In misdemeanor cases, the court may schedule a pretrial conference. If the court does not hold a pretrial conference, pretrial motions and other issues must be heard immediately before trial.
The court must hear and determine all motions made by the parties and receive evidence offered in support of or opposition to the motion. A party may cross-examine any witness called by any other party.
The court must hear and determine any constitutional, evidentiary, procedural and other issues that may be resolved before trial and resolve other matters that promote a fair and expeditious trial. The court may continue the hearing for that purpose.
The court must hear and determine any issues specified in Rule 7.01 if the defendant or prosecutor demands a hearing.
If the prosecutor gives notice under Rule 7.02 of additional offenses and the defendant moves for a hearing, the court must determine the admissibility of that evidence under Minn. R. Evid. 404(b), and also determine whether clear and convincing evidence exists that the defendant committed the additional offenses.
When a trial is to be heard by a jury, the evidentiary hearing must be held separately from the jury trial. When a trial is to be heard by the court, the evidentiary hearing may be held separately or as part of the court trial. A separate evidentiary hearing must be held immediately before trial unless the court finds good cause to otherwise order.
The complaint, if any, may be amended at the pretrial conference as prescribed by these rules.
The defendant may enter a guilty plea to the charged offense or a different offense, as permitted in Rule 15.08.
The pretrial conference may be continued to take testimony or for other good cause, and may be continued to the day of trial to determine issues and motions.
All motions and issues, including evidentiary issues, must be decided before trial unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. Decisions must be in writing or on the record.
A verbatim record of the proceedings must be made unless waived by the parties.
If any party offers video or audio evidence, that party must not be required to provide a transcript of the evidence as a prerequisite to admissibility. If the party provides a transcript of the evidence, and the court admits the transcript as an illustrative exhibit, the transcript becomes part of the record, used for illustrative purposes with the exhibit only. The court reporter must not transcribe video or audio evidence.
(Amended effective March 1, 2020.)