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Last Updated: May 13, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Minnesota State Law Library Legal Topics Directory
by Danielle Becker - Last Updated Apr 24, 2015
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MN Court Self-Help Center Resources



Additional statutes, regulations and opinions may apply to your specific situation.

Source:  Office of the Revisor of Statutes


Court Rules

General Rules of Practice

(with amendments effective July 1, 2011, unless noted otherwise below)

Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure (rules that govern the process of civil litigation).


What if I Can't Find My Spouse to Serve Papers?

When to Use the Application for an Order for Service by Alternate  Means:

  • In a Dissolution of Marriage case, the Petitioner arranges to have someone else hand-deliver the Summons and Petition to the petitioner's spouse. This is called "personal service."
  • In some cases, it is not possible to find the spouse, and the Petitioner must ask the judge to order the Summons and Petition delivered some other (alternate) way.
  • The judge's order can say that the papers must be mailed to the spouse's last known address and/or mailed to another address (like a relative's home) where it is likely the papers will be given to the spouse.
  • The judge can also order the Summons to be published in a legal newspaper. The cost of publishing the summons must be paid by Petitioner, unless Petitioner gets a fee waiver (In Forma Pauperis or "IFP") signed by a judge that specifically waives the service of process and publication costs.

Source:  MN State Courts



As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts).  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.

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