Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office and the Hennepin County Attorney's Office?
The Minneapolis City Attorney's Office represents the City of Minneapolis, its elected officials and staff, City departments and the City’s independent boards and commissions in all civil matters. In addition, the Office prosecutes petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases committed by adults, occurring within the City.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office prosecutes felony level criminal cases, or cases involving juvenile offenders (person under 18 years of age).
Typical felony offenses include, but are not limited to the following: robbery, terroristic threats, motor vehicle theft, theft or damage to property where the value stolen or damaged is over $1000, assault with a dangerous weapon, criminal sexual conduct, child neglect and burglary.
Typical misdemeanor offenses include, but are not limited to the following: simple assault – domestic or non-domestic, disorderly conduct, trespassing, consuming alcohol in public, driver’s license or insurance violations, driving under the influence of alcohol, loitering with intent, possession of drug paraphernalia in public, violation of an order for protection or a harassment/restraining order, theft or damage to property where the value of the stolen or damaged property is less than $1000, careless or reckless driving and most petty traffic offenses.
Felony Criminal Prosecution
Hennepin County Attorney's Office - (612) 348-5561
Juvenile Criminal Prosecution
Hennepin County Attorney's Office - (612) 348-7916
No. The Minneapolis City Attorney's Office does not represent individuals in private legal matters and cannot provide any legal advice to individuals. Attorneys in the Office represent the City's elected officials and staff, City departments, and the City’s independent boards and commissions.
All reports of criminal activity must be made to a law enforcement agency, such as the Minneapolis Police Department. For crimes that have already occurred, please contact Minneapolis 311 or (612) 673-3000. For crimes in progress or an emergency, call 9-1-1.
If the police responded but did not make a police report, you must go to the police precinct and request that a police report be written. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office cannot pursue criminal charges without a police report.
Contact the Minneapolis Police Department Narcotics Unit at (612) 673-3455, or the Minneapolis Police Department Community Response Team in your police precinct. If you witness an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.
Call the Domestic Abuse Service Center - (612) 348-5073.
A domestic order for protection is a Court order that a victim of domestic abuse by a family or household member can apply for to prohibit that person from having any contact with the victim and to prohibit future acts of domestic abuse. In order to apply for an order for protection, your relationship to the person whom you are seeking the order against must be as a:
- spouses and former spouses;
- parents and children;
- persons related by blood;
- persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
- persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
Go the Self Help Center on the 2nd level of the Hennepin County Government Center, located at 300 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis. They do not take appointments or phone calls. It is walk in service only. The Self Help Center will help fill out the appropriate paperwork
A harassment restraining order is a Court order that a victim of harassment by another person can apply for to prohibit that person from having any contact with the victim and to prohibit future harassment. In order to apply for a harassment restraining order, you do not need to have a specific relationship to the other person.
Contact Minneapolis 311 and provide them with your contact information and police report (CCN) number.
If you are calling regarding a domestic case (assault, violation of a restraining order/order for protection or domestic abuse no contact order, interference with a 911 call, etc.) involving your current or ex-spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, Minneapolis 311 will refer you to the Domestic Abuse Service Center at 612-348-5073. If you are calling on a non-domestic case (including a case involving a family member such as a parent, sibling or child), Minneapolis 311 will refer your information to the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office where an attorney will review the report and make a charging decision within the next 60 day. You will be notified in writing as to the charging decision
A subpoena is a lawful court order requiring you to appear in court at a certain date and time to be a witness in a trial or hearing. If you do not respond to the subpoena or you do not appear in court on the scheduled date, you may be subject to arrest.
If you need to discuss scheduling options, contact the individual listed in the subpoena as soon as possible.
If you are a victim of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor crime being prosecuted by the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office and wish to provide input or learn about services that are available to you, please contact the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office by calling 3-1-1 or if outside the Minneapolis area, by contacting (612) 673-3000 and ask to speak to the victim/witness assistant assigned to your case.
If you are a concerned citizen please provide your input using the Community Impact Statement process through this website.
If the case is a felony -- contact the Hennepin County Victim Advocate office at 612-348-4003
If you are trying to find out if a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor case has been charged yet – contact the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office by calling 3-1-1 or if outside the Minneapolis area, by contacting (612) 673-3000.
If the case has been charged and you are trying to find out the status or next court date – contact the Hennepin County Clerk of Court - (612) 348-2040.
If the case is a felony – contact the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office – 612-348-5561.
I am the victim of a domestic assault or related crime. What should I do or what services are available?
Call the Hennepin County Clerk of Court at (612) 348-2040.
If you have a pending criminal case and are looking for legal advice or representation, you are free to contact any attorney you choose. Some organizations which provide low cost or sliding fee legal services are:
Legal Advice and Representation for private or personal legal matters:
- Volunteer Lawyer Network - (612) 752-6677
- Legal Rights Center - (612) 337-0030
- Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis - (612) 334-5970
If this is the first request for a continuance and the case is not a domestic assault charge or a petty court trial, contact the Hennepin County Clerk of Court at (612)-348-2040.
