Ramsey Civil Division

The Civil Division includes Conciliation Court, Housing Court, Probate Court, Civil Commitment Court, and offices for Civil Case Filing, and Scheduling (Assignment).

Ramsey County Court Records Information »

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Civil Filing

15 W Kellogg Blvd, Room 170
St Paul MN 55102
(651) 266-8253
Civil Filing processes all civil court cases, subsequent documents, administrative defaults and orders filed in the Second Judicial District. It also answers queries regarding Condemnation Proceedings

Conciliation Court

15 W Kellogg Blvd, Room 170
St Paul MN 55102
(651) 266-8230
Conciliation Court is sometimes called Small Claims Court and handles claims of $15,000.00 or less. Conciliation Court allows people to bring claims to court in a simple, uncomplicated venue without the need for an attorney.

Civil Commitment Court

402 University Ave E, Suite 100
St Paul MN 55130
(651) 266-2804    
The Civil Commitment Court office processes and maintains petitions for Judicial Commitment filed in Ramsey County. The Civil Commitment Office is located on University Avenue near the Ramsey County Jail/Law Enforcement Center

Housing Court

15 W Kellogg Blvd, Room 170
St Paul MN 55102
(651) 266-8230
Landlord and tenant issues regarding residential property are handled in Housing Court. These disputes often result in an action for eviction or unlawful detainer. This Court also handles tenant’s actions for rent escrow, unlawful lockout and other tenant remedies. Housing Court ensures housing claims are brought before a single, trained referee. This is to encourage consistent decisions and prompt compliance with Minnesota's housing laws.

Probate Court

15 W Kellogg Blvd, Room 170
St Paul MN 55102
(651) 266-8145    
Probate Court processes Estates, TrustsGuardianships and Conservatorships. Probate Court has jurisdiction over cases concerning the disposition of property belonging to deceased persons, administration of court-supervised trusts, proceedings to create guardianships and conservatorships for minor children, incapacitated or incompetent adults, and civil commitment proceedings. The Probate Division is located on the Sixth Floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse.

Civil Assignment

15 W Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul MN 55102
(651) 266-8253 option #5
The Civil Assignment office is responsible for the scheduling of hearings and trials of cases assigned to those judges serving as members of the civil team bench.
*Examiner of Titles        
The Examiner of Titles Office is part of the Property Records and Revenue Services Department of Ramsey County. For more information visit the Examiner of Titles on the Ramsey County web site.

While the Civil Division is composed of many sub-units, including Conciliation, Housing, Probate, and Commitment Courts, the main work of the division is to accept Civil lawsuit filings.  Most people who are involved in Civil suits are represented by an attorney, but it is not a requirement.

Please contact our office with questions and requests or navigate to one of the links in the right-hand side of this page.

Ramsey County Courthouse
15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Room 170
St. Paul, MN  55102

Phone: (651) 266-8253

Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Civil Assignment is responsible for all scheduling and general case management of major civil cases. In addition, implied consent cases are scheduled and monitored by Civil Assignment. If your case is assigned to one of the Civil Judges and you wish to schedule a hearing or motion, please select the appropriate telephone number or email listed below:

Hon. Reynaldo A. Aligada
(651) 266-8309
Email »

Hon. Patrick C. Diamond
(651) 266-8249
Email »

Hon. Sara R. Grewing
(651) 266-8279
Email »

Hon. Mark R. Ireland

(651) 266-8260
Email »

Hon. Laura E. Nelson
(651) 266-8306
Email »

Hon. Edward Sheu

(651) 266-8279
Email »

Hon. Stephen L. Smith
(651) 266-8260
Email »

Implied Consent cases
(651) 266-8309
Email »

Conciliation Court, sometimes called Small Claims Court, was established by Minn. Stat. § 491A.02 to allow citizens to bring their legal claims to court without expensive costs or complicated legal procedures.

The limit for a claim in Conciliation Court is $15,000.00. If you wish to claim more than that you must file your claim with the Civil Division of the Second Judicial District Court.

The Second Judicial District is pleased to offer a legal clinic to assist unrepresented parties prepare and file matters in Conciliation Court.  Volunteer attorneys and law students are available for brief consultation meetings every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.   For more information, visit the Ramsey County Law Library website.

The Civil Commitment Court has the obligation of committing persons to treatment centers with the allegation of Mental Illness, Developmental Disabilty, Chemical Dependency, Psychopathic Personality and referrals from Criminal Court. The civil commitment process is governed by Minn. Stat. §253B.

