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Family Court Self-Help Service Center Information

The Ramsey County Family Court Self Help Service Center has relocated to the first floor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Center at 25 West 7th Street, St. Paul MN

SELF HELP CENTER CHANGES

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12, 2011

  • 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 mattter.
  • 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 unrepresented (pro se) parties with access to forms available from the Minnesota Judicial Branch, explains processes and procedures to pro se parties, provides information about other resources to assist pro se parties, and reviews pro se party 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 pro se assistance for Court of Appeals, annulment of marriage, legal separation, third-party custody, or grandparent visitation matters.  Additionally, the scope of services for the SHSC does not include pro se 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 pro se parties.  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. 

Location of Self Help Service Center

Family Court's Self-Help Service Center is located on the first floor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Center, 25 West 7th Street in downtown Saint Paul.  Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Service Center is closed on Fridays.

What to Expect

When you file a motion regarding modifying child support on 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 packets are also available without cost at www.mncourts.gov/forms.  Form checklists are available at the Self-Help Service Center to assist in completing the form.  Dissolution worksheets and instructions for use with the I-CAN! computer program are available at no cost.  Standard motion packets are $5.00.  These forms are also available, at no cost, at www.mncourts.gov/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.
  • Remember, these services are only available Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • 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