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Order Promulgating Amendments To General Rules of Practice for District Courts

Supreme Court of Minnesota

June 20, 2019

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE FOR THE DISTRICT COURTS

          Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice

         The Minnesota State Bar Association asked the court to adopt the system used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to calculate rule-imposed deadlines. The Advisory Committee for the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure agreed with this proposal, subject to input from the Advisory Committee for the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Thus, in an order filed on March 13, 2018, we referred the recommendation of the Advisory Committee for the Rules of Civil Procedure to adjust time deadlines in Minnesota's rules of court-in general, to 7, 14, 21, and 28 days-to the Advisory Committee for the General Rules of Practice for review and recommendations regarding those rules. See Order Promulgating Amendments to the Rules of Civil Proc., No. ADM04-8001, at 2 (Minn, filed Mar. 13, 2018).

         The Advisory Committee for the General Rules of Practice filed a report on September 27, 2018, recommending that the rules be amended to redefine time limits and the calculation of deadlines in the rules. The committee agrees that implementing these changes in the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts will simplify the calculation of deadlines, which will benefit the parties and participants in litigation.

         We opened a public comment period. No comments opposing the proposed amendments to the time limits and the calculation of deadlines in the General Rules of Practice were filed. Based on our review of the work by the advisory committees for the General Rules of Practice and the Rules of Civil Procedure, we adopt the advisory committee's recommended amendments to the General Rules of Practice. We also agree with the committee's recommendation that the changes that will result from new time deadlines and the calculation of those deadlines favors an extended effective date for these amended rules.

         Based on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

         1. The attached amendments to the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts are prescribed and promulgated to be effective as of January 1, 2020, and shall apply to all cases filed on or after the effective date.

         2. The Advisory Committee comments are included for convenience and do not reflect court approval of the comments.

         AMENDMENTS TO THE GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE FOR THE

         DISTRICT COURTS

         [Note: In the following amendments, deletions are indicated by a line drawn through the words and additions are indicated by a line drawn under the words.]

         TITLE I. RULES APPLICABLE TO ALL COURT PROCEEDINGS

         * * *

         RULE 4. PICTURES AND VOICE RECORDINGS

         ** *

         Rule 4.03. Procedures Relating to Requests for Visual and Audio Coverage of Authorized District Court Proceedings

         The following procedures apply to visual and audio coverage of district court proceedings where authorized under Rule 4.02:

         * * *

         (b) Objections. If a party opposes visual or audio coverage, the party shall provide written notice of the party's objections to the presiding judge, the other parties, and the media requesting coverage as soon as practicable, and at least 3-days 72 hours before the commencement of the hearing or trial in cases where the media have given at least 7 days' notice of their intent to cover the proceedings. The media is not a party and is not entitled to file a written response to any objections. The judge shall rule on any objections and make a decision on visual or audio coverage before the commencement of the hearing or trial. However, the judge has the discretion to limit, terminate, or temporarily suspend visual or audio coverage of an entire case or portions of a case at any time.

         * * *

         RULE 7. PROOF OF SERVICE

         When a document has been conventionally served before filing, proof of service shall be affixed to the document so that the identity of the document is not obscured. If a document is filed before conventional service has been made, proof of service shall be filed within 10 7 days after service is made. When a document had been served through the E-Filing System in accordance with Rule 14, the record of service on the E-Filing System shall constitute proof of service.

         RULE 8. INTERPRETERS

         * * *

         Rule 8.07. Appeal of Denial of Certification

         (a) Appeal of Certification Denial. Any applicant who is denied certification by the State Court Administrator's Office may appeal to the Review Panel by filing a petition for review with the Review Panel within twenty (20) 21 days of receipt by the applicant of a final decision by the State Court Administrator's Office.

         The petition shall briefly state the facts that form the basis for the complaint and the applicant's reasons for believing that review is warranted. A copy of the petition must be provided to the State Court Administrator's Office.

         * * *

         RULE 9. FRIVOLOUS LITIGATION

         * * *

         Rule 9.04. Stay of Proceedings

         When a motion pursuant to Rule 9.01 is properly filed prior to before trial, the action or proceeding is stayed and the moving party need not plead or respond to discovery or motions, until 4014 days after the motion is denied, or if granted, until 10 14 days after the required security has been furnished and the moving party given written notice thereof. When a motion pursuant to Rule 9.01 is made at any time after commencement of trial, the action or proceeding may be stayed for such period after the denial of the motion or the furnishing of the required security as the court shall determine.

