Fourth Judicial District

Minnesota map with Hennepin County highlighted

Fourth Judicial District

The Fourth Judicial District includes only Hennepin County, which is made up of 45 cities (population: 1.2 million). It is the state's largest trial court with 62 judges, 15 referees, and 582 staff who process approximately 40% of all cases filed in the state. Courtrooms and administration offices are located in eight (8) buildings, including five in downtown Minneapolis and three in the suburbs. Everyone who enters courtrooms must pass through weapons screening. The buildings are managed by Hennepin County.

Chief Judge
Bernhardson, Ivy S.


Assistant Chief Judge 
Barnette, Toddrick S.

Presiding Judge by Division
Civil Court:  Miller, Laurie J.
Criminal Court:  Meyer, Kerry W. (Assistant Presiding Judge: Anderson, Jamie)
Criminal Mental Health, DWI & Veterans Courts: Lamas, Carolina A.
Drug, GIFT and HOMES Courts:  Chou, Marta
Family Court:  Robben, Patrick D.
Juvenile Court:  Piper, David L.
Probate/Mental Health Court:  Cutter, Elizabeth V.

Directory of All Hennepin Judges & Referees »

Judicial District Administrator
Sarah Lindahl-Pfieffer

Deputy District Administrator
Andrew Pieper

Deputy District Administrator
Sara Gonsalves

Domestic Abuse Service Center

The Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) serves people who are victims of violence caused by a family or household member. This includes anyone who has been the victim of actual or threatened violence by a person with whom they have had a romantic or sexual relationship, or people who have lived together.

Contact:
Domestic Abuse Service Center
Hennepin County Government Center
300 S. 6th Street, Rm. #A-0650 (lower level)
Minneapolis, MN 55487  Map »
Phone: (612) 348-5073

Guardian ad Litem Program

A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to be an advocate for a child who is involved in a court case. A guardian ad litem can be appointed in different kinds of cases, including child abuse and neglect cases filed in Juvenile Court, and divorce or custody cases filed in Family Court. Visit the State of Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Program website to learn more about the role of a guardian ad litem and how to apply to volunteer as a guardian ad litem.

Interpreter Services

The 4th Judicial District provides interpreters for court appearances in Hennepin County courts. If you are involved in a court case and need an interpreter, please contact the Hennepin Court Division where your case is filed to request an interpreter. Learn more about the Court Interpreter Program at the MN Judicial Branch.

Contact:
4th District Court Scheduling / Interpreter Office
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street, Floor C-8
Minneapolis, MN 55487  Map »

Psychological Services

The Psychological Services Division provides court-ordered forensic psychological evaluations of adults involved in Criminal Court or Family Court custody/visitation cases and juveniles involved in delinquency cases in Hennepin County. Also visit the MN Judicial Branch's Psychological Examiner Services Program page for statewide information.
 
Apply to be an examiner:
The Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin) is seeking psychiatrists and doctoral level licensed psychologists to perform court ordered examinations in the First, Second, Tenth and Fourth Judicial Districts. All professionals who meet the basic qualifications, have experience in conducting forensic evaluations for the court and are interested in applying are encouraged to call: Katheryn Cranbrook, Psy.D., ABPP, at (612) 348-2923.

Contact:
4th District Psychological Services Division
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street, C509
Minneapolis, MN 55487 Map »
Phone: (612) 348-3723
Fax: (612) 348-3452
The Human Resources Division (HRD) is a partner with the 4th Judicial District leadership in creating an innovative and proactive organization where employees and employer are valued and the public is well served. HRD handles matters related to personnel policy, benefits, wellness, safety, workers' compensation, classification, compensation, labor relations, employee relations, staffing, and recruitment and selection.
 

Mission Statement

Serve as a trusted partner for all employees to ensure fair practices, to provide opportunities for development, and to obtain efficient resources for achieving optimal performance.
 

Vision Statement

HRD is a trusted, approachable partner in creating and retaining a knowledgeable, diverse and an engaged workforce.
 

