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Programs and Services
For more information, click on the name of the program/service or scroll through the list:
Conciliation Court (Small Claims Court)
Court Appointed Attorneys (Public Defenders)
Domestic Abuse (Order for Protection)
Harassment Restraining Order
Landlord/Tenant (Eviction Process)
Probate/Mental Health Court
Important Telephone Numbers
Court Administration provides information on some child support issues, including: reducing or increasing child support obligations and cost of living adjustments for child support. Staff are not attorneys and may not give legal advice; however, staff may provide assistance in completing some forms related to child support matters. When completing the forms you must contact the Court Administrator's Office for a hearing date.
Conciliation Court (Small Claims Court)
What is Conciliation Court?
Minnesota Law created the 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.
Where do you file a claim in Conciliation Court?
You must file your claim in the county where the person against whom you are making a claim (the defendant) lives. You may, however, seek recovery for dishonored checks in the county where you live if the check was issued in your county. You may make a claim for a security deposit on rental property in the county where the rental property is located. You may sue corporations in the county where their business office or branch office is located.
How do you file a claim in Conciliation Court?
The Conciliation Court form for filing your claim is available from any Court Administrator's Office. You must have the following information:
Your name and address and the name and address of the defendant (home address if the defendant is an individual); the amount of your claim and the reason for it; and the date your claim arose.
You must verify the claim. (Sworn to and signed before a Notary or Court Deputy.) You will also pay the filing fee.
What happens if a defendant files a counterclaim (claim against you)?
The defendant must file the claim at least five (5) days before the date set for a hearing (Saturday, Sunday and holidays not included).
The defendant must also pay a filing fee. You will receive notice if a counterclaim is filed. The Conciliation Court hears the counterclaim at the same date and time set for your claim.
How do you prepare for the hearing?
An attorney may represent all parties if they so desire. You should also bring to court all other evidence, such as receipts, repair bills, estimates, and other items which help prove your claim. The Court Administrator will mail notice of the court's decision to all parties.
How do you appeal a Judgment?
Forms are available at the Court Administrator's office. Your case may be appealed (removed) to the District Court if either you or the defendant are dissatisfied with the Conciliation Court Judgment and all parties appeared at the Conciliation Court hearing. You will need to file a Demand for Removal, an Affidavit of Good Faith, and an Affidavit of Service. You must also pay an additional filing fee.
What happens upon an appeal?
Filing an appeal (removal) means a completely new trial will take place. You may file a Jury Trial Demand if you wish the appeal be heard before a jury. Attorneys may represent both parties.
How do you collect a Conciliation Court Judgment?
If you received a Judgment and the other party (Judgment Debtor) does not appeal or voluntarily pay, you may choose to have the Judgment enforced.
To do this, you must have the Conciliation Court Judgment transcribed to the District Court along with Affidavit of Identification with the Court Administrator. This creates a lien against real estate the debtor owns in the county. It also affects the debtor's credit rating. The Judgment may be enforced for up to ten (10) years from the date of the original Conciliation Court Judgment.
You may request the Court Administrator to issue an Order for Disclosure if you are unable to determine what assets the debtor owns. This Order requires the debtor to reveal all nonexempt property and financial information to you within ten (10) days. If the debtor fails to respond, you may request the Court to issue an Order to Show Cause. An Order to Show Cause will require the Judgment Debtor to appear in Court and explain why the Order for Disclosure was disobeyed.
Once you have determined what assets the debtor owns, you may request the Court Administrator to issue a Writ of Execution. The Writ of Execution is the document which directs the Sheriff to attempt to collect on your judgment.
Court Appointed Attorneys (Public Defender)
When a person is charged with a crime, which has the potential of a penalty of time in jail, the court may appoint an attorney to represent their interests. A crime is defined as something more serious than a petty misdemeanor. In other words, you are not even eligible for a court appointed attorney unless there is the prospect of being sent to jail. These cases include misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor and felony allegations.
In order to appoint an attorney, the court must also determine if a person charged with a crime is financially eligible. An application form must be obtained from Court Administration, which must be truthfully completed and verified. If the court determines a defendant does not make enough money to hire counsel, an attorney most often called a "Public Defender" will be appointed.
The Public Defenders serving Kanabec courts are from the Tenth Judicial District Public Defender's Office located at 139 1st Ave East, Suite 220, Cambridge MN 55008. 763-689-7070.
There are only a few instances in which the court is authorized to appoint an attorney at government expense in a non-criminal matter. These cases only include paternity matters, civil commitment proceedings and occasions where a party is looking at the potential of jail time for contempt of court in child support matters. In all other civil and family matters, an individual is advised to hire their own attorney to represent them in court.