Types of Commitments

The six types of civil commitment proceedings are:
  • Mentally Ill persons (MI) - Persons that are mentally ill and as a result, pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • Developmentally Disabled persons (DD) - Persons that are developmentally disabled and as a result, pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • Chemically Dependent persons (CD) - Persons that are chemically dependent, unable to manage personal affairs, and as a result, pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • Persons Mentally Ill and Dangerous to the Public (MI&D) - Persons that are mentally ill and as a result, have caused or intended to cause serious physical harm to another and are likely to take such action in the future;
  • Sexual Psychopathic Personalities (SPP) - Persons who have an utter lack of power to control their sexual impulses as the result of a mental disorder and therefore pose a danger to the public;
  • Sexually Dangerous Persons (SDP) - Persons who have a mental disorder who have engaged in and are likely to continue to engage in harmful sexual conduct.

Petition Process

The civil commitment process begins with a request to file a petition for commitment. Generally, either a family member or the treating hospital serves as the petitioner. The petitioner requests that the patient be placed involuntarily under the care and supervision of a hospital or regional treatment center because of one of the six reasons discussed above.

This request for petition and all of the attachments that describe the patient's recent behavior and reasons supporting commitment are forwarded to the County pre-petition screening team. This team reviews the petition, investigates the allegations, interviews the patient and other interested persons and reviews the patient's records.

After collecting and reviewing all relevant information, the team determines whether to continue the commitment process. If the team rejects the petition, it is sent back to the petitioner who may appeal this decision directly to the County Attorney's Office. If the team recommends commitment, it drafts a report summarizing all of its investigations and submits this to the Civil Commitment Unit of the County Attorney's Office.

An Assistant County Attorney reviews the petition, all the attachments, and the pre-petition screening report to insure that all of the requirements necessary for a valid commitment are met and that there is sufficient evidence to prove the underlying behaviors and that commitment is the least restrictive alternative available to the patient. If the County Attorney's Office approves the petition, the matter is set for a pretrial hearing.

Once a petition is filed for the commitment of a patient, an attorney is selected from a pre-appointed panel to represent the patient throughout the commitment process. The patient also has the option of hiring their own private attorney. This attorney is an advocate for the patient's interests and informs the patient about the commitment process and the law.

Court Process

The court process consists of three statutorily required hearings, beginning with the preliminary hearing. This hearing provides an opportunity for a voluntary agreement to be entered into by all the parties that may eliminate the need for further hearings. If a settlement is not reached, the court determines whether the patient presents an imminent danger to himself or others. If the court finds that there is an imminent danger, the patient is held in a secure facility.

The court then appoints an examiner and the patient may select a second examiner to conduct a pre-hearing examination. These licensed professionals examine the patient and submit reports to the court with their recommendations concerning commitment. These examinations are independent of those done by the staff at the treating hospital.

After completing the above examinations, the case is heard by a judge in a full judicial hearing. The petitioner, through their counsel the County Attorney, calls witnesses and submits evidence showing that all of the requirements for commitment have been satisfactorily met. The patient is then allowed to submit evidence to show that he or she does not meet the conditions necessary for commitment, or that there is a less restrictive alternative available for them.

The judge then makes a determination, based on all of the evidence, regarding the level of treatment needed by the patient. The judge may dismiss the petition completely or may structure a treatment plan that the patient agrees to comply with. If necessary, the court may commit the patient to a treating hospital under the care and supervision of the court and the hospital. In extreme cases, the court may even order a patient to receive medications that the patient does not wish to receive. This only occurs after a separate hearing is held to determine that this action is appropriate. This hearing is often known as a Jarvis hearing.

Most patients are committed to either a public or private hospital for treatment with the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center serving as a back-up location. Most initial commitment periods cannot exceed six months. After six months, the court is required to review the matter following a full trial hearing, and decide whether to extend the commitment up to a maximum of twelve months. However, in cases involving Mentally Ill and Dangerous Persons, Sexual Psychopathic Personalities, or Sexually Dangerous Persons, commitment is of an indefinite duration. Periodic reviews are conducted by the court to determine whether the initial commitment remains valid.

August 19, 2020 Administrative Order Regarding Resumption of Housing Court Operations.

Housing Court in Ramsey County hears and decides civil cases related to residential rental housing under Minn. Stat. §504B and criminal cases related to housing code enforcement.  This includes, for example, claims for rent abatement, rent escrow proceedings, eviction actions, and actions for violation of state, county, or city housing codes.  Housing Court ensures housing claims are brought before a single, trained referee.  This is to encourage consistent decisions and prompt compliance with Minnesota's housing laws.

Ramsey County District Court appoints a referee to hold hearings and make recommended decisions.  After the hearing in each case, the referee's recommended findings and orders are sent to a district court judge.  These become the findings and order of the court when confirmed by the district judge.  The landlord or tenant may ask the district court judge to review any order or finding recommended by the referee.  The person who is requesting the review must file and serve (provide to the other party) a notice of the recommended order or finding within 10 days of the order.  This notice must explain the reasons for requesting a review and state the specific parts of the recommended findings or orders that are disputed.  After receiving this notice, a time for the review hearing may be set.  Upon review of the request, the court record, the referee's recommendation, and testimony (if a hearing was required), the judge will decide whether to accept, reject or change the referee's recommended decision.

