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Announcement from Ramsey County District Court on reopening of service counters on June 15

We are pleased to announce that the Second Judicial District, Ramsey County has completed its checklists to comply with Supreme Court Order ADM20-8001, which requires the opening of service counters by June 15, 2020. Learn more about safety measures all courthouses are following to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by visiting the Reopening webpage.

The first socially-distanced jury trial began in Ramsey County on Monday, June 8, 2020 in Room 40 of the St. Paul Downtown Courthouse! Public viewing was made available in 131B, jurors were called for voir dire in groups of no more than 15, and deliberations occurred in room 42. At the completion of the jury pilot, it will be determined how many jury trials can be accommodated in the building and in-person trials will be expanded as resources are available.

Each division has been working on “Other Side” plans for expanding in-person hearings. Remote hearings will continue to take place and Self-Help Center services will continue to be conducted by phone and email only. Courtrooms will be assigned based on case-type priorities, and calendars will be scheduled at staggered times and on different floors of the building to promote social distancing. Check-in court rooms have been identified and additional courtrooms have been categorized for overflow, when needed. In addition, the number of cases per calendar will be limited and a combination of Zoom and in-person hearings will be utilized. Alternative locations and work stations are being identified for participants that are unable to access a remote hearing through ZOOM.

Cleaning supplies will be provided for each courtroom along with instructions for cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Although the frequency of cleaning has increased, you are encouraged to wipe down surfaces you come in contact with. Also, please note that Judicial Officers may direct the use of face coverings. Please be prepared, and ensure that your clients and witnesses are prepared, to wear a face covering in court proceedings.

Beginning June 15, 2020, Ramsey County District Court public service counters and public access terminals will be open from 8:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m. at the St. Paul Downtown Courthouse and at the Domestic Abuse and Harassment Office at the Juvenile Family Justice Center. Self Help work stations will be available in Room 170 and at the Ramsey County Law Library on the 18th floor of the St. Paul Downtown Courthouse as well. Monitors have been placed in Memorial Hall to create more space for viewing of court calendars and directional signage has also been put in place.

Ramsey County Court will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of court interactions. The Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan details the safety measures that will be followed in all courthouses.

John H. Guthmann

Chief Judge