Minnesota courts to expand amount of in-person proceedings

As statewide COVID-19 restrictions lift, courts throughout Minnesota will soon expand the amount of in-person proceedings.

A new order takes effect June 14 and lasts through Sept. 6. Under the order, the following proceedings will take place in-person: 

  • Criminal jury trials
  • Civil jury trials
  • Major Criminal, Juvenile Protection (including Child in Need of Protection or Services and Permanency cases types), and Juvenile Delinquency trials and contested hearings
  • Criminal settlement conferences
  • Grand jury proceedings

Starting Aug. 2, mandatory misdemeanor criminal trials and contested hearings will held in-person.

All other district court proceedings will be held remotely unless the chief judge of the judicial district approves in-person proceedings for extenuating circumstances. Proceedings for the appellate courts will continue as scheduled.

Face coverings will continue to be required inside courtrooms and in jury deliberation areas. Judges may allow face masks to be removed if there can be six feet of physical distance. Masks will be required in public areas of a county-owned court facility if the local government has a mandate. 

Social distancing will not be required in the courts for brief interactions or when people are wearing face masks. A brief interaction is considered less than 15 minutes between at least two households.