         * * *

         TITLE H. RULES GOVERNING CIVIL ACTIONS PART A. PLEADINGS, PARTEES, AND LAWYERS

         * • *

         RULE 104. CIVIL COVER SHEET AND CERTIFICATE OF REPRESENTATION AND PARTDXS

         Except as otherwise provided in these rules for specific types of cases and in cases where the action is commenced by filing by operation of statute, a party filing a civil case shall, at the time of filing, notify the court administrator in writing of:

(a) If the case is a family case or a civil case listed in Rule 111.01 of this rule, the name, postal address, e-mail address, and telephone number of all counsel and self- represented litigants, if known, in a Certificate of Representation and Parties (see Form CIV 102 promulgated by the state court administrator and published on the website www.mncourts.gov) or
(b) If the case is a non-family civil case other than those listed in Rule 111.01, basic information about the case in a Civil Cover Sheet (see Form CIV117 promulgated by the state court administrator and published on the website www.mncourts.gov) which shall also include the information required in part (a) of this rule. Any other party to the action may, within ten-7 days of service of the filing party's civil cover sheet, file a supplemental civil cover sheet to provide additional information about the case.

         If that information is not then known to the filing party, it shall be provided to the court administrator in writing by the filing party within seven 7days of learning it. Any party impleading additional parties shall provide the same information to the court administrator. The court administrator shall, upon receipt of the completed certificate, notify all parties or their lawyers, if represented by counsel, of the date of filing the action and the file number assigned.

         * * *

         RULE 107. PROCEDURE FOR CHALLENGE FOR HAVING A REFEREE HEAR A MATTER

         Any party objecting to having any referee hear a contested trial, hearing, motion or petition shall serve and file the objection within ten14 days of notice of the assignment of a referee to hear any aspect of the case, but not later than the commencement of any hearing before a referee.

         RULE 108. GUARDIAN AD LITEM

         Rule 108.01. Role of Guardian

         Whenever the court appoints a guardian ad litem, the guardian ad litem shall be furnished copies of all pleadings, documents and reports by the party or agency which served or submitted them. A party or agency submitting, providing! or serving reports and documents to or on a party or the court, shall provide copies promptly thereafter to the guardian ad litem.

         Upon motion, the court may extend the guardian ad litem's powers as it deems necessary. Except upon a showing of exigent circumstances, the guardian ad litemjshall submit any recommendations, in writing, to the parties and to the court at least 10 7days prior to before any hearing at which such recommendations shall be made. For purposes of all oral communications between a guardian ad litem and the court, the guardian ad litem shall be treated as a party.

         PART B. SCHEDULING

         * * *

         RULE 113. ASSIGNMENT OF CASE(S) TO A SINGLE JUDGE

         * * *

         113.03. Assignment of Cases in More than One District to a Single Judge

         * * *

         (b) Procedure. The motion shall identify by court, case title, case number, and judge assigned, if any, each case for which assignment to a single judge is requested. The motion shall also indicate the extent to which the movant anticipates that additional related cases may be filed. The motion shall be filed with the clerk of appellate courts and shall be served on other counsel and any self-represented litigants in all cases for which assignment is requested and shall be served on the chief judge of each district in which such an action is pending. Any party may file and serve a response within 5 7 days after service of the motion. Any reply shall be filed and served within 2 7.days of service of the response. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, the motion and any response shall comply with the requirements of Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127 and 132.02.

         * * *

         RULE 114. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

         * * *

         Rule 114.05. Selection of Neutral

         * * *

         (c) Removal. Any party or the party's attorney may file with the court administrator within 10 7 days of notice of the appointment of the neutral and serve on the opposing party a notice to remove. Upon receipt of the notice to remove the court administrator shall immediately assign another neutral. After a party has once disqualified a neutral as a matter of right, a substitute neutral may be disqualified by the party only by making an affirmative showing of prejudice to the chief judge or his or her designee.

         * * *

         Rule 114.09. Arbitration Proceedings

         * * *

         (b) Evidence.

         (1) Except where a party has waived the right to be present or is absent after due notice of the hearing, the arbitrator and all parties shall be present at the taking of all evidence.