About 95% of the records relating to actions before the court are open and accessible to the public. Court files and related records must be viewed at the counter of the Court Administration office.
Copies of court documents are $14.00 for each certified copy of a document and $8.00 for each non-certified copy of a document. To request a copy(s) of a document(s) by mail, please include a check for the amount of the copy(s), a self-addressed, stamped envelope, the name of the case, the file number, if known, the specific document requested, and a day time phone number where you can be reached in case of any questions. Send the request to Kanabec County Court Administration, 18 North Vine Street, Suite 318, Mora MN 55051, make the check or money order payable to Court Administration. Please allow five days for processing.
Domestic Abuse (Order for Protection)
What is an Order for Protection?
An Order for Protection (OFP) is a court order that will help to protect you from domestic abuse. An OFP tells the person abusing you to stop harming or threatening you. Domestic abuse is defined as any of the following conduct between family or household members: physical harm, injury, assault, rape, terroristic threats, or making a person fearful of harm, injury or assault. Examples include hitting, kicking, pushing, punching, slapping, pulling hair, choking, holding you down, threatening to harm or kill you or the children, forcing sex or any sexual contact with a child.
Who can get an OFP?
Any family or household member may ask the court for an OFP. A family or household member means married or divorced people; parents and their children; persons related by blood (such as brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts or grandparents); and people who live together or who have lived together in the past. People who have never lived together may also ask for an OFP if they have had a child together or have been involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship. You can also apply for an OFP to protect a child in your family or household.
Victims of abuse who are at least 16 years old may get an OFP against an abuser if they are or were married to or have a child with him or her. Other victims of abuse less than 18 years old must have another family or household member or an adult get an Order for Protection for them.
Where do I file for an OFP?
You must file the OFP either in the county where you reside, where the other party resides or where the abuse occurred.
How do I get an OFP?
Ask the clerk for Order for Protection forms. Fill out the forms. There is no fee to file the petition. After the papers are complete, a court staff person will review the papers with you to ensure they are completed properly. Your signature will be notarized and the paperwork will be taken to a judge for review.
When you go to the courthouse, it is helpful to bring with you:
- A picture of the respondent, (for the sheriff), if you have one
- The respondent's home address and work address
- Written notes describing the alleged abuse and when it happened
- Any pictures, police reports, or medical reports related to the abuse
How does the respondent find out about the hearing and the order?
You will take copies of the petition and order to the sheriff to be personally handed to (served on) the respondent. The sheriff does this. There is no cost to you for the service.
What happens at the hearing?
You must show up for the hearing! If you don't appear, the case will be dismissed. If the respondent was served with the papers and does not show up for the court hearing, the judge will review your request and usually will grant you the OFP you have requested.
What happens after the hearing? How long am I protected?
The Order for Protection, if granted, will describe your rights. Read it carefully. The judge may order different things than what you asked for. The Order for Protection will tell you how long it lasts. Usually the order lasts for one year. If you are still threatened, harassed, abused, or afraid before the order expires you can contact Court Administration and request an extension of the order.
If the respondent disobeys the order, you should call the police or sheriff right away. Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
How do I change, extend or dismiss an Order for Protection?
Contact the Court Administrator's office and explain that you wish to change, extend, or dismiss your order.
**It is important to have your order dismissed by a judge if you and the respondent wish to live together again or have contact.
Family Court is the division of the District Court which deals with cases involving families, e.g., marriage dissolutions (divorce); domestic abuse actions; harassment actions; child custody/support matters and paternity cases. In some of these actions (for example, domestic abuse matters), Court Administration staff may provide forms and clerical assistance. Forms are available on the website of http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=513. Customers are requested to print and provide their own forms.
Harassment Restraining Order
Harassment is defined as repeated, intrusive, or unwanted acts, words, or gestures, that are intended to adversely affect the safety, security, or privacy of another, regardless of the relationship between the actor and the intended target; targeted residential picketing; and a pattern of attending public events after being notified that the actor's presence at the event is harassing to another.
What is a Harassment Restraining Order?
A Harassment Restraining Order is a court order forbidding someone from harassing and/or making contact with another or any minor children in the home. The term "petitioner" refers to the person asking for the harassment order. The term "respondent" refers to the alleged harassing party. The petitioner first obtains a temporary order, which is effective until a court hearing, which is held within fourteen days. At the hearing the court will ask to hear from both parties to determine if the temporary order should be extended; the extension can be up to 2 years.
Petitioner may request:
- No contact with the petitioner (e.g. by phone, letter, or through third persons, work, etc.)
- No harassment.
- Stay away from petitioner's work or home.
- Other specific kinds of relief may be considered.
You may apply for a Harassment Restraining Order if......
