Hennepin Housing Court

Hennepin County District Court »

Housing Court is part of the Civil Division and handles cases involving landlord and tenant disputes. It is governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 504B and the Housing Court Rules.

Effective July 1, 2015, attorneys and government agencies must use the eFile & eServe system to file documents in Housing Court.
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Housing Court is a specialty court with three referees handling cases involving landlord and tenant disputes. A landlord can bring an action to remove or “evict” a tenant from a rental property, and tenants can file court actions to enforce their legal rights as tenants. Housing Court is generally governed by Minn. Stat. Chapter 504B and the Housing Court Rules (MN General Rules of Practice).
 
The timelines in Housing cases are very short. Generally, initial hearings are held within 7 to 14 days of filing, and trials are generally held within 7 days of the initial appearance.
 
Parties in Housing cases may be eligible for free legal advice from volunteer attorneys or for no-fee mediation, in which a disinterested third party trained in conflict resolution facilitates discussion between landlord and tenant to resolve their issues.

Tenant Resources

Landlord Resources

Remote Hearing Information

The information on this website is only a general explanation of the legal process and is not intended to be legal advice. Court staff can provide some forms and general housing court information. Court staff cannot give legal advice. Court staff are not responsible for the outcome of your case. If you have questions that court staff cannot answer, you could visit our main Self-Help Center for more information. If you are unsure what or whether you should file, you could get legal advice from a legal advice clinic or find a lawyer on your own.
 

Housing Court Legal Services

Free legal assistance is available to tenants and landlords who meet low-income guidelines on the following legal issues:
  • Emergency Repairs
  • Expungement of Record
  • Lock Outs
  • Service Issues
  • Evictions
  • Lease Violations
  • Repair Problems
To receive services, a tenant must have low income and live in Hennepin County.  A landlord must have low income and live in the rental property located in Hennepin County. The property title must be recorded in the landlord's name, not as a business.

Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Case?
Tenants:
  • Adult Representation Services at (612)-348-7012 or ContactARS@hennepin.us.
  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid at (612) 334-5970 or mylegalaid.org/get-help.
Tenants and Landlords: Not low income?  For more legal services, go to Find a Lawyer.
Contact a lawyer right away.  Do not wait until your hearing date.

Mediation

In mediation, you meet with the other party and a mediator. The purpose of the meeting is to help you communicate with each other and work together toward a resolution. The mediator is not a judge and will not decide on the solution.  You do not have to file a case in court to use mediation. Mediation can be useful whenever you need help with a conversation. 

Hennepin County District Court encourages the use of mediation to settle your dispute. Benefits of Mediation
  • Parties reach their own agreement
  • Quick
  • Equal say in the solution
  • Less stress
  • Informal
  • Enhances possibility of a workable future relationship
Examples of Disputes Where Mediation May Help
  • Non-payment of rent
  • Repair and maintenance issues
  • Lease violations
Mediation Programs in Hennepin County
For more information or to get started with mediation, call one of the numbers listed below or another mediation provider of your choice. These mediation programs provide Housing mediation services for free. 

Conflict Resolution Center (formerly Minneapolis Mediation Program)
Serves residents of Minneapolis, St. Anthony, Richfield, Bloomington, Burnsville, Edina and Eden Prairie
Phone: (612) 822-9883
Fax: (612) 822-9890
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Community Mediation & Restorative Services, Inc. (CMRS)
Serves Hennepin County
Phone: (763) 561-0033
Fax: (612) 605-9183
Email: referrals@CMRSmn.org
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
*Mediations can be held via Zoom or telephone conference call

The information on this website is only a general explanation of the legal process and is not intended to be legal advice. Court staff are not responsible for the outcome of your case. If you are unsure what or whether you should file, you could get legal advice from a legal advice clinic or find a lawyer on your own.
 

Trials

How to Represent Yourself in Housing Court
For information about how to prepare for a trial, please review How to Prepare for Trial in Housing Cases and learn more about Representing Yourself in Court.

Housing Court Forms (Landlord/Tenant) »

The MN Judicial Branch Court Forms Catalog has statewide forms that may be used in any district court location. However, if your case is in Hennepin County, make sure you download the District 4 version if it listed in the catalog. Otherwise, you may use the statewide version.

Related: Other Hennepin County District Court Forms

Definitions

Affidavit: any written document in which the signer swears under oath before a notary public or someone authorized to take oaths (like a County Clerk), that the statements in the document are true. In many states a declaration under penalty of perjury, which does not require the oath-taking before a notary, is the equivalent of an affidavit.

Emergency Tenant Remedies Action (ETRA):  an action a tenant may file for emergency relief under Minn. Stat. § 504B.395, subdivision 1.  A person may file an ETRA to petition the court for relief in cases of emergencies that include but are not limited to: Loss of Running Water, Loss of Hot Water, Loss of Heat, Loss of Electricity, Loss of Sanitary Facilities (i.e. toilet, shower/bathtub, etc.), Loss of Other Essential Services or Facilities that the landlord is responsible for providing to the tenant.

Expungement: removing the record of a case from the public view.

Hearing: any proceeding before a judge or other judicial officer without a jury in which evidence and/or argument is presented to determine some issue of fact or both issues of fact and law.

In Forma Pauperis: latin for "in the form of a pauper," referring to a party to a lawsuit who gets filing fees waived by filing a declaration of lack of funds (has no money to pay).

Initial Appearance: first court hearing a party may have.

Mediation: the attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party (mediator) who works to find points of agreement and make those in conflict agree on a fair result.

Motion: a formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Motions are made in court all the time for many purposes: to continue (postpone) a trial to a later date, to get a modification of an order, for a judgment, for dismissal of the opposing party's case, for a rehearing, for sanctions (payment of the moving party's costs or attorney's fees), or for dozens of other purposes. Most motions require a written petition, a written brief of legal reasons for granting the motion (often called "points and authorities"), written notice to the attorney for the opposing party and a hearing before a judge. However, during a trial or a hearing, an oral motion may be permitted.

Referee: a judicial officer who presides over civil hearings but usually does not have the authority or power to render judgment.
 
  • Referees are appointed by the chief judge in a judicial district in which the judge presides. Referees aid the judge by hearing certain matters and by making recommendations concerning special or complicated issues.
Rent abatement: a return of rent paid for a unit that was in disrepair.

Rent Escrow: an action or petition that may be filed by a tenant that involves non-emergency repairs per Minn. Stat. § 504B.385.  A Rent Escrow action is intended to remedy non-emergency repairs that impair the enjoyment or habitability of the property.  These non-emergency repairs may include but are not limited to:  Fire Prevention Violation, Bed Bugs, Housing Maintenance Violations, Vermin Infestations

Tenant Remedy Action (TRA): an action that is similar in nature to a Rent Escrow, but typically contains more complicated procedures than a Rent Escrow Action per Minn.Stat. § 504B.395.  Typically a Tenant Remedy Action may be regarding issues such as: A health or housing code violation, A violation of the Landlord's obligation to keep the rental unit in reasonable repair, A violation of an oral or written rental agreement or lease.
 
Photo of the Hennepin County Government Center
4th District Housing Court

Hennepin County Govt. Center
300 South 6th Street, C-300
Minneapolis, MN 55487 Map »
Courtrooms: Floor C3

Phone: (612) 348-6000
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Closed Holidays

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