Basic Housing Court
Issues and Procedures
An Introduction to Practice
in Housing Court in
Hennepin County
Housing Court Rules

Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 601-612

Supplement Minnesota Rules of Civil
Procedure

Jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters
arising under Chapter 504B
Types of Cases Heard
in Housing Court

Eviction Action
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Rent Escrow Action / Tenant Remedies Action
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Issue: Non-emergency repair/habitability/lease/use problem
Emergency Tenant Remedies Action
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Issue: Possession claim by owner/landlord/mortgagee/vendor
Formerly called an Unlawful Detainer Action or “UD”
Issue: Emergency repair/habitability problem
Unlawful Exclusion Action (Lockout)
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Issue: Possession claim by tenant/mortgagor/vendee
Four Common Legal Bases
for an Eviction Action

Nonpayment of rent

Breach of a material provision of a lease

Holding over past the end of a lease/tenancy

Holding over past the end of foreclosure
redemption period
Pleading in an Eviction Action
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Variation of statewide court form commonly
used.
Landlord must plead compliance with agent
and address disclosure requirements of
Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.181.
Plaintiff must allege facts authorizing present
right to recover possession of premises
under Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.321.
Facts Authorizing Recovery of
Possession of Premises

Basic facts about the lease and tenancy
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Governing contract – oral or written
Nature of tenancy
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Monthly rent amount
Identity of landlord
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Tenancy for a term
Tenancy at will
Owner – Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.001, subd. 7
Disclosures under Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.181
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Agent for service of process
Street address
Facts Authorizing Recovery of
Possession of Premises (cont.)

Substantive claim
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
Request for judgment for possession
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
Nonpayment of rent
Breach of material lease provision
Holding over
Writ of recovery (formerly writ of restitution)
Verification of non-military status of
defendant(s)
Filing an Eviction Action

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Where to file: Henn. Cty. Gov’t. Ctr. – 2nd Fl.
Filing fee: $322.00
Timeline for hearing: 10-14 days after filing
Service of process
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Sheriff
Professional process server
Any other disinterested third party
Personal Jurisdiction –
Statutory Service Requirements

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Personal or abode service
Service by mail and posting under Minn. Stat.
Sec. 504B.331
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Two personal service attempts
Mailing of Summons and Complaint
Filing of Affidavits of Mailing and Not Found
Posting of Summons and Complaint
Filing of Affidavit of Posting
Pre-Hearing Deadlines

Removal from Housing Court under Minn.
Gen. R. Prac. 602
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
Deadline: Day before initial hearing
Filing of affidavit of personal/substitute
service or affidavit of posting
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Deadline: Three business days before initial
hearing
Housing Court Procedure –
General Limits of Court’s Discretion

Jurisdiction over disputes related to present
right of possession
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
Rent
Repair issues and other violations of statute/lease
Right of redemption and eviction stays
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Seven-day maximum for tenant redemption
Seven-day maximum to stay the writ of recovery
Housing Court Procedure –
Uncontested Cases

Uncontested cases heard first (with settled
cases)

Determination of jurisdiction

Default  Request for immediate writ or
order allowing redemption
Housing Court Procedure for
Contested Cases – Settlement Options

Free mediation available
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
Repayment agreement
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
Installments typically subject to threat of writ of
recovery
Move-out agreement
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Option for pre-filing mediation
Vacate date subject to threat of writ of recovery
Agreement for repairs and rent abatement
Housing Court Procedure –
Common Defenses

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Improper service
Improper plaintiff or authority to appear
Disclosure of a post office box address
Failure to comply with municipal rental
licensing requirement
Repair and habitability issues
Acceptance of a partial payment of rent in
arrears
Housing Court Procedure for
Contested Cases – Trial Issues

Deposit of unpaid rent for some affirmative
defenses
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Discovery
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Repair/habitability defenses
Rent withheld in reliance on a defense
By order from the court, usually only if requested
Oral or written motions allowed on day of trial
under Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 610
Jury trial versus bench trial
Trial Procedure in Housing Court
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No discovery, unless requested and ordered
at initial appearance
AT LEAST 4 copies of each exhibit (Court,
Plaintiff/Petitioner, Defendant/Respondent,
and witness)
Opening statements optional
Cases in chief, then rebuttal
Closing arguments vs. post-trial submissions
Post-Trial Issues

Judge Review
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Motion to Vacate Judgment / Motion to Quash Writ
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Deadline: 10 days after oral pronouncement or 13 days
after mailing of written order
Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02
Motion for Expungement
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Statutory Standard
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Lack of sufficient basis in fact or law for the plaintiff’s case
Interests of justice
Public’s interest
Common Law Inherent Authority Standard
Enforcement of Writ of Recovery
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Where to obtain writ of recovery: Henn. Cty. Gov’t. Ctr. – 3rd Fl.
Where to start enforcement process: Mpls. City Hall, Room 30
Fees:
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$55.00 for writ of recovery
$100.00 for posting of writ of recovery by Sheriff
Additional fees for move-out and property inventory supervised by
Sheriff
Notice of date and time of eviction required
Storage and maintenance of personal property
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60 days – Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.365 (if removed and stored offsite)
28 days – Minn. Stat. Sec. 504B.271 (if stored on-site)
Questions and Contact Information
Legal Aid Client Intake: (612)-334-5970
Drew P. Schaffer, Staff Attorney
Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis
430 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Telephone/Facsimile: (612)-746-3644
Electronic Mail: [email protected]
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Basic Housing Court Procedures