- You live in Kanabec County (file in the county where you live).
- You are being harassed.
- You have the full name and address of the person who is harassing you.
There is a fee of $320.00 to file harassment papers. The fee may be waived if your income meets certain guidelines or your allegations involve a gross misdemeanor, felony harassment or stalking offense. The judge determines if the filing fee must be paid.
Harassment Forms (Petition)
You will need to complete a harassment petition and submit them to the Court Administrator's office.
How can I get a Harassment Order?
After completing your documents, the clerk will review them. The documents are submitted to a judge for review.
The judge decides whether to sign the temporary order based on the harassment laws. If signed, the papers are filed with the Court Administrator's Office. Copies will be made of your order. You will keep a copy for yourself. You will take the remaining copies to the Sheriff's Office for proper service.
How Is it Served?
The sheriff will personally serve the papers on the respondent.
NOTE: If the respondent lives in a county other than Kanabec, the petitioner (you) may be responsible for taking the order to the Sheriff's Department in the county where the respondent lives. You must come to court on your hearing date even if the respondent has not been served.
What happens in court?
You should come to court prepared for trial with any witnesses or evidence.
What if the respondent disobeys your Harassment Order?
- Call 911 immediately.
- Make sure the police make a report of the incident. Tell the police you want to press charges.
How do I dismiss or change my Harassment Order?
To Dismiss - Both parties must appear and complete a Stipulation and Order for Dismissal. The court will decide whether to grant your request.
To Change - You will fill out a Motion to Amend and Order to Appear. A new hearing date will be set. Once again you will need to make arrangements with the sheriff for service. The court will decide whether to grant your request.
The public computer terminals in the Court Administration hallway may be used to access information on outstanding judgments, which include money owed by debtors to creditors. Many agencies such as abstract companies, credit bureaus, etc. collect judgment information from the public files. The life span of a judgment is ten (10) years or until it has been paid and a "satisfaction" document is filed with Court Administration.
Judgment Search Certificate Information:
1. Judgment searches are NOT conducted via the telephone.
2. Judgment searches may be requested at the counter in Kanabec County Court Administration during regular business hours ($5.00 per name or $5.00 per any variation of the name); OR
3. Judgment searches may be requested by mail when accompanied by a prepaid fee of $5.00 per Search Certificate ($5.00 per name or $5.00 per any variation of the name). The goal is to process these requests within 24 hours.
Judgment-Related Fees can be found at Schedule of Fees Per County.
Juvenile Court is the division of the District Court in Kanabec County, which deals with cases involving children under the age of 18. Various types of cases are heard in Juvenile Court including: delinquency actions; children in need of protection and services cases; truancy matters; and termination of parental rights actions. With very limited exceptions, juvenile files are confidential and hearings involving juvenile cases are closed to the public.
Landlord/Tenant (Eviction Process)
What is an Eviction?
An Eviction is a court action which determines who has legal right to possession of certain real property.
Reasons for bringing an Eviction Action
The most common cause for an Eviction action is nonpayment of rent. Other instances that may prompt an Eviction action are:
- Tenant's failure to vacate after proper notice has been received or after the lease has expired;
- Violation of the terms of a lease, which provides for eviction;
- Cancellation of a Contract for Deed; or
- Foreclosure of a mortgage
An Eviction action is to recover real property; it is NOT intended to recover back rent.
When and where are Eviction cases heard?
The Court at the Kanabec County Courthouse hears Eviction cases. The hearing date must be set seven to fourteen days after the Complaint is filed. You are given a hearing date when you file your Complaint with the Court Administrator.
You can file an Eviction Complaint in this court only if the property in question is located in Kanabec County. You will need to file the original Complaint.
You MUST know the following:
- The appropriate date the tenant entered into the lease agreement or took occupancy.
- Proper, complete address of the plaintiff(s) in question
- Proper, complete address of the defendant(s) in question
- Length and terms of the lease, or if tenancy is "month-to-month"
Specify your reason(s) for wanting the tenant evicted.
It is your responsibility as plaintiff to see that the Summons and Complaint is served properly on the defendant in one of three ways:
1. Personal Service (You, the plaintiff, cannot personally serve the Summons).
2. Substitute Service (Substitute service must be made at least SEVEN days before the date of the hearing.) A Summons and Complaint cannot be made served or attempted on Sundays or legal holidays.
3. Mailing and Posting - If the defendant cannot be found or if service has been attempted at least twice on different days (with at least one of the attempts having been made between the hours of 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm), you may deliver the Summons and Complaint by way of mailing and posting. When mailing and posting, you MUST:
- Obtain an "Affidavit of Mailing", an "Affidavit of Not Found", and an "Affidavit of Posting".
