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Minnesota Rules of Adoption Procedure

Rule 6.Referees and Judges

6.01Referee Authorization to Hear Matter

A referee may, as authorized by the chief judge of the judicial district, hear any adoption matter under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

6.02Objection to Referee Presiding Over Matter

A party may object to having a referee preside over an adoption matter. A party's right to object shall be deemed waived unless the objection is in writing, filed with the court, and served upon all other parties within three (3) days after being informed that the matter is to be heard by a referee. Upon the filing of an objection, a judge shall hear any motion and shall preside at all further motions and proceedings involving the adoption matter.

6.03Transmittal of Referee's Findings and Recommended Order

Subdivision 1.Transmittal.

Upon the conclusion of a hearing, the referee shall provide to a judge the written findings and recommended order, including the findings of fact, conclusions of law, order for judgment, and adoption decree required pursuant to Rule 45. Notice of the findings and recommended order, along with notice of the right to review by a judge, shall be given either orally on the record or in writing to all parties, and to any other person as directed by the court.

Subd. 2.Effective Date.

The recommended order is effective upon signing by the referee unless stayed, reversed, or modified by a judge upon review.

(Amended effective January 1, 2007; amended effective September 1, 2019.)

6.04Review of Referee's Findings and Recommended Order

Subdivision 1.Right to Review.

A matter that has been decided by a referee may be reviewed in whole or in part by a judge. Review, if any is requested, shall be from the referee's written findings and recommended order. Upon request for review, the recommended order shall remain in effect unless stayed by a judge.

Subd. 2.Motion for Review.

Any motion for review of the referee's findings and recommended order, together with a memorandum of law, shall be filed with the court and served on all parties within five days of the filing of the referee's findings and recommended order. Upon the filing of a motion for review, the court administrator shall notify each party of the name of the judge to whom the review has been assigned.

Subd. 3.Response to Motion for Review.

The parties shall file and serve any responsive motion and memorandum within three days from the date of service of the motion for review.

Subd. 4.Timing.

Failure to timely file and serve a submission may result in dismissal of the motion for review or disallowance of the submissions.

Subd. 5.Basis of Review.

The review shall be based on the record before the referee and no additional evidence may be filed or considered. No personal appearances will be permitted, except upon order of the court for good cause shown.

Subd. 6.Transcripts.

Any party desiring to submit a transcript of the hearing held before the referee shall make arrangements with the court reporter at the earliest possible time. The court reporter shall advise the parties and the court of the day by which the transcript will be filed.

(Amended effective September 1, 2019.)

2004 Advisory Committee Comment

If a party cannot obtain the transcript in time to file it with the motion for review, the motion should set forth the date the transcript will be submitted. The motion, recommended order, and memorandum of law must still be filed within the five-day time period prescribed by the rule, but the decision of the court may be delayed until the court has the opportunity to review the transcript.

6.05Order of the Court

When no review is requested, or when the right to review is waived, the findings and recommended order of the referee become the order of the court when confirmed by the judge as written or when modified by the judge sua sponte. The order shall be confirmed or modified by the court within three days of the transmittal of the findings and proposed order.

(Amended effective August 1, 2009; amended effective September 1, 2019.)

6.06Removal of Judge or Referee

A party or the county attorney may file with the court and serve upon all other parties a notice to remove a particular judge or referee under the procedures and standards set forth in Rule 63 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.

(Amended effective January 1, 2007; amended effective September 1, 2019.)

2019 Advisory Committee Comment

The amendments to Rule 6 are intended to establish a consistent standard for removal of judges or referees. Former Rule 6.03 governed the process for removing a particular referee from presiding over a case, either as of right or for cause. This closely tracked the process for removing a particular judge from presiding over a case, in former Rule 6.07. Both judges and referees are governed by the Code of Judicial Conduct, and the committee believes the same process should govern removals of judges and removals of referees. Accordingly, former Rule 6.03 has been deleted, and removals of judges and referees are now governed by Rule 6.06. The rule incorporates the judicial removal procedures of Civil Procedure Rule 63, which in turn allows for a limited opportunity to remove a judge as of right, and (as of July 1, 2018) incorporates the Code of Judicial Conduct. The same standard is used in the Rules of Criminal Procedure (Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.03, subd. 14) and the Rules of Juvenile Delinquency Procedure (Minn. R. Juv. Del. P. 22).