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Mandatory Motion Screening
A Motion is a set of documents that you create to ask a judge or referee to make a decision about an issue in your case. You must have the motion documents served on the other party and file them with the court.
If your case is filed in Hennepin County Family Court and you are not represented by an attorney, then your motion must be screened by a Family Law Facilitator before a hearing date will be set. (Except: Screening is not required for "ex pro" child support motions where the County Child Support Office is involved in the case.) The screening process does not mean that the judge or referee will automatically grant your motion. The motion will be decided based on the law, the evidence, and the legal arguments of all of the parties involved in the case.
How to Get a Motion Screened
Get these papers together:
- The forms for your motion (or response to a motion sent to you). These must be filled out to the best of your ability. If you have questions that keep you from finishing the forms, please make an appointment with the Family Court Self-Help Center by calling (612)596-8519.
- A copy of the latest court order(s) that you want to change or enforce through your motion.
- If you are responding to a motion served on you; bring all the papers you received from the other person.
Choose a screening option (by appointment or walk-in) described below. If your motion forms are for divorce, paternity, or third-party custody, then you MUST schedule an appointment for screening.
1. By Appointment
We strongly encourage people to schedule an appointment to have court forms screened by a Family Law Facilitator. Call (612)596-8519 to schedule your 1-hour appointment (or 2-hour appointment for third-party custody cases as these are more complicated.) The facilitator will meet with you and explain any issues with your forms and answer your questions. The facilitator cannot give you legal advice, but if you need legal advice, the facilitator can give you referrals. The facilitator will also explain the next steps in the motion process. IMPORTANT: Please allow extra time for traffic and parking near the courthouse to avoid being late for your appointment. We will only hold appointments for 10 minutes.
Appointments are encouraged, but staff will try to review completed court forms on a walk-in basis. Facilitators handle appointments first, so if you come to the Self-Help Center without an appointment, you may have to wait 30 minutes or longer before staff can help you. Third-party custody papers cannot be screened on a walk-in basis; you must schedule an appointment.
Please make sure that your court forms are filled out BEFORE coming to the Self-Help Center. If your forms are not completed, or you do not have all of the required information, you may have to return another day for an appointment. Also bring copies of any recent court orders issued in your case.
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