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2005 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute section. Also view the most recent published version.

487.01 MS 1957 Local, Hennepin County, see Laws 1961, chapter 527

487.01 Probate and county courts; provisions.

Subdivision 1. Establishment. A probate court, which shall be a court of record having a seal, and, except in the counties of Hennepin and Ramsey shall also be a county court, is established in each county. Hearings may be had at such times and places in the county as the court may deem advisable. The county courts of the state shall be in continuous session and shall be deemed open at all times, except on legal holidays and Sundays.

Subd. 2. County board duties. The county board of a county to which sections 487.01 to 487.38 apply shall provide and furnish to the county court the courtrooms, quarters, supplies, equipment and personnel the court finds necessary for its purposes.

Subd. 3. Combined districts. The following combined probate and county court districts are established: Kittson, Roseau and Lake of the Woods; Marshall, Red Lake and Pennington; Norman and Mahnomen; Cass and Hubbard; Wadena and Todd; Mille Lacs and Kanabec; Big Stone and Traverse; Grant and Douglas; Lincoln and Lyon; Rock and Nobles; Dodge and Olmsted; Lake and Cook; Pine, Isanti and Chisago; Sherburne, Benton and Stearns. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph the separation of combined county court districts by concurrent action of county boards before April 23, 1977, shall continue to be in effect unless the districts are combined pursuant to subdivision 6.

A combined county court district may be separated into single county courts by the Supreme Court. Vacancies in the office of judge created by such a separation shall be filled in the manner herein provided for the selection of other county court judges.

The single county court districts so created by such separation shall each be entitled to one judge, subject to the provisions of subdivision 5, clause (5), provided, however, that if the number of judges of the combined county court district exceeds the number of counties, then, upon separation into single county court districts, the county having the largest population determined by the last United States census shall be entitled to two judges and in the event there are more judges than counties remaining, the county having the next largest population determined by the last United States census shall also be entitled to two judges.

In each other county except Hennepin and Ramsey, the probate court of the single county is also the county court of the county and shall be governed by the provisions of sections 487.01 to 487.38.

Subd. 4. Inapplicable to Hennepin and Ramsey. The provisions of sections 487.01 to 487.38 do not apply to the counties of Hennepin and Ramsey.

Subd. 5. Elections. Each county court district shall elect one county court judge except:

(1) The district consisting of St. Louis County shall elect six judges; two of the county court judges shall reside and serve in and be elected at large by the voters of St. Louis County; two of the county court judges shall reside and serve in and be elected by the voters in that part of St. Louis County south of the following described line: South of the south line of township 55; except the towns of Toivola, Cedar Valley, Kelsey, and Cotton, the area to be known as the south district; one county court judge shall reside and serve in and be elected by the voters of an area to be known as the northwest district, which area lies within the following described lines in St. Louis County: North of the south line of township 55 and west of the west line of range 18 and excluding that part of Portage township west of the west line of range 18; and including the towns of McDavitt, Toivola, and Cedar Valley; and one county court judge shall reside and serve in and be elected by the voters of an area to be known as the northeast district, which area lies within the following described lines in St. Louis County: North of the south line of township 55 and east of the west line of range 18 and including that part of Portage township west of the west line of range 18, and the towns of Kelsey and Cotton, and excluding the town of McDavitt.

(2) The district consisting of Dakota County shall elect six judges;

(3) The following districts shall each elect three judges:

Blue Earth County,

Scott and Carver Counties;

(4) The following districts shall each elect two county court judges:

Clay County,

Cass and Hubbard Counties,

Crow Wing County,

Marshall County,

Red Lake and Pennington Counties.

(5) The number of judges to be elected may be increased by the county board of the affected county or by the concurrence of the county boards of those affected counties combined into districts; provided that no new judge positions authorized pursuant to this section may be created without specific statutory authorization. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision, county judge positions created by county board action prior to April 23, 1977, shall be continued unless terminated pursuant to subdivision 6.