Ramsey County landlords and tenants are encouraged to use the Housing Court to resolve housing related disputes that they cannot work out themselves.

Free Legal Clinic to assist unrepresented parties prepare and file matters in Housing Court

Volunteer attorneys and law students are available for brief consultation meetings every Tuesday afternoon from 1 to 4PM. The Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF), Ramsey County District Court, and the Ramsey County Law Library are collaborating to offer a pro bono clinic in the Ramsey County Law Library on the 18th floor of the Ramsey County Court House. For more information, visit the Ramsey County Law Library website.


The Second Judicial District's Probate Court has jurisdiction over cases concerning the disposition of property belonging to deceased persons, administration of court-supervised trusts, proceedings to create guardianships and conservatorships for minor children, incapacitated or incompetent adults, and civil commitment proceedings. 
Find Second Judicial District Court Probate Forms

Probate law is based on the ecclesiastical law of the church and historically this court was known as the "widows and orphans court." The Probate Court now operates under a modification of the Uniform Probate Code, specifically Minn. Stat. §524 and Minn. Stat. §525, the Rules of Civil Procedure, and the General Rules of Practice, Title V. Probate Rules.


Probate Court is part of the Civil Division of the Second Judicial District and is located on the first floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse.

Probate Court
170 Courthouse
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone: (651) 266-8145
Fax: (651) 266-8149
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Closed Legal Holidays

Filing a Lawsuit

Can I file my civil suit in Ramsey County (jurisdiction)?
Yes, under certain conditions. You will usually sue the defendant in the county where he/she/they reside, however, this may change depending on the circumstances of each case.  Jurisdiction can be complicated and because each case is unique, you may wish to consult an attorney.  Court personnel cannot give you legal advice as to where you must sue the defendant.

Can I file in Conciliation Court instead?
If the amount is $15,000.00 or less you may file your claim in Conciliation Court.  If the amount is over $15,000.00, file your claim in the Civil Filing Office at the address above.

Why is there no case number on the Summons and Complaint?
In Minnesota, a civil action is started when the Summons and Complaint are served on the defendant, which can happen before a case is filed with the court and given a file number.

For more information, visit the Civil Actions Help Topic »

Can I represent myself?  Will the court appoint an attorney if I can't afford one?
You may represent yourself or retain an attorney.  Attorneys (Public Defenders) are not appointed in Civil Lawsuits.  Representing yourself and not having an attorney will not be an excuse for failure to follow Court Rules and Procedures.

For more information, see the Representing Yourself in Court Help Topic »

Motions, Hearings, and Trials

How do I reschedule a hearing or trial?
If a hearing or trial must be rescheduled, you must contact the Civil Assignment Manager for that case to discuss your options. 

For contact information and instructions, visit the Case Scheduling tab.

How do I continue my Conciliation Court hearing?
If you have a conflict with the date for your conciliation court hearing, you must send a letter to the Conciliation Court. The letter must be received by Conciliation Court five (5) working days before the hearing. The letter must clearly state the reason why you cannot be at the hearing. Usually only one continuance is granted.

How does Ramsey County handle eminent domain (Condemnation) proceedings?

There are specific rules and procedures for eminent domain proceedings. Visit the Condemnation Proceedings page on this site for more information.

Driver's License & Motor Vehicle-related Civil Actions

What can I do if my car was ordered forfeitded due to a DWI or drug charge?
You have the right to sue for return of the vehicle.  If it was seized in Ramsey County you must determine the value of the vehicle or property.  This will determine where you file your claim.  If the vehicle or property is worth $15,000.00 or less, file your claim in Conciliation Court. If the vehicle or property is worth more than $15,000.00, file in the Civil Filing office at the address above.

More information on Vehicle Seizure and Forfeiture »

General Record Information

How do I get copies of Civil documents?
Visit the Civil Records Center at the address above or call our office at the number above to request a copy.  There is a copy fee.

Can a document or record be mailed or e-mailed to me?
Yes. Any request for copies can be made via phone or mail. Paper copies can be mailed to you.  If you prefer, an electronic version can be e-mailed. Only copies for the years 1981 to the present are available for e-mail. Electronic copies can be opened using Windows Picture Fax Viewer. Mail your request to Civil Records at the address above.  Copy fees apply.

Name Change Records

Do you have records of name changes?
Yes, if they were filed in Ramsey County.  Some of the records are confidential and may not be released without a court order.  Copy fees apply.