Guiding Principles

  • Respond to all customers’ needs and questions with thoughtful and accurate information in a timely and confidential manner.
  • To maintain direct communication with all customers while being open, clear, and respectful.
  • Work cooperatively to create a fun, respectful, and positive environment.
  • Design and offer meaningful learning opportunities to further develop and enhance employee and organizational needs.
  • Practice Integrity and ethics to promote trust in the workplace.

What's great about working for the Fourth Judicial District

When asked the question “What’s great about working for the Fourth Judicial District Court?” employees had these things to say:

Great People
“I'd give three reasons: 1) the people, 2) the people and 3) the people. I have been here for 23 years and I have uniformly liked my colleagues and my supervisors.” - Bill

“There are many great things about working for the Fourth Judicial District. There are two main reasons I come to work everyday: the people and the leadership. The Fourth District is made up of talented people who are dedicated, diverse, caring and knowledgeable. As an employee, I feel that my contributions are valued and that I am provided with the tools I need to succeed every day.” - Jamie

Great Benefits
The State of Minnesota is the largest employer in the state. Benefits-eligible court employees enjoy a compensation package similar to that of other State employees, which may include health coverage, dental coverage, life insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance and other pre-tax benefits. Learn about State employee benefits at the MN Dept. of Management & Budget website.

The Fourth Judicial District Court offers employee discounts to many things that are specific to Minnesota or the Metro Area, including Metro Transit passes and tickets to Twins games, Valley Fair and the Science Museum.

Great Opportunities for Employee Development
“Continuous learning isn’t just talked about, it’s an expectation! Because of that, the 4th District Court provides me opportunities to continue developing my existing skills and broaden my perspectives with training that provides insight into other cultures. They allow me to choose what I want to learn or improve upon, and they grant me the time to expand my mind within my regular work hours.  All at no cost to me!” -Sheldyn

The Fourth Judicial District Court offers many professional development opportunities, including frequent on and off-site training sessions. These sessions cover a wide range of topics from interviewing skills, diversity, stress management, and leadership, to financial and retirement planning. Employees can also participate in a tuition reimbursement program to further their professional growth.

The Fourth Judicial District also offers programs such as the "Emerging Leaders Network." This program matches employees with mentors who then meet on a regular basis to help build leadership skills and other skills necessary to develop employees into future court leaders.

Additionally, the organization-wide performance appraisal system encourages employees to set their own development goals and offers resources to help accomplish them.

Quick Links:

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Go to Hennepin County District Court News & Notices.

The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for internal and external communications activities of Hennepin County District Court. Communications efforts include: media relations, including high profile cases and cameras in the courtroom responding to public inquiries; website information; coordinating Community Outreach Initiatives, "Meet Your Court" cable television program and monitoring the Minnesota Legislature.

Please contact the Public Affairs staff with your communications requests.

Spenser Bickett, Communications Specialist
Phone: (612) 348-5022
Send an email via our contact form

Ken Bergstrom, Senior Planning Analyst
Phone: (612) 348-3327
Send an email via our contact form

Cameras in the Courtroom

Cameras in Minnesota Courts: Rules & Instructions

For more information about camera use Hennepin County Court locations, please read the Memorandum of Understanding Governing the Usage of Cameras and Recording Devices in Fourth District Court Facilities (pdf).

Community Outreach Initiatives

Engaging and educating the community — all community members are invited to learn about the judges, court initiatives and news of the Fourth Judicial District. Explore the different ways schools, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations and concerned citizens can learn more about the judiciary.

Speakers Bureau
Judges and court staff speak at schools, legal associations and other community organizations to help educate about the judiciary and court processes.

Community Events
To help educate and ensure access to court services, the Fourth District participates in several community events that reach out to families and children, communities of color and lower-income individuals.

Mock Trial Tournaments
Students throughout the state experience a mock trial in Hennepin County Government Center courtrooms.

