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Civil Case Management

Cases assigned to judicial officers in the Civil Division are subject to the procedures, policies, laws and rules described below.

Assignment of a Judge to a Civil Case

Civil judges handled a "block" of cases, and the cases are initially assigned to civil judges on a random basis. For the following types of cases, once a case has been assigned, that judge handles that case all the way to the final disposition:

Appeals from administrative agency
Appointment of Trustee
Assessment appeal
Change of name
Civil other / miscellaneous
Class action lawsuit
Consumer credit
Conciliation appeal
Condemnation contract
Mechanics lien
Minor settlement
Personal injury
Product liability
Property damage
Quiet title
Sexual harassment
Welfare appeal
Wrongful death

Certificate of Representation and Notice to Parties and Attorneys

The court sends a "Notice of Judge Assignment" (or Reassignment) only to the first attorney for a party listed on the Certificate of Representation. That attorney is responsbile for notifying all other attorneys representing the party. The filing attorney (or party) is responsible for notifying all attorneys (or parties) not listed on the Certificate of Representation.

Notice to Remove a Judicial Officer

Filing a notice to remove the assigned judicial officer must comply with MN Rule of Civil Procedure 63.03 and MN Statute § 542.16. If the notice to remove complies with the law, the case will be reassigned randomly to another judicial officer. The court will then send a "Notice of Judge Reassignment" to the attorney (or party) listed on the Certificate of Representation.

Temporary Restraining Orders, Injunctions, and Other Emergencies - New Filings

District Court staff screen temporary restraining orders (TROs), injunctions and other emergency requests prior to accepting a filing and assigning a judge. If an emergency request needs immediate assignment, the matter is referred to a civil judge located in the Hennepin County Govt. Center. That judge (or judicial staff) will then handle the scheduling of the case.

Summons and complaints (or verfied complaints) are required for lawsuits, along with supporting documents relating to the request for an emergency filing (motions, affidavits, etc.). For other case types that do not require a summons and complaint, a petition, notice of motion and motion, and supporting documents will suffice, as long as there are supporting documents that justify immediate assignment of a judge.

Motions / Stipulations to Consolidate or "Companion" Cases

MN Court Rule 113.02 Consolidation of cases within a judicial district:

A motion asking that two or more cases pending in a single Judicial District be assigned to one judge must be made to the Chief Judge of the District in which the cases are pending, or the Chief Judge's designee.

In the Fourth Judicial District, the presiding judge of Civil Court hears contested motions and reviews stipulations on these cases. The best practice used when ordering consolidation and assignment is to assign all cases to the judge who has the earliest case (by file date).

Closed Cases That Need to be Reassigned

Judges hear post-disposition matters on their assigned cases as long as they still work in the civil division. They generally do not hear post-disposition matters in civil cases after they have been assigned to another area of the court.

If an attorney or party wants an action taken on a closed case that was assigned to a judge who no longer works in the civil division, that attorney or party must send a letter to the Civil Court Administration asking that the case be re-assigned, and explain the basis for the requested action. The matter will then be randomly assigned to a different judge who serves on the civil bench.


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