In Minnesota, there are currently 293 district court judges who preside over matters in ten judicial districts. While the Minnesota Rules of Court provide attorneys with significant information applicable to court proceedings, each judge may have his or her individual preferences with respect to motion practice and courtroom conduct.

In an effort to assist attorneys who may be appearing before a judge for the first time, the MSBA Civil Litigation Section Governing Council provided all district court judges with a brief questionnaire. The responses that we received are organized here by judicial district and the judge’s name. We hope you find these responses to be helpful in your preparation for district court appearances.

For information about this project or to report an error in any judicial directory listing, contact Kara Haro, MSBA staff liaison to the Civil Litigation Section.

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Tenth Judicial District Judges


Hiljus, Stoney

District Court Judge

Counties: Kanabec County
State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, email, etc.). 320-679-6408 to contact my law clerk if an attorney needs to contact chambers. Email is also an effective way to contact chambers and the email address for my law clerk can be received by calling my law clerk or court administration.
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? Court administration 320-679-6400 for scheduling questions and either court administration or my law clerk for logistical questions
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? My law clerk

 

Motion hearings:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Contact Court Administration for a motion hearing date, if court administration has a question or concern they will contact me or my law clerk
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. Default motion in a consumer credit case
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? A telephone conference can be requested via my law clerk and depending on the issue and my availability I will try to accommodate it to resolve the issue.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? Typically about half an hour unless it looks more complex or involved. This assumes testimony is not necessary.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. Appearing by phone is allowed by written request for motion practice when the motion is not complex.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. Discovery motions are typically handled in court after a motion hearing is scheduled but a phone conference can be requested earlier if it may help resolve the issue without hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Stipulations are encouraged as a means of managing the case.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? Requests must be filed by written request and include a proposed order. Stipulated requests are typically granted.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. A default hearing can be requested from court administration. At the hearing a record is typically made by the attorney. Phone appearances can be requested in writing if the moving party does not anticipate anyone appearing in court.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Requests for emergency motion hearings should be directed to court administration. Court administration will either contact me or my law clerk about the most efficient way to get an emergency motion handled.

Written submissions:

  • Do you want to receive paper courtesy copies of the parties' written submissions? If you do, set forth the number and preferred format of courtesy copies and identify any document type you do not want to receive. No, paper copies are no longer necessary.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. The request should be in writing and served on the other party with reasonable time for the other party to respond.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. I use a laptop with a docking station and two large monitors to view cases. I prefer either word documents or pdf. Audio or video files should be in a format generally used in court and if there are questions about format please contact my law clerk.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. The use of technology is generally approved but the attorney must complete a use of technology form available from the bailiff.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. Submission after oral argument is discouraged unless permission is requested at the oral argument and the other party has a chance to respond.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? Yes.

    Pretrial procedures:

  • Describe your preferred procedures for pretrial settlement conferences, including the timing of such conferences, persons who must attend, whether persons may attend by telephone or video conference, and how you participate in settlement discussions. Pretrial settlement conferences are typically held about one month prior to the trial setting. All persons with authority to settle must attend or be immediately available. If authority to settle is someone out of state the person must be available by phone. I typically do not get directly involved in settlement negotiations but am willing to share my experience and knowledge of the county on request if it will help.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. Motions in limine are typically handled at the pretrial conference for civil cases or can be handled at least a week prior to trial upon request.
  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? After the jury is selected trial days typically start promptly at 9:00 a.m. One morning break and one afternoon break and a one hour lunch break. The day ends between 430 and 5.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. I introduce the case to the jurors and handle much of the general questioning before turning the questioning over to the attorneys.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to courtroom decorum, including movement in the courtroom, use of a podium, whether attorneys should sit or stand, and how to address witnesses. Movement in the courtroom should be limited unless permission is requested and granted. Use of a podium is allowed for opening statements and closing arguments - a podium is available. Attorneys should generally sit during questioning and when arguing most motions due to the recording system. Witnesses should be addressed by Mr./Mrs./Ms + last name unless the witness is a child. Permission should be requested before approaching a witness.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? Not unless I feel there is a need to. I will inquire how long the attorney thinks opening and closing will take.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. Technology is generally fine. You should bring your own devices if necessary. We do have a large flat panel TV with multiple ports including USB. As court administration if we already have what is needed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Have exhibits marked by my court reporter in advance whenever possible. If not possible, request permission to have an exhibit marked, then approach my court reporter to do so.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. An objection should be short and precise. "Objection" + the legal ground for the objection. Talking objections are not favored. If further explanation is needed I will ask for it.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. No specific practice or procedure. Follow the rules.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Contact my court reporter directly to see if she can accommodate a daily transcript. She is a realtime reporter.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. I typically advise the jurors that attorneys are free to contact them upon completion of a trial and it is up to the juror to decide whether or not have contact.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful. If an issue is complex and the length of hearing for a motion expected is longer than 1/2 an hour please contact Court Administration and give them an accurate estimate of the length so they can adjust a calendar accordingly.