Observe Court — Free & Open to the Public
Most court proceedings are open to the public on a first come, first served basis during regular business hours. High school students meet the recommended minimum age appropriate for observing court. Please refer to Rule 2.01(a) of the General Rules of Practice for questions about acceptable courtroom behavior. For more information, contact Public Affairs.

"Meet Your Court" Cable Television Program
"Meet Your Court" was a weekly public affairs program on cable television presented by the Minnesota Judicial Branch. For information on the program, including the lending library, contact Ken Bergstrom at (612) 348-3327.

Judicial Ride-Alongs
Community members get an inside look into the courts and being a judge with this unique opportunity to "shadow" a judge.

For assistance with Speakers Bureau, Community Events, Court Tours and Judicial Ride-Alongs, contact Spenser Bickett.
The Fourth Judicial District • Hennepin County Research Department provides accurate data and information to help the Fourth Judicial District Administration and Bench develop policy decisions on an empirical basis; and to conduct and publish original research on topics that advance knowledge in the areas of criminal justice, juvenile justice, family justice, case processing and related topics.

Publications & Reports (Hennepin) » 
Public Data Request Form (Hennepin) »

Contact us:
Fourth Judicial District • Hennepin County Research Department
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487
Phone: (612) 348-6000
Email us »
To view research on other Minnesota courts, go to the Publications & Reports (State) page.
To request data from other Minnesota courts, go to the Data Request Help Topic.


The 4th District Court has issued standing court orders and policies that apply generally to different case types. Below are links to current orders and policies. This is not a complete list of all orders and policies. To find a standing order or policy not listed below, go to the Contact Us tab and call the court Division related to your area of concern.

All Hennepin Courts
Civil Court
Criminal Court
Family Court
Juvenile Court
Probate / Mental Health Court
Other
 

All Hennepin Courts
MOU re Cameras in Hennepin County District Court 2-6-18
Order re Portable Recording Systems in Criminal and Juvenile Courts 12-19-16
Order re Court Security Weapons Screening 11-17-15
Order re Disbarred and Suspended Attorneys 11-9-15
Order re Case Consolidation Motions 8-1-13
Order re Cameras and Recording Devices in Hennepin County District Court 3-7-18
 

Civil Court

CIV - Uncontested Matters to Ex of Titles 3-21-17
CIV - Reference Tax Sale 5 Week Cases 3-21-17
CIV - Referring Mortgage FCL 5 Week Cases 3-21-17
CIV - Ex of Titles Referrals 12-11-14 
CIV - Temporary Reinstatement of Driving Privileges Implied Consent Cases 10-12-15
CIV - Order re Creditor Appearance 7-1-15
CIV - Power of Attorney on Behalf of an Individual in Conciliation Court 8-23-12
CIV - Proposed Orders Conciliation Court 5-26-11
CIV - Minor Settlement Final Distribution 6-2-03
CIV - Tax Appeals from District Court to Minnesota Tax Court 6-26-92
 

Criminal Court

Search Warrants - see "Juvenile Search Warrants 6-9-10" in Juvenile Court section below
CRM - Assignment and Service of Bond Reinstatement Petitions 3-26-18
CRM - Fee Rate per 611 27 Prosecutor Appeals 1-17-18
CRM - Pre-Appearance Release by DOCCR Amended 11-21-16
CRM - Release Arrestees Upon Posting Bail or Bond 5-16-16
CRM - Vacating Prior Order re Data Sharing to Support ADI 3-8-16
CRM - Pre-Appearance Release Procedures and Bail 2-16-16
CRM - Release of Rule 20.01 Psychological Records to HCMC 1-26-16
CRM - Proposed Expungement Orders 12-30-14
CRM - Order re Applications for Payment of Services MN Statutes § 611.21, 3-3-14
CRM - Allow Time Upon Request to Pay or Use STS to Satisfy Fines, Fees or Surcharges 1-13-14
CRM - Imposition of Criminal Surcharge 12-1-13
CRM - DWI Court Evaluation 10-11-13
CRM - GIFT Calendar Closure Order 1-6-13
CRM - HCMC Release, in custody 12-19-12
CRM - Procedures Governing Warrantless Arrests of Persons EHM Rule Violations Judge Wernick 5-29-09
Potentially Hazardous Exhibits Policy 1-1-04
 