         (2) The arbitrator shall receive evidence that the arbitrator deems necessary to understand and determine the dispute. Relevancy shall be liberally construed in favor of admission. The following principles apply:

(i) Documents. If copies have been delivered to all other parties at least 10 14 days prior to before the hearing, the arbitrator may consider written medical and hospital reports, records, and bills; documentary evidence of loss of income, property damage, repair bills or estimates; and police reports concerning an accident which gave rise to the case. Any other party may subpoena as a witness the author of a report, bill, or estimate, and examine that person as if under cross-examination. Any repair estimate offered as an exhibit, as well as copies delivered to other parties, shall be accompanied by a statement indicating whether or not the property was repaired. If the property was repaired, the statement must indicate whether the estimated repairs were made in full or in part and must be accompanied by a copy of the receipted bill showing the items repaired and the amount paid. The arbitrator shall not consider any police report opinion as to ultimate fault. In family law matters, the arbitrator may consider property valuations, business valuations, custody reports* and similar documents.
(ii) Other Reports. The written statement of any other witness, including written reports of expert witnesses not enumerated above and statements of opinion which the witness would be qualified to express if testifying in person, shall be received in evidence if: (1) copies have been delivered to all other parties at least 10 14 days prior to before the hearing; and (2) no other party has delivered to the proponent of the evidence a written demand at least 5-7days before the hearing that the witness be produced in person to testify at the hearing. The arbitrator shall disregard any portion of a statement received pursuant to the rule that would be inadmissible if the witness were testifying in person, but the inclusion of inadmissible matter does not render the entire statement inadmissible.
(iii) Depositions. Subject to objections, the deposition of any witness shall be received in evidence, even if the deponent is not unavailable as a witness and if no exceptional circumstance exist, if: (1) the deposition was taken in the manner provided for by law or by stipulation of the parties; and (2) not fewer than 10 14 days prior to before the hearing, the proponent of the deposition serves on all other parties notice of the intention to offer the deposition in evidence.

         * * *

         (e) The Award.

         (1) No later than 10 14 days from after the date of the arbitration hearing or the arbitrator's receipt of the final post-hearing memorandum, whichever is later, the arbitrator shall file with the court the decision, together with proof of service on all parties by first class mail or other method of service authorized by the rules or ordered by the court.

         (2) If no party has filed a request for a trial within 20 21 days after the award is filed, the court administrator shall enter the decision as a judgment and shall promptly transmit notice of entry of judgment to the parties. The judgment shall have the same force and effect as, and is subject to all provisions of law relating to, a judgment in a civil action or proceeding, except that it is not subject to appeal, and may not be attacked or set aside. The judgment may be enforced as if it had been rendered by the court in which it is entered.

         (f) Trial after Arbitration

         (1) Within 20 21 days after the arbitrator files the decision with the court, any party may request a trial by filing a request for trial with the court, along with proof of service upon all other parties. This 20 21-day period shall not be extended.

         (2) The court may set the matter for trial on the first available date, or shall restore the case to the civil calendar in the same position as it would have had if there had been no arbitration.

         (3) Upon request for a trial, the decision of the arbitrator shall be sealed and placed in the court file.

         (4) A trial de novo shall be conducted as if there had been no arbitration.

         RULE 114 - APPENDIX

         * * *

         CODE OF ETHICS ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE

         * * *

         Rule II. Procedure

         * * *

         D. If the allegations) of the complaint, if true, constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics, the Board will undertake such review, investigation, and action it deems appropriate. In all such cases, the Board shall send to the neutral, by certified mail, a copy of the complaint, a list identifying the ethical rules which may have been violated, and a request for a written response to the allegations and to any specific questions posed by the Board. It shall not be considered a violation of Rule 114.08(e) of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice or of Rule IV of the Code of Ethics, Rule 114 Appendix, for the neutral to disclose notes, records, or recollections of the ADR process complained of as part of the complaint procedure. Except for good cause shown, if the neutral fails to respond to the complaint in writing within thirty (30) 28 days, the allegations(s) shall be deemed admitted.

         * * *

         G. The neutral shall be entitled to appeal the proposed sanctions and findings of the Board to the ADR Ethics Panel by written request within fourteen 14 days from receipt of the Board's action on the complaint. The Panel shall be appointed by the Judicial Council and shall be composed of two sitting or retired district court judges and one qualified neutral in good standing on the Rule 114 roster. Members of the Panel shall serve for a period to be determined by the Judicial Council. One member of the Panel shall be designated as the presiding member. (1)

         Discovery. Within 3028 days after receipt of a request for an appeal hearing, counsel for the Board and the neutral shall exchange the names and addresses of all persons known to have knowledge of the relevant facts. The presiding member of the Panel shall set a date for the exchange of the names and addresses of all witnesses the parties intend to call at the hearing. The Panel may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and production of documents or other evidentiary material. Counsel for the Board and the neutral shall exchange non-privileged evidence relevant to the alleged ethical violation(s), documents to be presented at the hearing, witness statements and summaries of interviews with witnesses who will be called at the hearing. Both the Board and the neutral have a continuing duty to supplement information required to be exchanged under this rule. All discovery must be completed within 10 days of at least 14 days before the scheduled appeal hearing.

