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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are forms and instructions available on the Internet?
Yes. There are court forms on the Minnesota State Court website at Court Forms. However, for information specific to Hennepin County (4th District ) Court, you must get a forms packet from the Self Help Centers.
Q: Can you mail the court forms to me?
Only family court forms can be mailed if you live more than 2 hours from the Courthouse and you pre-pay for the forms and postage. To request family court forms by mail call (612) 596-8519. Other civil court forms must be picked up at the Self Help Center, or downloaded from the court's website.
Q: Why does a Family Law Facilitator have to review my Motion papers before I can get a court date?
The review lets you know if your Motion meets minimum legal standards. If your motion does not meet minimum legal standards, you are wasting your time and the court’s time by filing your motion. After waiting weeks or months for the hearing, your case will most likely be dismissed, and you will have to start over. In some cases, the law requires you to wait an additional one to two years before you can try again. By screening motions, we can help you minimize delays and disappointment.
IMPORTANT! If your motion is reviewed and approved by the Self-Help Center, it does not automatically mean you will get what you ask for in your Motion. The Judge will grant or deny your motion based on the legal standards and the evidence and arguments of the parties.
Q: What will happen at the 1 hour appointment with the facilitator?
Our facilitators are trained to spot common problems and answer questions about the forms, instructions, and procedures. They will help you obtain legal advice if your questions or issues are beyond the scope of what they are authorized to do.
Q: What will I learn from the video?
The videos tell you what you need to know to fill out the forms and serve the papers properly – the first time around. Customers tell us they learn a lot from the video, even if they have been to court many times before.
Q: Can I watch the video somewhere other than at the Courthouse?
The videos are available at the Family Court Self-Help Center, the Minneapolis and Hennepin County public libraries, and the Hennepin County Law Library. You can always watch them online by clicking on the links below.
Videos: “How to Start a Divorce” and “How to File a Motion”
Q: Do I have to watch the video?
People who watch the video do a better job filling out the forms and have fewer problems with their cases. Papers prepared by people who do not watch the video are often poorly done and the appointment with the facilitator takes much longer than expected. This causes delays for other customers. To improve your understanding of what the Judge needs and expects, and to allow us to better serve you and all of our other customers, we ask that you watch the video before starting to fill out the forms.
Q: Will the Judge help me with my case?
No. The Judge must be neutral. When you do not have an attorney, you are acting as your own attorney. You are responsible for knowing and following all Minnesota laws, the general MN Rules of Civil Procedure, and the MN Rules of Family Court Procedure (Rule 301 et seq.) Court rules and laws are available in print at the Hennepin County Law Library, Floor C-24 of the Government Center. Click Court Rules to read the Minnesota Court Rules online.
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