding your court appearance can be addressed by calling (651) 430-6279.

Examples of court-required charges

Hit and Run; Underage Drink and Drive; Theft; charges involving an accident or endangering life or property (will be indicated on citation).
 

Your first appearance in court

A first appearance is where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  If you plead not guilty, a pretrial or court trial is scheduled. If you enter a plea of guilty, you will be sentenced at that time. The court encourages you to resolve the matter at the first appearance, when the city or county attorney is present to discuss the facts of the case. The Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program offers representation on cases at misdemeanor level or higher - call (651) 748-9373 for more information. 

This is a large volume court hearing, and you can expect to be at the court for several hours.
If you are assessed a fine, you are expected to pay it before leaving or arrange a payment plan.
If the charge is alcohol- or assault-related, you may be required to be assessed by the Corrections Department.
         
Advisory of Rights Video (.wmv file)
 

You have a right to an attorney

If you are not comfortable representing yourself in court, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. An attorney is your representative in court. No one else you will see in the courtroom is rightfully entitled or obligated to protect your rights. If you don't think you can afford an attorney, but feel that you need one, you can ask the Court to appoint an attorney to represent you. You may request the Application Form when you check in for court, complete the form while waiting, and submit it to the Clerk prior to the start of court, or the Judge when your case is called. You will be assessed a co-pay of $75.00 if you qualify for the services. 
 

Failure to Appear Notice

If you fail to pay your fine or appear for the court date, additional penalties may be added.  Extended delays may cause a warrant to be issued for your arrest or suspension of your driver's license. 
 

Misdemeanor offenders

A person charged with a misdemeanor who intentionally fails to appear in court for trial on the charge after having been notified that a failure to appear for court appearance is a criminal offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or payment of a fine of not more than $1000, or both. M.S. § 609.49, subdivision 2. 

All fines are due on the day they are imposed in court.

If you need reasonable accommodations, an interpreter, or other assistance, call (651) 430-4422.  If you cannot communicate by voice, phone our TTY number at (651) 430-6246.  

The Washington County Civil Division is a very diverse division of District Court which deals with

Name Changes

After you have completed an Application for Name Change form, bring or mail the completed, notarized application, along with a filing fee, to:
Washington County Court Administration
Civil Division
14949 62nd St. N.
P.O. Box 3802
Stillwater, MN  55082

Family Court

Family Court is a division of District Court, which deals with cases involving families, such as:

Related Links

Juvenile Court is a division of District Court, which deals with cases involving children under the age of 18.  Various types of cases are heard in Juvenile Court including: With very limited exceptions, juvenile files are confidential.
 

Juvenile Traffic Offenders

A juvenile traffic offender is any child alleged to have committed a traffic offense, except those children under the jurisdiction of adult court as provided in Minn. Stat. § 260B.225. A traffic offense is any violation of a state or local traffic law, ordinance, or regulation, or a federal, state or local water traffic law.

Generally, 16- and 17-year-old children charged with petty misdemeanor traffic offenses are under the jurisdiction of adult court.  See Traffic Court tab for instructions on how to resolve those cases.

Probate Court has jurisdiction over cases concerning the disposition of property belonging to deceased persons, administration of court-supervised trusts, and proceedings to create guardianships and conservatorships for minor children, incapacitated or incompetent adults.

Probate law is based on the ecclesiastical law of the church and historically this court was known as the "widows and orphans court."  The Probate Court now operates under and modification of the Uniform Probate Code, specifically Minnesota Statutes 524 and 525, and the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Mental Health has the obligation of committing persons to treatment centers with the allegation of Mental Illness, Mental Retardation, Chemical Dependency, Psychopathic Personality and referrals from Criminal Court. The Mental Health Unit is governed by Minnesota Statutes 253B.
 

Newspaper publications (where to publish notices)
Guardianships/Conservatorships
Mental Health/Civil Commitments
Probate/Trust Information and Forms
Conciliation Court is a division of Civil Court. Minnesota law created Conciliation Court, also called Small Claims Court. This court allows citizens to bring their legal claims to court without expensive costs or complicated legal procedures.

The Washington County Violations Bureau is responsible for processing cases that are payable and/or do not require a court appearance.  (Offenses that require a court appearance are handled by the Criminal Division.)  Defendants who receive payable citations can either pay the ticket (which constitutes a plea of guilty to all offenses) or see a hearing officer to negotiate a settlement of the case. 

Convenient Traffic Ticket Resolution Service

The following is a description of the Hearing Officer Program. The Washington County Violations Bureau provides the opportunity to meet with a hearing officer at either the Stillwater Courthouse or the Washington County Service Center - Cottage Grove to attempt resolution of petty misdemeanor and payable misdemeanor cases.