Family Court

FAM - Self Help Center Review of Self-Represented Litigant Pleadings 10-20-15
Family Court Policy G.04
FAM - Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) 6-12-14
MOU - Memorandum of Understanding re HSPHD and Safety Center 3-2012
MOU - Memorandum of Understanding re DOCCR and FCS Fees and Services 12-12-12
FAM - County Attorney Cases on Contempt Calendar 1-15-10
FAM - Standing Order - Mandatory Parent Education Class Discontinued 9-24-08
FAM - Authorizing Filing of Pleadings without Payment of Filing Fees 2-26-07
FAM - Outmoded Orders, One Fee for Parents with Children in Common 2-26-07
FAM - Order for Family ECM Pilot Project 4-23-04
FAM - Statutory Valuation Order 11-13-03
FAM - Summary Dissolutions to be Approved without Hearing 7-31-99
 

Juvenile Court

JUV - Social Histories re Filing Permanency Petitions and Memo 3-15-16
JUV - Order Amending Redaction of CHIPS and Permanency Petitions 7-1-15
JUV - JDC Standing Order 4-28-15
JUV - Hennepin County Home School 11-24-14
JUV - Transfer of Legal Custody Modifications 6-18-14
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) 6-12-14 - see Family Court section above
JUV - Order Authorizing Sharing CHIPS and Adoption Performance Measure Data and Reports 5-29-13
JUV - Mental Health Screening at Juvenile Detention Center 2-13-13
JUV - Sharing Gov't Data on Individuals in the Juvenile System 1-12-13
JUV - Hennepin County Crossover Youth Pilot Project 10-10-12
JUV - File Clearance Data Access for Agencies Participating in the Crossover Youth Pilot 7-24-12
JUV - Requests for Police Records by Juveniles or Their Representatives 7-9-12
JUV - Victim Requests for Records to Assert Restitution Rights 7-9-12
JUV - Delinquency Records Release 1-18-12
JUV - Juvenile Records Information Exchange 10-4-10
JUV - Release of Adoption Decrees 8-27-10
JUV - Release of Citations and Police Reports to Restorative Justice Agencies 7-13-10
JUV - Juvenile Search Warrants 6-9-10
JUV - Access to Child Protection Records - Parties/Counsel 1-5-10
JUV - Juvenile Fingerprints 1-5-10
JUV - Disclosure of Kinship or Relative Search Information 1-5-10
JUV - Shared Data Among County Agencies Having Juvenile Cases 1-5-10
JUV - Collection, Maintenance and Use of Juveniles' Photographs - amended 11-17-09
JUV - DOCCR Document Disclosure to Service and Treatment Providers (amended) 6-9-10
JUV - Juvenile ITV Proceedings - amended 10-15-09
JUV - Procedures for Governing Arrests of Juveniles for EHM Rule Violations 05-28-09
JUV - Warrants 11-24-08
JUV - Access to Birth Certificates - Delinquent 11-21-08
JUV - Access to Birth Certificates -CHIPS 10-27-08
JUV - Access to Juvenile Court Records 9-18-08
JUV - Access to Adoption Home Studies 8-12-08
JUV - Truancy - Ed Neg Referrals HC School Districts 11-3-02
 

Probate / Mental Health Court

See "Release of Rule 20.01 Psych Records to HCMC" in Criminal Court section above
PRMH - Contested Trust Cases 11-8-17
PRMH - Guardianship of Brian Erickson 10-4-12
PRMH - Review of Medical Records by Examiners 1-4-12
 

Housing Court

HSG-CIV - Building-related nuisance cases distinct from Housing Court Calendar Consolidation Program 3-5-18
 

Other

Language Access Plan (LAP) (formerly Limited English Proficiency Plan)

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