The Minnesota Judicial Branch uses strict security controls for all technology when conducting remote hearings.
Case participants (i.e., parties, attorneys, witnesses) will get information about how to join the hearing directly from the court. If you haven't received this information, please contact the local court. Participant login information should not be shared with anyone other than the participants appearing in the court hearing, unless the court approves otherwise.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch order of April 19, 2022 and the oneCourtMN Hearings Initiative policy, revised and effective January 3, 2023, provide the framework for how remote and in-person hearings will take place. All hearings scheduled and hearing notices issued will follow the policy. Case participants will find the most accurate information about how their court hearings will take place on their hearing notices. Review the Criminal Hearing Plans, Non-Criminal Hearing Plans, and Juvenile Delinquency Hearing Plans for more information.
If you have an order or other instructions from the court about how to send exhibits, you must follow those instructions.
If you do not have an order or other instructions from the court that say otherwise, you can choose to submit your exhibits electronically using the Minnesota Digital Exhibit System (MNDES). MNDES is a way to share digital exhibits with the court and the other parties in a case for evidentiary hearings or trials without the need for physical copies. For more information about MNDES and to register for a MNDES account, go to the Minnesota Digital Exhibit System (MNDES)
tab on the Evidence and Exhibits Help Topic.
If you don't have an order or other instructions from the court and your county is not using MNDES, you can give the court your exhibits by:
- Mailing, faxing, or emailing them to the court (check with court administration for the correct contact information)
- Placing them in a physical drop box at the courthouse, or
- Bringing them in person to the court's public counter
Exhibits are documents (such as pay stubs and photographs) and other items you want the court to see for your case. Your exhibits should be given to the court at least 5 business days before your hearing if possible.
You must also send the exhibits to other parties involved in your case. Note:
If there is a court order that says you cannot contact another party, such as an Order for Protection (OFP), Harassment Restraining Order (HRO), or Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO), pay close attention to any instructions in the hearing notice or court order about how to submit and share exhibits. If no instructions are given in the hearing notice or court order, contact court administration to see if there is a local process that could help you. We also encourage you to talk to a lawyer
to make sure you are not violating the order by how you share your exhibits with the other party. See the Exhibit Process Overview
for more information.
Forms for Criminal Proceedings
You can give the court your forms by:
- Mailing, faxing, or emailing them to the court (check with court administration for the correct contact information);
- Placing them in a physical drop box at the courthouse; or
- Bringing them in person to the court's public counter.
You can apply for a public defender (PD) to represent you if:
- You are charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony level criminal or traffic offense; and
- You cannot afford to hire an attorney.
Before your scheduled hearing day, completely fill out the PD application and file it with the court. You can fill out the PD application by:
The court will send you an order to let you know if a public defender will represent you at your hearing.
If you are charged with a criminal or traffic offense:
- Read the Statement of Rights form that corresponds to the charges in your case (if you are not sure which form to read, contact the court listed on your hearing notice);
- Provide the requested contact information; and
- Return the completed form to the court before your scheduled hearing date.
The Court collects race and ethnicity information on all people who appear in criminal, traffic, and juvenile delinquency cases to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally. Providing this information does not affect your case.
The Race Data Collection Form
is optional. However, once you return this completed form, the Court will stop asking you for this information.
Joining remote court hearings
The Minnesota Judicial Branch is using multiple methods to conduct remote court hearings, including telephone conference calls and Zoom. For security and enforcement of court standards, the court may disable some features, such as chat, screen share, and reaction emoticons.
If your hearing is held by Zoom, there is more information below about how to prepare to use the tool. For information on how to join your remote hearing using Interactive Television (ITV), please contact the local court for help.
If you do not have a stable internet connection, a computer, smartphone, or tablet to connect to your remote hearing, many courts have some computers or tablets available to use. Contact the local court if you need to use one of these computers or tablets to join your remote hearing.
You may join a court hearing held using Zoom from either the Zoom Mobile App or an internet browser. The hearing link is encrypted, so if you received an electronic hearing notice, please join the hearing by clicking the link rather than copying and pasting the link into the app or the browser’s address bar.
Zoom has resources that may also be helpful as you prepare. To prepare to join a court hearing, you may want to watch these two videos, Joining a Zoom Meeting
and Zoom Audio and Video Basics
To join your hearing using the Zoom Mobile App
Install the Zoom app from your device’s app store. If you have a Zoom account, you can use it to join the remote hearing. Having an account is not required to appear at the court hearing. Make sure you keep the app up to date.
- Open the app and click the link in the emailed hearing information provided by the court.
- If that does not work, or if you received a paper hearing notice, click Join a Meeting.
- Then enter the Meeting ID provided by the court.
- Enter your first and last name. If representing a party, include your role, for example, Joan Smith, attorney for defendant.
- Click Join and the hearing will launch.
- If prompted, enter the Meeting Password, which is available in the hearing information from the court.
- Click Join Meeting and your hearing will begin.
To join your hearing using an internet browser
You can test your internet connection, including the ability to connect to Zoom video and audio, before your hearing at https://courts-state-mn-us.zoomgov.com/test
- From an emailed hearing notice, click the hearing link provided by the court and Zoom will launch automatically.
- If that does not work, or if you received a paper hearing notice from the court, type https://zoomgov.com/join in your browser’s address bar.
- Enter the Meeting ID provided by the court.
- If prompted, enter the Meeting Password.
- Once in the hearing, you can update your name by clicking the Participants icon on the bottom of your screen. On the right panel, hover over your name, click More and then select Rename to update your name. If you are representing a party, include your role, for example, Joan Smith, attorney for defendant.
- Click the Join Audio icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen.
- Click the Share Video icon.