The New 2020 Motion Practice Timing Rules

Enforcement of Court Orders

Effective January 1, 2020, the Minnesota General Rules of Practice and Rules of Civil Procedure have changed. Per Rule 303.01 (Scheduling of Motions), all motions and orders to show cause should contain the following statement:

“The Rules establish deadlines for responding to motions. All responsive pleadings shall be served and filed with the court administrator no later than 7 days before the scheduled hearing (change from 5 days). The court may, in its discretion, disregard any responsive pleadings served or filed with the court administrator less than 7 days before such hearing in ruling on the motion or matter in question.”

The Advisory Committee noted that the rules provide for the moving party to promptly advise the other party when a hearing date is obtained from the court, essentially codifying common courtesy.

Motion Practice

Regarding motion practice, Rule 303.03 changed the notice of motion and motion filing and service deadline from 14 days to 21 days. Responsive motions raising new issues must be served and filed 14 days prior to the hearing, instead of the previous deadline of 10 days. A responsive motion not raising new issues must be served and filed 7 days before the hearing, instead of the previous deadline of 5 days.

At the same time the initial motion is filed, the new rules state that if you so choose, you must include your request for the taking of oral testimony, including the names of witnesses, the nature and length of the testimony, and exhibits. If you anticipate the hearing time will take longer than half an hour, you must make a separate written motion describing why the evidence you are intending to present cannot be submitted by affidavit.

Lastly, any motion relating to custody or visitation must now state whether either party would like the court to interview the minor children. No minor child under the age of 14 years will be allowed to testify without prior written notice to the other party and court approval.

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