(a) In any case that the court or parties believe is likely to be complex, or where other reasons of efficiency or the interests of justice dictate, the chief judge of the district or the chief judge's designee may order that all pretrial and trial proceedings shall be heard before a single judge. The court may enter such an order at any time on its own initiative, in response to a suggestion in a party's civil cover sheet filed under Rule 104, or on the motion of any party, and shall enter such an order when the requirements of Rule 113.01(b) have been met. The motion shall comply with these rules and shall be supported by affidavit(s). In any case assigned to a single judge pursuant to this Rule that judge shall actively use enhanced judicial management techniques, including, but not limited to, the setting of a firm trial date, establishment of a discovery cut off date, and periodic case conferences.
(b) Grounds. Unless the court finds that court management of the claims and/or issues involved has become routine or that the interests of justice require otherwise, the court shall order that all pretrial and trial proceedings shall be heard before a single judge upon a showing that the action is likely to involve one or more of the following:
(1) numerous pretrial motions raising difficult or novel legal issues that will be time consuming to resolve;
(2) management of a large number of witnesses or substantial amount of documentary evidence;
(3) management of a large number of separately represented parties;
(4) the opportunity to coordinate with related actions pending in another court;
(5) substantial post-judgment judicial supervision.
(Added effective July 1, 1994; amended effective March 1, 2001; amended effective July 1, 2013.)
A motion for assignment of two or more cases pending within a single judicial district to a single judge shall be made to the chief judge of the district in which the cases are pending, or the chief judge's designee.
(Added effective July 1, 1994; amended effective March 1, 2001.)
(a) Assignment by Chief Justice. When two or more cases pending in more than one judicial district involve one or more common questions of fact or are otherwise related cases in which there is a special need for or desirability of central or coordinated judicial management, a motion by a party or a court's request for assignment of the cases to a single judge may be made to the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
(b) Procedure. The motion shall identify by court, case title, case number, and judge assigned, if any, each case for which assignment to a single judge is requested. The motion shall also indicate the extent to which the movant anticipates that additional related cases may be filed. An original and two copies of the motion shall be filed with the clerk of appellate courts. A copy of the motion shall be served on other counsel and any unrepresented parties in all cases for which assignment is requested and the chief judge of each district in which such an action is pending. Any party may file and serve a response within 5 days after service of the motion. Any reply shall be filed and served within 2 days of service of the response. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, the motion and any response shall comply with the requirements of Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 127 and 132.02.
(c) Mechanics and Effect of Transfer. When such a motion is made, the chief justice may, after consultation with the chief judges of the affected districts and the state court administrator, assign the cases to a judge in one of the districts in which any of the cases is pending or in any other district. If the motion is to be granted, in selecting a judge the chief justice may consider, among other things, the scope of the cases and their possible impact on judicial resources, the availability of adequate judicial resources in the affected districts, and the ability, interests, training and experience of the available judges. As necessary, the chief justice may assign an alternate or back-up judge or judges to assist in the management and disposition of the cases. The assigned judge may refer any case to the chief judge of the district in which the case was pending for trial before a judge of that district selected by the chief judge.
(Added effective July 1, 1994; amended effective March 1, 2001; amended effective January 1, 2006.)