Category Archives: Minnesota

Minnesota

How Many Courts?

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Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.

The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … Read More

Housing Court

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Here at CourtReference, we spend a lot of time looking at court systems, so we get to see types of courts in some states that you may not have in your state – yet. Courts that specialize in a particular area of the law have been around for a long time. Examples are Family Court, Juvenile Court, Tax Court, and Probate Court.

But in the past few decades, courts that specialize in a single type of case have evolved. These highly specialized courts may be a separate court, or a division or program of court of more general jurisdiction. … Read More

Ramsey County Launches Online Warrant Database

In a press release issued on January 31, 2013, Minnesota’s Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office announced the launching of its Online Warrant Search (OWS). This web-based application was designed to allow citizens, crime victims, community members, and partner organizations to search for and view public information about people who have active Ramsey County arrest warrants.

“The Online Warrant Search should help improve community safety by providing arrest warrant information online and encouraging citizens to share knowledge with law enforcement,” said Sheriff Matt Bostrom. “An informed and engaged community is central to public safety.”

An arrest warrant calls for the immediate apprehension … Read More

Subpoenas: Compelling Your Appearance

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We all know that you have to show up in court if you are a party to a case being tried – i.e, if you are the defendant in a criminal case, or the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit. But if you are just a witness, do you also have to show up in court?

The answer is yes, if the judge or one of the attorneys thinks your testimony is important. The court will issue a subpoena, which is a document commanding your appearance in court to testify as a witness. In some cases, the … Read More

Family Dependency Treatment Courts

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Problem-Solving Courts – also known as Accountability Courts – are programs developed by many court systems to impose treatment plans and other forms of rehabilitation on some criminal offenders who would otherwise face jail time and the stigma of a criminal record. They reduce the judicial system caseload and the prison population while helping offenders with drug, mental health, and similar problems. We covered Mental Health Courts in April 2008, Drug Courts in October 2008, and Veterans Courts in January 2011.

Family Dependency Treatment Courts are another type of Accountability Court, and they’re different in that their treatment plans include … Read More

More Court Records

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More and more court records are finding their way online, and many of them are free. We’ve talked about court records in general; see Court Records Basics, What to Know Before Searching Court Records Online,  About Criminal Records and Where to Find Them, Using Court Records for Background Investigations, and Small Claims Case Records.

We’ve talked about some of examples of the many different state court records searches; see Electronic Access to Florida Court Records,  Online Access to Virginia Court Cases, McHenry County Illinois Online Court Access, Online Access to Maryland Probate Read More

Locate Inmate Records Online

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Searching for inmate records used to be difficult and time consuming, but thanks to the advancement of Internet technology, it is now much quicker and easier. Most state prisons and many county jails provide an active inmate database to the public where you can search for inmates by name. You can obtain information such as offender name, incarceration date, offense, current location, projected release date, and sometimes even a mugshot. The information available is generally for current inmates only, but in some areas, past inmate records may also be available.

For example, in Stearns County, Minnesota, you can find past Read More

Child Support Services and Information

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Child support isn’t always an easy subject for divorced parents. Information about how the process works can help ease some of the pain of paying, and of collecting. Every state has an agency that sets up and manages the child support process, but many local courts and county attorneys are part of that process. The obvious role of the court is in setting the amount of child support payments (although in many jurisdictions this is accomplished by alternative disupte resolution without going before a judge). But many local agencies, courts, and county attorneys (or district attorneys, depending on the jurisdiction) … Read More

Research Laws and Codes Online

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Are you looking for local ordinances for your town, city, or county? Local ordinances used to be very difficult to find, but as more and more local governments are putting their laws online, access has become much easier. City and county laws apply to many aspects of our daily lives. Many local laws deal with maintaining public safety, health, and general welfare. Ordinances are generally organized into local codes, such as traffic code, business regulation and taxation code, general offenses code, and building code. This can make your search for a particular law much easier.

Perhaps you are consistently being … Read More

Do You Need a Lawyer?

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There are many reasons why you may need to find an attorney. If you were charged with a crime, injured in an accident, or served in a lawsuit, you will need a good lawyer. Maybe you are facing the threat of foreclosure on your home, or you need legal help with complex matters such as estate planning, guardianships, wills, or trusts. Finding a good lawyer is probably the most important decision you will make in addressing whatever your legal matter may be.

Sifting through the yellow pages is always an option, but probably not a good one, since the best … Read More