Frequently Asked Questions

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Q.  I am a resident of Carver County. Can the Carver County Attorney's Office help me with a legal problem?

A.  Minnesota statutes establish the duties of the County Attorney’s Office. Generally, both prosecutors and other attorneys in the Carver County Attorney’s Office represent Carver County as a political subdivision of the State of Minnesota. Because the Carver County Attorney's Office "clients" are respectively the State of Minnesota and Carver County, the Carver County Attorney's Office cannot provide any legal advice to private citizens. We recommend that if you need legal advice to seek out private counsel.

Q.  How can I find an attorney to represent me?

A.  Conduct an internet search or check the yellow pages in a telephone book under “Attorneys.” Areas of specialization and reviews are often noted. You may also contact the Minnesota Bar Association at 1-800-292-4152 or Minnesota Bar Association. To avoid any potential conflict of interest, the Carver County Attorney's Office cannot make attorney recommendations.

Q.  What if I cannot afford a private attorney?

A.  A person charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony may qualify for the services of a public defender. The Carver County Court Administrator's Office has application forms. A Carver County district court judge will review the application to determine if you qualify. If you qualify, the court may require you to pay a reasonable surcharge.

In addition, the district court may appoint an attorney in certain select subject matter areas, such as child protection, juvenile delinquency, and civil commitment proceedings.

If your matter is civil dispute, you are not entitled to the services of a public defender. You will need to either hire a private attorney or represent yourself. Fortunately, some qualified attorneys may represent you for a reduced fee.

Alternative Sources of Legal Assistance:

  • LawHelpMN.org. A website with legal fact sheets about poverty law topics, links to legal aid offices, and free legal clinics, do-it-yourself legal forms.
  • Call for Justice. A list of free or reduced-cost legal service providers in Minnesota.
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network Metro Area Legal Advice Clinics:  Listing of free regularly scheduled legal advice clinics for assistance with various areas of the law including bankruptcy, immigration, family, and housing court matters.
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network- Free Phone Advice: Financially eligible clients in Carver, Hennepin, or Scott Counties may set up a free 20-minute phone consultation with a family law attorney.
  • VLN Free Help with Answering a Summons and Complaint:  Phone advice for help with answering a Civil Summons and Complaint. Must meet eligibility guidelines.
  • Minnesota Court Forms:  Numerous fill-in-the-blank court forms with instructions are available for those representing themselves in court including divorce, child support, child custody, parenting time, criminal expungement, name change, and conciliation court matters.
  • State of Minnesota Self-Help Center Services:  A Self-Help phone line and computer are available in the Law Library for phone assistance and online information regarding court forms, procedures, and legal resources. You can also get help from the Self-Help Center by email or by phone at 651-259-3888 Monday- Friday, 8:30 AM-3:00 PM.
  • LawHelpMN.org: General information about legal rights, the courts, and legal forms organized by subject.
  • MLAO:  Volunteer lawyers answer legal questions via an online form. Must financially qualify.
  • SMIRLS: Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services provides free, high-quality legal help to low-income people in critical civil matters. For more than 100 years, they have helped individuals and families secure and protect their basic needs, maintaining freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness, and abuse

Q. I was given a ticket from the police/sheriff.  Do I have to appear in court?
A. Court Administration is the authority on court appearances; they can be reached at 952-361-1420.

Q.  I want to talk to someone about child support.  Who do I call?

A.  Caver County Health and Human Services @ (952) 361-1600

Q.  Where is the Carver County Attorney's Office located?

A.  On the second floor of the Carver County Government Center, 604 East Fourth Street Chaska, MN.

  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except legal holidays)
  • (952) 361-1400 Main Phone Number

Q.  How do I pay a traffic citation (traffic ticket)?

A.  As long as your citation indicates the charge is a petty misdemeanor, such as a speeding, ordinance, or boating violation, you may 

  1. Pay in person at the Carver County Court Administrator's Office.
  2. Pay by phone with a VISA or MasterCard available 24 hours a day.
    If calling from the Twin Cities Metro: (651) 281-3219
    If calling outside the Metro: (800) 657-3611
  3. Pay by mail by making check or money order payable to "District Court Administration" and mail your payment to:

Minnesota Court Payment Center
P.O. Box 898
Willmar, MN 56201

Please be sure to include the ticket or the ticket number with your payment.

If your citation is marked "endanger life or property,"or otherwise indicates that you must appear in court, you are required to make a court appearance.

Q. I have a court date coming up, but forgot when it was.  Can you tell me?
A.  Court Administration is the authority on court dates; they can be reached at 952-361-1420. 

Q.  If I am a victim of a crime, do I have to come to court?

A.  You are not obligated to come to court unless you receive a subpoena. However, as the victim of a crime committed by an adult or juvenile offender, you have the right to be at any hearing. Victim Witness Coordinators are available to escort or accompany you to the courtroom and explain the proceedings if you wish.

Q.  What happens when I appear in court as a victim?

A.  Before you appear in court, contact the Carver County Victim Witness Program at 952- 361-1400. These specialists can help you understand your role, your rights and responsibilities, and the criminal justice system as a whole. Remember, you are not required to speak to anyone else about your involvement in the case. Your responsibility is to tell the truth (please see Victim Witness page for more crime victim information). The Carver County Attorney’s Office is committed to working with victims to ensure their rights are protected and their voices are heard.

