450 N Syndicate St, Suite 315 St. Paul, MN 55104 info@clcmn.org 651-644-4438

COVID-19 Court Coverage During the Outbreak

 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Judicial Branch implemented several changes to its court calendar and cases.  http://mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/CIOMediaLibrary/Limited-Court-Service-Case-Priorities-List-with-Definitions.pdf  Additionally, on March 20, 2020 Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea issued a statewide order, ADM20-8001 Continuing Operations of the Courts of the State of Minnesota Under a Statewide Peacetime Declaration of Emergency.  The March 20, 2020 order restricts in-person access to courthouses for only designated case types, and opens up additional opportunities for remote hearings that must occur during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order’s effective date is Monday, March 23, 2020, and it is in effect for the next 30 days or until another order is issued, whichever comes first.

For CLC cases, please note that on March 30, 2020, the following changes will take place:

RAMSEY COUNTY

  • Intermediate disposition review, permanency progress and post permanency review hearings will be paper reviews. The court will review the court reports submitted by the social services agency worker and the Guardian ad Litem.  CLC and parents may e-file client responses to the court reports no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing.  CLC will assist our volunteers with their court submission filings, specifically we will provide a template for submissions and are able efile the submissions for our volunteers.  Should a volunteer want CLC to efile the submission, please provide your submission to CLC approximately 1/2 a day earlier than the court’s 24 hour deadline.
  • If the court believes a phone appearance is necessary, CLC will be notified by Court Administration with the exact details for the calls and we will pass this information on to our volunteers;
  • Emergency Motion Hearings will be permitted; however the exact notice details have not been finalized by the Bench and Court Administration;
  • Admit/Deny CHIPS Hearings will be held in person when child is in placement and CLC staff attorneys will handle these hearings;
  • Admit/Deny Hearings related to Termination of Parental Rights or Permanency Petition will be held in person. Please contact CLC if would you prefer a CLC staff attorney appear in your place;
  • Emergency Protective Care Hearings or Continued Emergency Protective Care Hearings will be held in person; and
  • No pre-trial hearings or trials will be held or scheduled at this time.

HENNEPIN COUNTY

Judge Caligiuri will be conducting paper review hearings for all Legacy cases by reading all court reports submitted, including information submitted by Legacy children and youth.  CLC attorneys are able to submit their client’s positions and comments through email by close of business the day before each review hearing.   After the paper review of the case, the court will issue her order.  If Judge Caligiuri has any questions or requests, she will let the parties know.

If your child client has an update for Judge Caligiuri, please send an email to the following parties:

To:          4thJudgeCaligiuriStaff@courts.state.mn.us

Cc:          4thGALHearingNotices@courts.state.mn.us; lisa.godon@hennepin.us; Julie.McMonigal@hennepin.us; legal@clcmn.org.

Please remember to include your client’s file number in the subject line. Additionally, if your client’s identity is confidential, the client must be identified as Child 1, 2 etc.

Extended Foster Care (EFC) hearings for March in Hennepin County were given two options: paper review or conduct the hearing by having the parties call into the courtroom.  We are awaiting current updates for the April 20, 2020 calendar and we will inform our volunteers with cases on this calendar as soon as the exact details of this calendar are finalized.

We know that this is challenging for everyone, especially for the youth we represent.  We are hearing from our clients that they are having a hard time staying at home, and that in many instances their mental health services have been cancelled during the time they need it most.  We encourage you to stay in touch with your clients by phone or face time, even if just to listen to what they have to say.  As always if any of your clients have needs arise in light of the COVID-19 (housing, food, placement challenges) you can share this CLC resource page with them, and also connect with our staff for further support and recommendations.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

We want to thank you for the amazing work you do on behalf of our child clients and ensure you that we want to do our part in safeguarding the health of everyone involved.

If you have any questions, please email us at legal@clcmn.org

Stay safe!