The counter at the Otter Tail Court Administrator’s Office is open for in-person service to the public. Hours will be Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. A brief screening, which includes a series of questions regarding symptoms common to the COVID-19 virus, is required before access to Court Administration is granted. Otter Tail County and Otter Tail County District Court will follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our staff and customers. The Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan outlines expectations the court is following. Those expectations include:
- Social Distancing, or maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, in all directions, at all times;
- Courthouse visitors will be encouraged to bring and wear their own face covering while in the Otter Tail County Courthouse, disposable masks are available at the front door, if needed;
- Court staff will regularly disinfect and clean commonly-touched surfaces;
- Hand sanitizer is available to the public in all Court areas of the Courthouse.
Because social distancing will be observed, the number of customers who can be served at the Court Administration counter at one time will be limited. The public is encouraged to conduct their business with Court Administration remotely, when possible. The following no-contact or low-contact options are available:
- Phone assistance for questions, information, and paying fines or fees by credit card.
- Fine/fee payments can be made by calling the Court Payment Center online, by phone at 1-800-657-3611, or by mail check or money order payable to Court Administration to Minnesota Court Payment Center, PO Box 898, Willmar, MN 56201.
- If paying by check or money order provide the citation or case number. Cash is not accepted by mail.
- A drop box is available at the north entrance to the Courthouse. Filings are also accepted by mail, or e-mail at [email protected]. If a fee is required with the filing, call Court Administration to make payment by phone after drop off. Many cases are required to be submitted using the electronic filing system (eFS) where fees are accepted electronically.
- Court forms are available on the Get Forms Some frequently used forms will be available in a rack located at the entrance to the Courthouse. You can also contact the Minnesota State Library at 651-297-7651 or [email protected] and to request that forms be mailed to you.
Otter Tail County District Court is not holding in-person hearings at this time; all hearings are being held remotely. Learn more about remote hearings by visiting the Remote Hearings webpage.
Court Administration is available to answer questions at 218-998-8420, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Districts & Judges
Otter Tail District Court is one of 10 District Courts located in the Seventh Judicial District. It is served by 3 judges: Judge Barbara R. Hanson, Sharon G. Benson and Kevin M. Miller who are chambered in Fergus Falls. The District Court, created by the Minnesota Constitution, is the court of general jurisdiction.
Otter Tail Court Administration works closely with the Judiciary to insure the smooth and efficient operation of District Court. It is responsible for carrying out the duties and responsibilities mandated by Minnesota Statutes, state and district administrative policies, and court rules.
Court Administration maintains all of the records in each of the court’s 6 divisions: civil, family, probate, juvenile, criminal / traffic, and conciliation court; manages the court calendars for each judge; insures accurate accounting and distribution of fines, fees, trust funds, restitution, and bail; provides accurate recording and safekeeping of trial exhibits; and assists members of the public as they seek to meet their legal needs through the district court.
Court Administration is located on Annex 2 of the Otter Tail County Courthouse.
Questions regarding filing Court documents or specific questions?
Please contact us at 218-998-8420 or call the Self-Help Center at (651) 435-6535