Q.  If I am subpoenaed to court as a witness to a crime, what do I need to do?

A.  As a witness, your responsibility is to appear in court and state the facts truthfully. Your role is essential to our system of justice. All subpoenaed witnesses have information about the crime. Even small pieces of information are sometimes critical in determining what happened. A subpoena requires a witness to appear in court.

Q.  How do I report a crime?

If the alleged crime occurred outside the City of Chaska but within Carver County, please:

  • Use the Sheriff's on-line form
  • Use the Carver County non-emergency dispatcher at (952) 361-1231.
  • You may also leave an anonymous tip on the tip line: 952-361-1224
  • If you are witnessing a crime currently being committed, please dial 9-1-1 immediately.

If the alleged crime occurred within the City of Chaska, please call the Chaska Police Department at (952) 448-4200 during business hours, or

  • Use the Carver County non-emergency dispatcher at (952) 361-1231.
  • You may also leave an anonymous tip on the tip line: 952-227-2479.
  • If you are witnessing a crime currently being committed, please dial 9-1-1 immediately

Q.  What do I do if I suspect mistreatment of a vulnerable adult, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation?

A.  Report suspected maltreatment of a vulnerable adult to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the matter is an emergency, please call 911. You may also contact your local law enforcement agency to report any suspected crime.

Q.  What should I do if I suspect child maltreatment, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect?

A.  Report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Child and Family Department by calling Intake at (952) 361-1600 and/or your local law enforcement agency. If it is an emergency, call law enforcement at 911.

Q.  If I report either adult or child abuse, and the report turns out to be unsubstantiated, can I get into trouble?

A.  No, the reporter is immune from civil and criminal liability if they are acting in good faith because the reports are encouraged. However, please note that any person making a malicious or reckless report may be charged with the crime of falsely reporting a crime or otherwise be liable in a civil suit for monetary damages.

Q.  How do I apply for child support or obtain paternity testing?

A.  If you are not receiving public assistance, please fill out an application and provide necessary information. Get an application:

• From the Carver County Income Support Department, or
• Print out the Full Child Support Services Application (PDF) from the Minnesota Department of Human Services website.

Complete the application and mail or take it to the Income Support Department, 602 East Fourth Street, Chaska, MN 55318. If you are applying for children who have different fathers or mothers, complete an application for each parent who lives away from the home.

• There is no application fee to apply for child support services.
• If you receive any of these programs: Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Medical Assistance (MA), Diversionary Work Program (DWP), Tribal TANF, foster care or child care assistance your case will be automatically referred for child support services. 

Q.  Whom do I call regarding a landlord/tenant issue? 

A.  You should contact the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-657-3787 or visit their website

The website provides links to a number of valuable resources, and provides information about obtaining publications that explains the rights and responsibilities of both property owners and tenants. Other publications address issues unique to mobile home parks.

Q.  How can I look up statutes and case law?

  • The Carver County Law Library is a branch of the Carver County Public Library, located in the lower level of the Carver County Government Center, Judicial Building, 604 East Fourth Street, Chaska, MN.
  • The law library allows members of the public, computer access to statutes, case law, and other legal materials. The library also has a significant number of "self-help" books on legal topics such as divorce, preparing a will, or conducting real estate transactions. 

Q.  How do I find a copy of Carver County Ordinances?

The following link leads to a site maintained by American Legal Publishing that contains the entire County Code.

Q. I have a worthless check.  What should I do?
A. See Issuance of Worthless Checks.

Q. How do I get the Carver County Attorney's Office to address the issue of hazardous dumping?
A. File a report with local law enforcement.

Q.  How do I visit an inmate in the Carver County Jail?

  • Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Visitors are not be allowed to start their visits after 4:00 p.m. for afternoon visits or after 8:30 p.m. for evening visits.
  • The Carver County Jail Programs Office must approve visitors two days prior to the visitation days. Each inmate must fill out a visitors list with up to five visitors.
  • Visitors must be 18 years of age or older, or accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. All visitors must possess valid identification or a driver's license at the time of visiting. All visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitors list.

Q.  I need to talk to my probation officer.  How do I contact probation?

A.  Carver County Court Services @ (952) 361-1460

Q.  How do I look up public court records?

  • Minnesota Court Records Search:  Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS) includes state district court and appellate case information for public viewing, including register of actions, calendars, and judgments, in criminal and civil matters. Please note: The courthouse public access terminals located in the Law Library provide the most complete access to electronic case records. Only courthouse terminals give users access to full-text documents. Printing fees are 10 cents per document. Certified documents are $16.
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Public Record Search: Find public data maintained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
  • Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER):  This electronic public access service allows users to obtain full-text case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy courts. Electronic access is available by registering with the PACER Service Center.

Q.  The Carver County Attorney's Office seems like a great place to work and help serve community needs, how can I apply for employment at the Carver County Attorney’s Office?

A.  We do hire on an as-needed basis for attorneys, support staff, and law clerks. Please check Carver County's jobs page for postings and information.

 

 

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