Minnesota Court Information

The courts in Minnesota are of these types:


The Federal Courts

The U.S. court system is an independent national judiciary established by the U.S. Constitution and by Congress. It is structured as 11 separate circuits. The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the land.

Minnesota is part of the 8th Circuit of U.S. District Court.

The founding fathers of our nation established an independent judiciary, which was created under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. The judicial branch is one of the three separate and distinct branches of the federal government. The other two are the legislative and executive branches.

In addition to matters of federal law such as constitutional issues and federal criminal matters, the federal courts also handle bankruptcies. 


Minnesota State Courts

The Minnesota court system consists of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and ten District Courts of which Hennepin County District Court is the largest.  District courts are often referred to as "trial courts” or even "the people’s courts,” as they are where residents are most likely to connect with the judicial system, whether the legal issues are criminal or civil. 


Executive Branch Courts

As with the federal government, Minnesota's state government is divided into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. While it might seem confusing, certain court functions are part of the executive branch.

The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is a quasi-judicial agency in the executive branch handling issues in administrative law, workers’ compensation, and municipal boundary adjustments.  

Also, the Minnesota Tax Court and the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals are executive branch courts.


American Indian Tribal Courts

American Indian tribes have their own law enforcement agencies and court systems. Federal law oversees tribal relationships with other U.S. government entities, tribal treaties, and areas where other rights and responsibilities overlap. 
More information here.
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