Hearing officers are available to review payable ticket offenses including parking, traffic, and some misdemeanors.  Moving violations, driver's license suspensions, vehicle registration, and insurance violations are a few examples of cases which may be conveniently resolved with a hearing officer in lieu of a court appearance. Settlement options can include reducing the fine, keeping the offense off of the driver's record or, in some cases, dismissing the citation.

The Violations Bureau will not handle matters requiring a court appearance, such as hit and run, underage drink and drive, driving while impaired (DWI) and theft charges.

Defendants have the right to a court hearing with a judge if a settlement cannot be reached with a hearing officer.  The service is offered at two locations:
 

Hearings by Mail

Defendants living 70+ miles from the Washington County Government Center are allowed "hearings by mail" to resolve payable citations.  The defendant should mail or fax a letter to the hearing officer containing the following information:
  1. Addressed to:  "Hearing Officer Mail" at: 14949 62nd St. N., P.O. Box 3802, Stillwater, MN 55082;
  2. Include a copy of the citation;
  3. Include a legible copy of the driver's license;
  4. Include a copy of an internet mapping documentation (e.g. Mapquest) confirming defendant's residence is 70+ miles from the Washington County Government Center;
  5. An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the offense(s);
  6. Mail to the address noted above, or fax to (651) 430-6300.
The hearing officer will review the above and, if approved, a return letter outlining options and appropriate court document(s) will be sent to the defendant for signature.  The defendant will then sign, have his/her signature notarized, and mail the completed document(s) to the hearing officer with a check/money order, if required. 

For questions regarding this procedure, call (651) 430-6279.


Traffic Ticket Options in Washington County

Payable Offences

Every citation is either payable or requires a court appearance (call (651) 430-6279 to determine status).  If it is payable, you need to choose one of the following two options within 30 days of the date of your offense:
 
Payable Option 1: Pay the fine in full.

Any payment is:
  1. A plea of guilty to all offenses charged on the citation.
  2. An admission that you understand and voluntarily waive the following rights to:
  • a trial to the court or jury;
  • be represented by counsel;
  • be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt;
  • confront and cross-examine all witnesses against you;
  • either remain silent or to testify on your own behalf;
  • subpoena witnesses.
Payment Options:  Have your citation number available.
  • Online:  MasterCard or Visa
  • Phone:  MasterCard or Visa:  (651) 281-3219 or (800) 657-3611
  • Mail:  Check or money order payable to Court Administration
Minnesota Court Payment Center
P.O. Box 898
Willmar, MN  56201

For more infomation on court debts that have gone to collections, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.

Notice of Surcharge:Per Minnesota Statute 357.021 Subd. 6, a state surcharge must be imposed on fines.  Parking offenses $12, all other criminal and traffic $75.
A charge of $30 will be assessed to all returned checks.
Issuance of a worthless check to the court is a crime (MS 609.113 subd 2)

Payable Option 2: See a Hearing Officer at the Violations Bureau
Appear in person, with photo ID and your citation, to attempt a settlement on your payable offense (settlement options may include reducing the fine, keeping the offense off of the driver's record or, in some cases, dismissing the charge).  If an agreement cannot be reached a court date may be scheduled.  Hours/locations are as follows:

Washington County Government Center
14949 62nd Street North
Stillwater, MN 55082
map

Walk-in service (no appointments) Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesdays office opens at 9:00 am
  • May not be available over the lunch hour
Washington County Service Center - Cottage Grove
13000 Ravine Parkway South
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
map

By appointment only: (651) 430-6279
Learn more from the Hearing Officer Program Brochure.  

No Insurance/No Proof of Insurance:  As of July 1, 2009, insurance charges became payable.   However, if you provide a copy of your insurance card or policy which indicates that you had insurance for the vehicle you were driving at the time of the offense - and you provide this proof within 30 days of the date of offense - the charge will be administratively dismissed.  The card or policy must show beginning and ending dates of coverage, and cannot be a bill or statement.  It may be mailed, brought in person, or faxed.  If you did not have or are unable to provide proof of insurance, the charge remains payable; however be aware that a conviction on an insurance charge is subject to ramifications from the Department of Public Safety.  Contact the Department of Public Safety at (651) 296-6911 for more information.
 
Failure to Appear Notice:  Failure to pay the fine, see a hearing officer and/or appear in court if required will result in additional penalties including:  issuance of a warrant, driver license suspense, entry of guilty plea and/or referral to collections.  MS 169.92
 

Court-required Offenses

If your citation requires a court appearance:

  1. A Notice with your court date will be mailed to you at the address noted on your citation.
  2. If you have questions regarding your court appearance, call (651) 430-6279.


