The following Administrative Order was released from the 10th Judicial District pertaining to closing the public windows of Court Administration at the Wright County Government Center. Those with court cases pending or looking for forms should contact the numbers they have been provided in their court documentation. There may be an appointment schedule set up for those who are required to make appearances. Bailiffs are available to deal directly with those individuals who will have cases heard, but, for now, the public window at Court Administration is closed and Court Administration is urging people in need of forms to attempt to get forms online.
This decision does not impact the Wright County Government Center as a whole, just a modification to Court Administration. All county departments and offices remain operational.
Here is the Administrative Order that was put out the afternoon of March 20:
WHEREAS, On March 13, 2020, the Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a peacetime state of emergency pursuant to the issuance of Executive Order 20-01 due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, also referred to as the Coronavirus; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued Administrative Order ADM20-8001 concerning the continuing operations of the courts of the state of Minnesota under a statewide peacetime declaration of emergency initially providing that courthouses will remain open, discouraging non-essential visits to courthouses, promoting the use of social distancing and other mitigation factors for individuals within the courthouses, and requiring that no person who has an elevated risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attend any incourt hearing or proceeding; and
WHEREAS, on March 20, 2020, in light of the continuing state of emergency and in an effort to further limit gatherings in public locations, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued Administrative Order ADM20-8801 providing that access to all court facilities shall be limited to only court staff and judicial officers, and participants whose presence is required for scheduled court proceedings. Case participants may include parties, attorneys, and individuals who are required to be present for the proceeding at direction of the presiding judge. Media access shall be coordinated, with requests for access being made through the Judicial Branch Court Information Office. All inperson access to judicial branch facilities and services, including public access terminals, will be unavailable during this time. Courthouse staff will continue to be available via telephone, and unless required to file electronically, filings may be made by e-mail as directed by court administration, by mail, in a drop box designated for court filings, as available, or by other means provided by court administration; filing fees still apply; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 484.69, subd. 3, the chief judge of the judicial district has general administrative authority over the courts in the judicial district; and
WHEREAS, in an effort to protect the public, as well as court participants and court staff pursuant to the Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court, by ensuring only persons necessary for court proceedings, while ensuring that constitutional rights are preserved;
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 1. Access to the Wright County courthouse will be limited to the parties in the case who are participating in the hearing, attorneys who represents those parties, any necessary court staff, and other individuals the presiding judge determines are necessary to conduct the hearing. Representatives of the media are permitted to attend hearings held in courtrooms, coordinated through the Judicial Branch Court Information Office at least 24 hours before the time of the hearing.
2. Efforts will be made to accommodate remote appearances for every scheduled hearing.
3. The court facility will closed to the public. For persons authorized under paragraph 1 of this order attending in-person, Front Doors-Government Center shall be used, and persons must identify the hearing or proceeding for which their attendance is required, such as by providing the name of the case or case number.
4. For persons who have other business with the court, eFiling, U.S. Mail, and telephone access will be available. Court administration can be reached at the following number: 763-682-7639; and court administration can be reached at the following email address: email@example.com. Persons may email filings to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons may also drop paper filings at that following location: Next to Front Doors – Government Center.
To read the Minnesota Supreme Court directive that initiated the change, click here: http://mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/CIOMediaLibrary/News%20and%20Public%20Notices/Orders/Order-Continuing-Operations-of-the-Courts-of-the-State-of-Minnesota-Under-a-Statewide-Peacetime-Declaration-of-Emergency.pdf