- Promptly mail a copy of the Summons and Complaint to the defendant(s) at his/her last known address. Prepare the "Affidavit of Mailing". Mail the affidavit and the original sealed Summons and Complaint back to the court at least THREE days before your court date.
- Have another copy of the Summons and Complaint posted in a conspicuous place on the defendant's premises for at least seven days before the hearing date. The person who posted the Summons and Complaint must fill out the "Affidavit of Posting" and file with the Court Administrator.
For any of the three methods of service, the Affidavits must be filed with the Kanabec County District Court Administrator at least THREE days before the hearing.
The Court Process
The defendant in the case will be asked if he/she admits or denies the allegations. (At this point, either party may request a court trial or a jury trial. The law requires the trial to be held within six days unless there is agreement to a later time).
The Court Decision
Once a decision is made, the judge will sign a document entitled Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment directing that judgment be entered in favor of the rightful party.
If the defendant wins, no further action is taken.
If the plaintiff wins, you may ask the judge for a Writ of Restitution (Minnesota Statute 504B.361). A Writ of Restitution is a legal order commanding the defendant to vacate the premises identified in the Complaint.
Once the Sheriff of Kanabec County has served the Writ, the defendant has 24 hours to vacate the premises. The fee for issuing the Writ is $55. The sheriff, who will charge you a fee for this service, must serve it. The sheriff may serve the Writ upon the defendant personally, or, if that is not possible, he may post the Writ in a conspicuous place.
Execution of the Writ of Restitution
If the defendant fails to comply with the Writ, the plaintiff should notify the sheriff. The personal property of the defendant may be removed and stored in a bonded warehouse at the expense of the plaintiff. The defendant has 60 days to redeem the stored property. If unclaimed after 60 days, the property may be sold at a public sale.
The Kanabec County Law Library provides legal resources to members of the legal community and citizens of Kanabec County. Current text and legal periodicals are maintained and accessible to the public. The Law Library is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. No books may be taken from the Kanabec County Law Library without permission from the Court Administrator's Office.
You must file for a change of name in the county where you live. It is necessary for the person(s) changing his or her name to have lived in the State of Minnesota for at least six (6) months. You will need to have two (2) adult witnesses that reside in the State of Minnesota and have known the person(s) changing his or her name for a minimum of one (1) year. Both biological parents must consent to a name change for a minor child. **See Special Notes.
You will locate the two documents needed from the website at www.courts.state.mn.us. One is an Application for Name Change. The second is an Order Granting Name Change.
- Your signature must be notarized and one of the deputies in the Court Administrator's office can do this for you. If you are mailing these documents to the court, you will have to have your signature notarized.
- You may bring your completed documents to the Court Administrator's office, located on the third floor of the courthouse or you may mail them to:
Kanabec County Court Administration
18 North Vine St, Suite 318
Mora MN 55051
The filing fee is $320.00 The filing fee must be paid at the time of filing. You will need a certified copy of the Order Granting Name Change to change your driver's license and your Social Security card. Certified copies may be purchased after the hearing if the Order for Name Change has been signed by the judge. The cost for a certified copy is $14.00. Upon filing your documents you will be notified of the court file number and the hearing date.
If you have been convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state, you must report your name change to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) within ten (10) days of the court's order granting your application. Failure to do so is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.00.
A minor, 14 years of age or older, requesting a change of name, must be present at hearing.
You may use one relative as a witness to a name change.
If the parents are witnesses for a minor child, there must be one additional adult to serve as the second witness.
If you do not know the whereabouts of the other biological parent, it will be necessary to follow these steps before the child's name can be changed:
- Send a letter by certified mail to the last known address or in care of a relative notifying them of the intent to change the child's name.
- If there is no response, you will need to publish a notice of intent to change the child's name in a legal newspaper. (Kanabec Publications, etc.) (It is advisable to seek the advice of an attorney).
Any additional questions regarding publication or the hearing may be directed to the Court Administrator's Office at 320-679-6400.
To change the name of a child born out of wedlock when the biological parents have been married, contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 612-676-5120.
Probate/Mental Health Court
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.
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 (http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/253B/).
A subpoena is a legal document that may be issued in any court case and requires the person receiving the subpoena to appear in court at the time and place indicated on the document. The subpoena may require the production of documents or other evidence. Failure to obey the court's subpoena may result in sanctions including being held in contempt of court or the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Important Telephone Numbers:
Court Administration 320-679-6400
Kanabec County Court Services: 320-679-6450
Department of Corrections: 320-679-2270
Kanabec County Warrants: 320-679-8400
Department of Public Safety: 651-296-6911
MN Court Payment Center: 651-281-3219 (if calling from area codes 651, 612, 763, or 952) or 800-657-3611