Examples of court-required charges:
Hit and Run; Underage Drink and Drive; Theft; charges involving an accident or endangering life or property (will be indicated on citation). 

Your first appearance in court:  A first appearance is where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  If you plead not guilty, a pretrial or court trial is scheduled.  If you enter a plea of guilty, you will be sentenced at that time.  The court encourages you to resolve the matter at the first appearance, when the city or county attorney is present to discuss the facts of the case.  There is also a public defender present for consultation on misdemeanor cases if you qualify for the services.  In addition, the Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program offers representation on cases at misdemeanor level or higher - call (651) 748-9373 for more information.

  • This is a large volume court hearing, and you can expect to be at the court for several hours.
  • If you are assessed a fine, you are expected to pay it before leaving or arrange a payment plan.
  • If the charge is alcohol- or assault-related, you may be required to be assessed by the Corrections Department.


You have a right to an attorney:  If you are not comfortable representing yourself in court, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. An attorney is your representative in court. No one else you will see in the courtroom is rightfully entitled or obligated to protect your rights. If you don't think you can afford an attorney, but feel that you need one, you can ask the Court to appoint an attorney to represent you. This attorney is called a Public Defender. Public defenders are present at the courthouse and will assist you if you apply for and are granted one. You may request the Application Form when you check in for court, complete the form while waiting, and submit it to the Clerk prior to the start of court, or the Judge when your case is called. You will be assessed a co-pay of $28.00 if you qualify for the services.

Failure to Appear Notice:  If you fail to pay your fine or appear for the court date, additional penalties may be added.  Extended delays may cause a warrant to be issued for your arrest or suspension of your driver's license.

Petty Misdemeanor Offenders:  Failure to appear in court on a charge that is a petty misdemeanor is considered a plea of guilty and waiver of the right to trial, unless the person appears in court within 10 days and shows that the failure to appear was beyond the person's control. The offender may be subject to a fine up to $300 and have their driver's license suspended (if the offense is a moving violation) until payment of the fine. M.S. § 171.16, subd. 3.

Misdemeanor offenders:  A person charged with a misdemeanor who intentionally fails to appear in court for trial on the charge after having been notified that a failure to appear for court appearance is a criminal offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or payment of a fine of not more than $1000, or both. M.S. § 609.49, subdivision 2.

All fines are due on the day they are imposed in court.
If you need reasonable accommodations, an interpreter, or other assistance, call (651) 430-4422.  If you cannot communicate by voice, phone our TTY number at (651) 430-6246.

Related Links
How to Obtain a Valid Driver's License (English)
Como Obtenir una Licencia de Manejo Valida (Spanish)
Driver and Vehicle Services Website
DPS Driver's License Reinstatement Information

Local Court Services ​Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program

Speakers Bureau
Court Records
Volunteer Program
Washington County Wedding Officiates
J
ury Service

Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program

The Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program is a service available to defendants with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony level offenses who seek representation by an attorney on their case.   The program is staffed by private attorneys who are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the court, prosecutor, or Public Defender's Office.   Panel attorneys are available during court hearings to answer questions about the legal process and your specific case.  If you do not apply for the services of a public defender and have not yet retained private counsel, a panel attorney can speak with you on your court date, free of charge.  After your discussion with the panel attorney, if you wish to speak to the prosecutor or judge, you will have the opportunity to do so.  If your case is not resolved on the court date, and you are interested in retaining the panel attorney's services to represent you through resolution of your case, it will be at a reduced rate based on your specific offense.

If you are interested in speaking with a panel attorney, contact Shawn Betts, Program Coordinator, at (651) 748-9373.  If leaving a message, please leave the following information:
1.  Level of offense;
2.  Type of offense;
3.  Date of last court appearance;
4.  Date of next court appearance; and
5.  Return phone number.

Please note that panel attorneys do not have a specific, consistent availability schedule for court hearings; it is best to call the number above to ensure a panel attorney is present for your hearing.  

Back to Top


Speakers Bureau

The Washington County District Court Speakers Bureau was created to increase public information about the Washington County Court system and judicial outreach throughout the County. The bureau is comprised of judicial officers and staff who represent their areas of expertise in the District Court system. Upon request, the speakers will attend your organization's events to share accurate and interesting information about the courts and its new initiatives.
 
