Family Court Motions - Settlement Rule & Form

If you file a motion in a family court case, the Minnesota Court Rules say that you must contact the other party within 7 days after filing the motion to talk about settling your case, including the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) options. See Rule 303.03(c) MN Gen. Rules of Practice.

Step 1:  
Contact the other party in person, by telephone, or in writing to talk about settlement. CAUTION: If there is a “no contact” order between you and the other party, do not contact the other party, but you must still complete the Certificate of Settlement Efforts form.

Step 2: 
Fill out a Certificate of Settlement Efforts form and file it at least 24 hours before the court hearing to show the court that you followed the rule or that you are exempt from the rule.

Exceptions to the Rule:

  • Your case type is exempt from the rule. See the list of exempt case types on the Certificate of Settlement Efforts form.
  • There is a court order for no contact between you and the other party.
  • You have other good reasons for not trying to settle the case.
If you think one of the exceptions above applies to your case, explain that on the Certificate of Settlement Efforts form and file it with the court.

Are you responding to a Motion? The person responding to a motion does not have to fill out and file the Certificate of Settlement Efforts form.

Did you try mediation BEFORE filing your Motion? In some cases, the judge orders parties to try mediation before filing a motion. Read the court orders in your case carefully to see if this applies to you. If you tried mediation before you filed your motion, you still must fill out and file the Certificate of Settlement Efforts form after you file the motion.

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