Subd. 6. Combining districts. For the more effective administration of justice, the Supreme Court may combine two or more county court districts into a single county court district. If districts are combined, the office of a judge may be terminated at the expiration of the judge's term and the judge shall be eligible for retirement compensation under the provisions of sections 490.121 to 490.132. If the office of a judge who has not qualified for retirement compensation is terminated the judge shall upon attaining age 62 or more, be entitled to an annuity or proportionate annuity as computed under the provisions of sections 490.121 to 490.132 based upon the judge's years of service as a judge. A judge whose office is terminated shall continue to receive the insurance coverage provided for a judge of the office but shall pay the premiums.

Subd. 7. Reduction of judges. When the judicial business of a county court permits, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, upon the recommendation of all of the county boards of a county court district may, by order filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, reduce the number of county court judges. The office of any judge shall not be terminated until the expiration of the term of the judge.

Subd. 8. Repealed, 1983 c 359 s 151

Subd. 9. Grandfather provision. (1) All probate judges in office on July 1, 1972 shall be the county court judges of their respective counties and shall continue in office as such for the balance of the terms for which they were last elected and shall be eligible for reelection to office. In counties hereby combined into county court districts and for which only one judge is provided, the probate judge of the county having the largest population determined by the last United States census shall be the judge of the county court if the judge consents, and files a consent prior to July 1, 1972 in the Office of the Secretary of State. If the judge does not consent, the probate judge of the smaller county shall be the judge of the county court. In counties combined into county court districts for which only one judge is provided, a probate judge in any of the affected counties who at the effective date of this act, is, or before or at the expiration of the judge's then current term of office will become, eligible for retirement pursuant to section 222 shall not become county court judge upon the effective date of this act, but the judge shall serve as a judicial officer until retirement which shall occur not later than the expiration of the judge's then current term of office. If all probate judges in such a county court district will qualify for retirement pursuant to section 222 at or before the expiration of their current term of office as of the effective date of this act, the county court judge shall be selected according to the population of the respective counties in the county court district as hereinbefore provided in subparagraph 1. The probate judge who is not hereby designated as judge of the county court shall continue in office until the expiration of the probate judge's term and become a part time judicial officer of the county court, hearing and trying matters assigned by the judge of the county court but, if the probate judge is not learned in the law, then the probate judge shall hear and try only matters assigned by the judge of the county court that the probate judge was heretofore authorized by law to hear and try.

(1a) The probate judges of St. Louis County Probate Court in office on January 1, 1974 shall be county court judges of the county court of St. Louis County and shall continue in office as such for the balance of the terms for which they were last elected and shall be eligible for reelection to office.

(2) Except as provided in subparagraph 1, the judges required by the application of this section shall be appointed by the governor from among the municipal court judges or magistrates serving pursuant to a municipal ordinance, charter, or legislative act other than special municipal court judges serving within the county who are learned in the law and consent thereto. A judge so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected and qualifies. If there are no serving municipal court judges, such county court judges shall be elected at the next general election following July 1, 1972.

(2a) Except as provided in subparagraph 1a, the judges required by the application of this section in the south district of the county court of St. Louis County shall be appointed by the governor from among the full time judges of the municipal court of the city of Duluth in office on January 1, 1974, and a judge so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected and qualifies; and the judges required in the northwest and northeast districts of the county court of St. Louis County shall be appointed by the governor from among persons learned in the law residing in each district, and a judge so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected and qualifies.

HIST: (8992-1) 1935 c 72 s 1; 1971 c 951 s 1; Ex1971 c 19 s 1; Ex1971 c 32 s 30,31; 1973 c 679 s 1; 1977 c 35 s 14; 1977 c 204 s 1; 1977 c 432 s 20-23; 1979 c 41 s 2; 1981 c 224 s 215,216; 1Sp1985 c 13 s 362; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 346 s 4-6

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