To request a speaker for a meeting or event please fill out and submit the following form: Washington County District Court Speakers Bureau Request Form.  Or you may contact Deb Lepper at (651) 430-4436. Judicial schedules can be very busy. If possible, please contact us at least one month in advance of the date you would like a speaker.

Maybe You Need a Speaker for a...
Civics Class? Career Day? Graduation? Boy or Girl Scout Troop? Field Trip?
Or for a meeting of...  
Your Chamber of Commerce? Your Field Trip? Your Service Club? Your Church Group? Your PTA?

Possible Topics Include
  • Judicial Independence and Accountability
  • Eliminating Bias
  • Abused & Neglected Children
  • Community/Court Partnership
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Restorative
  • Justice/Circle Sentencing
  • Juveniles/Families in Courts
  • Domestic Violence
  • Courts' Role in Society
  • Sentencing Guidelines
  • Women in the Courts
  • Judicial Ethics
  • Criminal Court System
  • Business of the Courts
  • Judicial Selection & Evaluation
  • Access to Justice
  • Access to Courts
  • Expanded Use of Technology in the Courts
  • The Role of the Jury
  • Public Trust & Confidence
  • Courthouse Security & Facilities
Other Services Available
  • Courtroom Observation
  • Judicial Ride Along                  
  • Courthouse Tour

Available Speakers
  • Judge B. William Ekstrum
  • Judge Gregory G. Galler
  • Judge Mary E. Hannon
  • Judge John C. Hoffman
  • Judge Richard C. Ilkka
  • Judge Tad V. Jude
  • Judge Ellen L. Maas
  • Judge John R. McBride
  • Judge Susan R. Miles
  • Judge Gary R. Schurrer
Many of the speakers are Washington County residents as well. We are eager to accommodate your request for one of the listed topics or another topic of special interest to your organization. There is no cost to you for this service.

Back to Top


Court Records

Court records can be accessed and/or purchased in one of three ways:
MN Court Records Online (MPA Remote)
This site provides information on how to access statewide public court case records and calendars, as defined under the MN Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch.

In Person
Copies of court documents filed in Washington County only are available in person - phone requests are not accepted.  The fees for copies must be paid at the time of request:  certified copies are $16.00, plain copies are $10.00.  Depending on court file availability, most requests can be completed same day; however requests involving multiple files or documents, and files on microfilm, may require additional processing time.  The completed documents will be mailed within five (5) business days.    Customer service counters are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except Tuesday mornings when counters open at 9:00 a.m.).  Please allow time to wait while your request is being processed.

By Mail
Washington County document requests will not be processed until all applicable document fees are paid.  Depending on file availability, most requests are completed and mailed within five (5) business days.  Complete and mail the Request for Court Document(s) form or send a written request which must include the following:
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Daytime phone number
  • Court file number and approximate year
  • Name of document
  • Number of documents you want certified at $16.00 per document
  • Number of plain documents you want at $10.00 per document
Mail your request and check/money order to:
Court Administration Records Room
P.O. Box 3802
14949 62nd St. N.

Back to Top


Washington County Court Volunteer Program

Volunteer Work Site:
Washington County Courthouse
14949 62nd Street North
Stillwater, MN 55082-3802

Job Description:
Court volunteers greet people who come to the courts area and direct them to courtrooms, court offices and hearing officers; assist in court hearings; research case information on public MNCIS (Minnesota Court Information System) terminals; and perform miscellaneous tasks as assigned.

Key Qualifications:
Friendly, professional demeanor
Good communication skills
Dependable, punctual
Some computer experience preferred

Requirements:
Must pass criminal background check
Participate in training on court information system and miscellaneous tasks

Time Commitment:
Open (prefer a 12-month commitment, with mimimum 4 hours per week)
Hours of operation:   Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Contact: Lisa Spreeman at (651) 430-6286 or Lisa.Spreeman@courts.state.mn.us.

Back to Top

Phone Numbers

Main Phone: (651) 430-6263
Fax: (651) 430-6300
TTY: (651) 430-6246

Division Phone Numbers 
Criminal/Traffic Violations Bureau: (651) 430-6279
Fine Payments: (651) 430-6279, option #1
Family: (651) 430-6261
Juvenile: (651) 430-6311
Civil: 
(651) 430-6268, option #1
Conciliation/Small Claims Court: (651) 430-6268, option #2
Probate: (651) 430-6297
Jury Manager: (651) 430-6314
Court Records: (651) 430-6263, option #7
Guardian Ad Litem Program: (651) 430-6305
Minnesota Court Payment Center (to pay citation by phone): (651) 281-3219 OR 1-800-657-3611

Washington County Courthouse
P.O. Box 3802
Stillwater, MN 55082