If you have an attorney, your attorney must make the phone call.
In all other cases, the defendant or defense attorney needs the approval of the prosecutor. In these cases, contact the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office by calling 3-1-1 or if outside the Minneapolis area, by contacting (612) 673-3000.
When you don't show up in court for a scheduled court date on a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor case, a warrant is automatically issued for your arrest by the presiding judge (called a "bench warrant"). If you have missed your court date and have an active warrant - contact the Hennepin County Sheriff's office at (612) 348-2000.
If there is an active warrant - contact the Hennepin County Sheriff's office at (612) 348-2000.
To check to see if there is a warrant against you, go to City Hall, Room 22.
If the case is currently charged and pending in court, discovery requests must be made to the Minneapolis City Attorneys Discovery Clerk Paralegal. If you are represented by an attorney, the request must be made by your attorney. Your attorney must have filed a Certificate of Representation with the court in connection with the case. The request may be mailed to the attention of our discovery clerk paralegal at our address 350 South 5th Street – Room 210, Minneapolis, MN 55415 or faxed to (612) 673-3649 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is over ten pages, the charge is $0.25 (twenty-five cents) per page, including the first 10 pages. For DVD/CD requests, the charge is $10 (ten dollars) per every DVD/CD requested.
Some examples of items that may be requested via the discovery process are the police report, the accident report, videotapes, audio tapes and photographs.
If the case is closed or was never charged, you must contact the Minneapolis Police Department Records Unit – Room 31 in City Hall or call (612) 673-2961.
If you do not live in Minnesota or the Minneapolis area, you can contact the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office to see if there is a possibility of resolving your case through the mail without having to appear in person. You may contact the City Attorney’s Office by calling 3-1-1 or if outside the Minneapolis area, by contacting (612) 673-3000.
Contact the Minneapolis Police Department’s Property and Evidence Unit at (612)-673-2932. If not found there then contact the police officer or precinct.
Be aware that some property may be held as evidence and will not be released until the pending criminal case has been resolved.
I am an attorney or a pro se (unrepresented) and I would like to discuss a case with the prosecutor prior to the court date and/or I need to send the prosecutor some documents.
Most cases are not assigned to a specific attorney prior to the trial. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office does not usually negotiate cases prior to the court appearance. At the court appearance you will have a chance to speak with the prosecutor.
If you need to fax the prosecutor documents, please fax them to (612) 673-2189 to the attention of the criminal division.
Contact either the Civilian Police Review Authority (612) 673-5500, the Minneapolis Police Department Internal Affairs Division (612) 673-3074 or by calling 3-1-1 or if outside the Minneapolis area, by contacting (612) 673-3000.
To file a claim against the City, contact Risk Management - (612) 673-2969.
The types of claims Risk Management deals with:
- Having your car towed and wanting to recover your towing and storage fees
- Property damage caused by an accident with a City vehicle
- Property damage caused by the police (breaking down a door)
Contact the Minneapolis Impound lot - (612) 673-5777.
If your vehicle is being held pursuant to a felony charge, please contact the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office only handles vehicles being held pursuant to a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor charge. If the last name of the driver of your vehicle at the time the vehicle was seized begins with the letter:
A through H - Contact Judd Gushwa at (612) 673-2644
I through P - Contact Michelle Doffing at (612) 673-2015
Q through Z - Contact Patrick Marzitelli at (612) 673-2671
Go to the Self Help Center on the 2nd level of the Hennepin County Government Center, located at 300 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis. They do not take appointments or phone calls. It is walk in service only. The Self Help Center will help fill out the appropriate paperwork to obtain an expungement.
You may also access the Fourth Judicial District’s website for expungement information at http://www.mncourts.gov/district/4.
The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office does not conduct criminal background checks on individuals. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office will not verify criminal convictions or a person’s criminal history.
To conduct a criminal background check please contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 651-793-2400 or visit their website at www.bca.state.mn.us.
For general public data information, please email your request to email@example.com.
You may review information on how to access records on accidents, incidents and arrests documented by the Minneapolis Police Department by contacting the MPD Records Information Unit website.
To obtain restitution, the case must first be charged. Once charged, if the City Attorney resolves the case favorably (either by conviction or diversion), he or she may ask the court to order the defendant to pay restitution. The City Attorney's Office victim witness assistants will contact the victim(s) in the case and help determine the amount of restitution. Victims may be asked to provide proof of the amount of the loss they sustained. The City Attorney's Office then notifies the court and the court orders the defendant to pay. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has assumed the responsibility for collecting the restitution.
If you have a question about restitution and the case is not yet resolved, please contact Minneapolis 311 and they will refer your call to the City Attorney's Office.
If you have questions about restitution and the case has been resolved and restitution was ordered, please contact the Hennepin County Attorney's Office at 612-348-5550.
Last updated Oct. 3, 2013