Minnesota’s District Courts are the general jurisdiction courts for the state, and they are the trial courts sometimes using a jury and sometimes just a judge. The types of cases heard in Minnesota’s District Courts are civil matters up to $15,000, domestic relations cases, criminal offenses, juvenile cases, and traffic and other local violations. District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over these matters, and except for small claims, child protection, and juvenile cases, most trials use a jury.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch website has a link on their main menu to “find a court.” By selecting a county, the site shows a list of each District Court in the area. The state is divided up into ten judicial districts. Each county page shows the courthouse location, directions, contact information and hours of operation. Some of them have additional information including district news, further divisions of the court, calendars, court records, fees, forms, judge’s information, a self-help center, and contact details. Some districts divide their District Courts into specialized areas of interest such as family court, civil court, criminal court, juvenile court, housing court, probate court, and traffic court. The divisions are different in each county.
Additionally, the state judicial website offers users quick links for help with things like protective orders, paying a traffic ticket, filing for divorce, scheduling a marriage ceremony, responding to jury duty and other common legal questions and issues for individuals when interacting with the courts. They even have social media links to connect to the local court for news and updates on Twitter.
For the last year tallied, Minnesota District Courts saw 1,258,302 filings. Of those, 948,066 were for minor criminal issues, 120,264 were for minor civil issues, 68,794 were major criminal issues, 30,473 were for major civil issues, 33,535 were juvenile matters, 41,761 were for family cases and 15,409 were probate and mental health issues.