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Filing a Motion in District Court

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Court personnel cannot provide you with legal advice. The following are general instructions to follow if you are preparing a motion to be scheduled for a hearing in a closed or pending case. laws are different for various proceedings and you are advised to refer to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure and the Minnesota General Rules of Practice, Rule 115 Motion Practice to encure that you are completing these forms correctly. Copies of these materials can be found in law libraries and some public libraries. A law library is located in the Ramsey County Courthouse (18th floor), 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota (651) 266-8391. All the forms needed to file a motion in district court are available from the Civil Division of District Court, Room 600, Ramsey Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. www.ramsey.courts.state.mn.us

1. You must complete a motion form and a proposed order form. On the motion and proposed order forms print or type the case file number, case type, name of the plaintiff(s), and the name of the defendant(s). If you have other legal papers from the same case, you can copy the information from them. It must be copied exactly. The date and time of the motion will be left blank and the information will be filled in when the motion and proposed order are filed.

2. When you complete the motion part of the form, tell the Court what you are asking for, why you are asking, and list any documents or materials that you are attaching to the motion to support your request. You must make extra copies of the completed motion, and attachments for your records and to serve on the opposing party(ies). You must also complete a proposed order for the Judge to sign which will state what relief you want the Judge to order.

3. You must file the original motion, order and your supporting documents (attachments) with the Civil Division of District Court, Room 600 located at the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. Court personnel will check your papers when they are filed. You must sign the motion and the verification in front of a court clerk or Notary, if you have not already done so. You must also pay the current filing fee of $327.00 if it has not been previously paid. You will then be given the hearing date and time to fill in on the motion form and order. If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you may request a waiver, based on income, unemployment or other special circumstances. You must bring proof of income when requesting a fee waiver.

4. After filing the motion, order and your attachments, you must have a copy of the motion and attachments served on the opposing party(ies). A requirement of having your motion heard by a Judge or Referee is making sure that the other side has notice of the hearing date, time and place. Making sure that every party involved has copies of the motion papers with this information and the attachments is called service of process and is governed by the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4,5 and the Minnesota General Rules of Practice Rule 115 and the Minnesota State Statutes (laws).

5. If you are the plaintiff or defendant you may not serve the opposing party and the court cannot serve the papers for you. Anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party (plaintiff, defendant or witness) to the case can serve the opposing party. Whoever serves the papers is referred to as the process server. The type of service where the process server hands the papers directly to the opposing party is called "personal service." The process server may also leave the papers at the party's usual residence (home) or place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion. Such a person is someone who will take responsibility for seeing that the person named in the case gets the papers. This person must also be someone who lives at the residence. This could be a spouse, roommate, older child or relative.

6. Whoever serves the papers must fill out a notarized affidavit of service. This form is included in the motion form packet. This form is required to show the court to whom, when and where the papers were served and to insure that the opposing party has enough notice to be prepared and to be present at the court hearing. The completed and notarized affidavit of service must be filed with the court at least five (5) days before the date your motion will be heard. If service and filing is not completed on time, your motion could be dismissed and you may or may not be able to bring it again.

7. Motion papers must be served as promptly as possible. This is in order to give the opposing party time to prepare and answer your motion. There are various types of motions and each has its own time requirements. It is suggested that papers be served at least 14 days before the hearing date.

8. If the opposing party is represented by an attorney, papers can be given to the attorney, left at his/her office with a person of suitable age and discretion or sent by first class mail to the attorney's office. An affidavit of service must also be filled out and filed with the court if the papers are mailed. Certified mail will not take the place of an affidavit of service form. Service by mail must also be done by a disinterested third party (see paragraph 5).

9. Come to your scheduled hearing prepared and bring your witnesses and original documents.

download Notice of Motion and Motion form

download Proposed Order form

download Affidavit of Service form