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Fifth Judicial District

Welcome to Fifth Judicial District.  We hope you find the information contained both informational and useful.  If you did not find what you are looking for, please check back.  We are continually updating this site to help meet your needs.

Most disputes brought to the court system start at the District Court, which operates in county courthouses across the state.  The District Court is a general jurisdiction court, which means that District Court judges can hear a wide variety of cases - from traffic tickets to murder trials and from small claims cases to major civil trials.  Some district courts may have separate divisions, such as probate, family, and juvenile courts.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is divided into 10 judicial districts for administrative purposes.  Each district is made up of two to 17 counties, with the exception of the Second District (Ramsey County) and the Fourth District (Hennepin County).  Each district is managed by a chief judge and assistant chief judge, as well as by a district administrator. 

Fifth Judicial District has a total of 16 judges serving the 283,000 citizens of the district.  The judges are elected for six year terms by the voters of  the 15 counties.

Fifth Judicial District serves these 15 counties in southwest Minnesota: Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, and Watonwan.

Chief Judge
Honorable Bradley C. Walker
Blue Earth County  

Assistant Chief Judge
Honorable Michelle Dietrich
Lyon County  

District Administrator
Richard Fasnacht
Judicial District Administration
11 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 205
Mankato, MN  56001
Office:  507-344-4940

Excellence in Service

Each Judicial District in the State of Minnesota is committed to providing court-related services to external customers in an efficient manner. External customers include litigants, attorneys, jurors, witnesses, victims, media representatives, advocates, appellate courts, criminal justice stakeholders, and members of the public presenting themselves to request a service provided by the trial courts. In an attempt to achieve this goal, every person employed by the court system (including judges, judicial staff, administrative staff) shall make the best effort to follow the standards listed below and adopted by the Conference of Chief Judges on May 19, 1995.

External Customers of the court system can expect all trial court employees to:

  1. Demonstrate respect and courtesy;
  2. Treat all customers fairly and equitably;
  3. Provide to the extent authorized by law, a prompt and courteous response to both oral and written requests for pertinent information on cases and proceedings;
  4. Furnish, to the extent authorized by law, adequate information regarding what to expect of the court system and instructions on how to use the services. Information and forms should be provided in an easy to read, understandable format;
  5. Provide service that includes as little personal inconvenience as possible.