(2) Procedure. The neutral has the right to be represented by an attorney at all parts of the proceedings. In the hearing, all testimony shall be under oath. The Panel shall receive such evidence as the Panel deems necessary to understand and determine the issues. The Minnesota Rules of Evidence shall apply, however, relevancy shall be liberally construed in favor of admission. Counsel for the Board shall present the matter to the Panel. The Board has the burden of proving the facts justifying action by clear and convincing evidence. The neutral shall be permitted to adduce evidence and produce and cross-examine witnesses, subject to the Minnesota Rules of ©Evidence. Every formal hearing conducted under this rule shall be recorded electronically by staff for the Panel. The Panel shall deliberate upon the close of evidence and shall present written Findings and Memorandum with regard to any ethical violations and sanction resulting there from. The panel shall serve and file the written decision on the Board, neutral and complainant within forty fivo45 days of the hearing. The decision of the Panel is final.

         * * *

         PART C. MOTIONS

         RULE 115. MOTION PRACTICE

         Rule 115.01. Scope and Application

         * * *

(b) Time. The time limits in this rule are to provide the court adequate opportunity to prepare for and promptly rule on matters, and the court may modify the time limits, provided, however, that in no event shall the time limited be less than the time established by Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.02. Whenever this rule requires documents to be filed with the court administrator within a prescribed period of time before a specific event, and the documents are not required to be filed electronically, filing may be accomplished by mail, subject to the following: (1)3 days shall be added to the prescribed period; and (2)filing shall not be considered timely unless the documents are deposited in the mail within the prescribed period. If service of documents on parties or counsel by mail is permitted, it is subject to the provisions of Minn. R. Civ. P. 5.02 and 6.O5.Computation of time under this rule is governed by Minn. R. Civ. P. 6.

         Rule 115.03. Dispositive Motions

a) Service by Moving Party. No motion shall be heard until the moving party pays any required motion filing fee, serves the following documents on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants and files the documents with the court administrator at least 28 days prior to before the hearing:
(1)Notice of motion and motion;
(2)Proposed order;
(3)Any affidavits and exhibits to be submitted in conjunction with the motion; and
(4)Memorandum of law.
(b)Response to Motion. The party responding to the motion shall pay any required motion filing fee, serve the following documents on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants and shall file the documents with the court administrator at least 9 l4days prior to before the hearing:
(1)Memorandum of law; and
(2)Supplementary affidavits and exhibits.
(c)Reply Memoranda. The moving party may submit a reply memorandum, limited to new legal or factual matters raised by an opposing party's response to a motion, by serving it on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants and filing it with the court administrator at least 37days before the hearing.
* * *

         Rule 115.04. Nondispositive Motions

         (a) Service by Moving Party. No motion shall be heard until the moving party pays any required motion filing fee, serves the following documents on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants, and files the documents with the court administrator at least 14-21 days prior to before the hearing:

(1) Notice of motion and motion;
(2) Proposed order;
(3) Any affidavits and exhibits to be submitted in conjunction with the motion; and
(4)Any memorandum of law the party intends to submit.

         (b) Response to Motion. The party responding to the motion shall pay any required motion filing fee, serve the following documents on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants, and file the documents with the court administrator at least 714 days prior to before the hearing:

(1)Any memorandum of law the party intends to submit; and
(2)Any relevant affidavits and exhibits.

         (c) Reply Memoranda. The moving party may submit a reply memorandum, limited to new legal or factual matters raised by an opposing party's response to a motion, by serving it on all opposing counsel and self-represented litigants and filing it with the court administrator at least 3-7, days before the hearing.

          * * *

         PART D. MISCELLANEOUS MOTION PRACTICE

         * * *

         RULE 119. APPLICATIONS FOR ATTORNEY FEES

         * * *

         Rule 119.05. Attorneys' Fees in Default Proceedings

         * * *

         (c) A defaulting party may request a hearing and further judicial review of the attorneys' fees requested by completing a "Request for Hearing" provided by the plaintiff substantially similar to Form 119.05 as published by the state court administrator. A party may serve the form, at any time after a default has occurred, provided that the defaulting party is given at least twenty (20)-21 days' notice before the request for judgment is made. A defaulting party must serve the Request for Hearing upon the requesting party or its counsel within twenty (20)21 days of its receipt. Upon timely receipt of a Request for Hearing the party seeking fees shall request a judicial assignment and have the hearing scheduled.

