Fargo & Moorhead Legal Team

COVID-19 & Minnesota Courts

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz had let the current stay-at-home order expire as scheduled on May 18, 2020, and replaced it with the “Stay Safe MN” order, allowing malls, retail stores, and main street businesses to reopen for in-person shopping – with a limit of a maximum occupancy of 50 percent capacity while incorporating social distancing – and gatherings of up to 10 people. 

In response to this new order, the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea announced guidelines toward reopening court facilities. Courts must first meet conditions set forth in a preparedness plan to address cleanliness, face-coverings, and social distancing.  

While some hearings will still be held remotely, for the time being, a limited number of pilot jury trials will start June 1. The new court order also says no other criminal jury trials will begin before July 6 and civil jury trials will not occur before September 1. 

Previously, Justice Gildea issued a statewide order for all Minnesota state courts on May 1, stating no jury trials and grand juries will occur before June 1 – other than grand juries already empaneled from March 23, 2020, and beyond. 

Furthermore, the new order limits in-person courthouse counter support to individuals who are there for in-person proceedings. Other services will still be available online or by phone. 

If you have been recently arrested or currently dealing with a criminal case in Moorhead, Class County, Clay County, or the surrounding areas, Joe Irby Law Firm can guide you through the legal process during this uncertain time. Although the court system continues to be limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing your criminal charges immediately can give us an opportunity to thoroughly prepare your defense and help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. 

For more information, contact us today at (218) 325-5050 to schedule an initial consultation. We are available by phone and video conferencing by appointment only.