         * * *

         PART E. TRIAL MANAGEMENT

         * * *

         RULE 122. CONTINUANCE

         If a trial setting has been established by scheduling order after hearing the parties, the court shall decline to consider requests for continuance except those made by motion or when a judge determines that an emergency exists. A single request for a reasonable continuance of a trial setting set by notice without hearing should be granted by the court upon agreement of all parties, provided that the request is made within 2021 days after notice of the setting to the parties. All other requests for continuance shall be made by motion with notice to all parties.

         * * *

         RULE 126. JUDGMENT-ENTRY BY ADVERSE PARTY

         When a party is entitled to have judgment entered in that party's favor upon the verdict of a jury, report of a referee, or decision or finding of the court, and neglects to enter the same for 4014 days after the rendition of the verdict or notice of the filing of the report, decision or finding; or after the expiration a stay, the opposite party may cause judgment to be entered on five7 days' notice to the party entitled thereto.

         RULE 128. RETRIEVAL OR DESTRUCTION OF EXHIBITS

         It shall be the duty of the lawyer or party offering exhibits in evidence to remove all exhibits from the custody of the court upon final disposition of a case. Failure to do so within45l4 days of being notified to do so will be deemed authorization to destroy such exhibits.

         * * *

         RULE 131. USE OF INTERACTIVE VIDEO TELECONFERENCE IN CIVIL CASES

         * * *

         Rule 131.02. Permissible Uses; Initiation

         * * *

         (d) Use of ITV Upon Motion.

         (1) Request. Any party may, by motion, request the use of ITV for a hearing or proceeding in accordance with this rule. No motion for use of ITV shall be heard until the moving party serves a copy of the motion on the opposing counsel and files the original with the court administrator at least seven (7) 7 days prior to before the scheduled hearing or proceeding for which ITV use is requested. The moving party may, ex parte, contact the court for an expedited hearing date on the motion for use of ITV and for waiver of the usual notice of hearing. The moving party is responsible under Rule 131.02(c) for making arrangements to use any site that is outside the control of the court in the venue county, for providing the necessary contact information to the court administrator, and for ensuring the compatibility of the equipment. The motion shall include, as an attachment, a notice advising the other parties of their right to object to use of ITV, the consequences of failing to timely file an objection, the duty to exchange information under Rule 131.04, and the prohibition on recording in Rule l3l.O6(i). A sample notice is published by the state court administrator.

         * * *

         PART F. SPECIAL PROCEDURES

         * * *

         RULE 136. GARNISHMENTS AND ATTACHMENTS-BONDS TO RELEASE-ENTRY OF JUDGMENT AGAINST GARNISHEE

         Rule 136.01. Bond

         Garnishments or attachments shall not be discharged through a personal bond under Minnesota Statutes, sections 571.931 and 571.932 without one7 days' days' written notice of the application therefor to the adverse party; but if a surety company's bond is given, notice shall not be required.

         Advisory Committee Comment-2019 Amendments

Rule 136.01 is amended as part of the "timing" amendments recommended to the Court in 2018. The committee recommends the change from one to seven days because one day's notice is usually inadequate time to allow the adverse party a meaningful opportunity to evaluate and respond to the request for the posting of a personal bond. The notice period applies only when a garnishee seeks to post a bond that is not issued by an approved surety company.
* * *

         RULE 141. CONDEMNATION

         Rule 141.01. Objection to Commissioner

         Within ten (10) 14 days after the order appointing the commissioners has been filed, the petitioner or any respondent may serve on all other parties and file with the appointing judge an affidavit objecting to the appointment of any one or more of the commissioners and setting forth the reasons for the objection. Within five (5) 7days after receiving such an objection, the judge in the exercise of discretion may appoint a new commissioner to replace any commissioner concerning whom objection has been made. If the judge does not appoint a new commissioner within five (5) 7, days, the objection shall be deemed overruled.

         ** *

         RULE 146. COMPLEX CASES

         * * *

         Rule 146.03. Judge Assigned to Complex Cases

         A single judge shall be assigned to all designated complex cases within 30-28 days of filing in accordance with Rule 113 of these rules. In making the assignment die assigning judge should consider, among other factors, the needs of the court, the judge's ability, interest, training, experience (including experience with complex cases), and willingness to participate in educational programs related to the management of complex cases.

         * * *

         TITLE m. REGISTRATION OF LAND TITLES

         * * *

         RULE 208. HEARINGS IN DEFAULT ...


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