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Court Operations Manager/ Judicial Referee

Minnesota Second Judicial District

Posted 1 month ago


The Second Judicial District is accepting applications for a combined Court Operations Manager (80%) and Judicial Referee (20%) position. This is highly responsible advanced supervisory and administrative work in the Civil Court Division of the Second Judicial District. 

The Court Operations Manager will be responsible for work involving customer service, filings, and processing for civil, probate, housing, and conciliation court.

The Judicial Referee will be assigned cases primarily in the Civil Division including probate cases but may be reassigned to other areas of the court as needed. This position is located in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota with most work being performed at the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 W Kellogg Blvd., St Paul, MN 55102. 

This combined position exercises considerable independent judgment, initiative and discretion in developing work methods and operating procedures in order to implement established judicial system and district policies. Employee is permitted substantial latitude in organizing staff, designing and modifying procedures, determining priorities and work methods and in resolving problems.

Work is performed independently within procedural and statutory guidelines under the general supervision of the Civil Division Administrator.

Example of Duties

Court Operations Manager

  • Manages, directs, and coordinates work through subordinate staff, the processing of cases in the Civil Filings Department, Housing Court, Conciliation Court and Probate. 
  • Participates in strategic planning for the department and implements plans where appropriate.
  • Directs the workflow of the division to ensure that work is fairly distributed, that priority work is handled promptly and that deadlines are met.
  • Develops, recommends and implements new policies and procedures to comply with current statutes and regulations as they pertain to the division; and simplify work processes so that the division operates more efficiently.
  • Provides orientation to staff members regarding new rules and legislation pertinent to the division and updates appropriate manuals for current use.
  • Interprets statutes, rules and orders and provides recommendations on procedural questions to attorneys, subordinates and the general public.
  • Serves as liaison between the court, Bar, State and County stakeholders, frequent users of the court, and the public relative to the scheduling of cases, access to records and explanation of administrative procedures.
  • Manages the preparation of and timely dispatch of statistical reports, state and county financial reports as may be required or requested.  Reviews case exception or backlog reports and implements corrective action.
  • manages the preparation of court records, documents and information for input into data processing system; monitors data input.
  • Coordinates with the Division’s Administrator and the Judicial District Administrator’s office on eCourt technologies and strategies; implements procedures and policies once established.
  • Oversees a wide variety of complex court clerical and supervisory clerical assignments; reviews and processes legal documents, assures completeness and accuracy of court records; schedules cases, may be responsible for a specialized case processing activity such as preparing appeals.
  • Oversees and manages facility needs. 
  • Answers procedural questions for staff.


  • Hears contested and uncontested probate cases, trials, motions, orders to show cause, and hearings.  Work may include hearing name changes, minor settlements, conciliation appeals, consumer credit, housing, and other matters as assigned.
  • Instructs parties and witnesses as to their rights.
  • Questions witnesses; inquires as to the causes for which the persons are brought before the court.
  • Rules on objections to evidence; evaluates evidence.
  • Makes decisions on factual and legal questions; prepares findings and orders regarding the disposition of cases.
  • Completes and prepares orders for a judge’s signature; confers with attorneys and the public regarding court matters.
  • Conducts legal research to prepare for court proceedings and litigated matters.
  • Collaborates with other judicial officers and confers with attorneys, justice partners, and the public regarding court matters.
  • Performs related work as required by the Court.

Typical Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor from an accredited law school.
  • Considerable progressive legal experience as either an attorney representing and/or advising clients in practice or as a judicial officer. 
  • Considerable experience supervising and leading groups of people. 
  • Experience in a customer service driven environment. 
  • Experience in change management and project implementation. 
  • Excellent computer skills and the ability to troubleshoot basic technology problems.
  • Ability to exercise effective independent judgment. 
  • Possession of strong problem-solving skills.’
  • Ability to communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Possession of excellent leadership qualities.  
  • Ability to effectively manage competing demands.
  • Ability to plan, assign, and supervise the work of subordinate employees. 

Preferred Additional Qualifications

  • At least three years’ experience in probate law. 
  • Experience working in court administration or court operations.
  • Understanding of principles and practices of court proceedings with an emphasis on applicable rules and statutes.
  • Advanced knowledge of Word, Excel, SharePoint, and Outlook.
  • Experience in project management.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of court procedures and policies, legal documents, laws and legal factors pertaining to the court area of assignment.
  • Thorough knowledge of the organization, operations, functions, and scope of authority of the court or activity of a high-volume large district court.
  • Thorough knowledge of effective supervisory and management techniques.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to make work decisions in accordance with laws, regulations and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Ability to maintain a variety of complex records and prepare reports from such records.
  • Ability to plan, assign and supervise the work of subordinate employees engaged in a variety of activities in a high-volume court. Ability to express ideas concisely and clearly, orally and in writing.
  • Excellent aptitude and adaptability in technology systems and applications.
  • Ability to explain complex concepts in an understandable manner. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.

Working Conditions

Work is performed primarily in an office or court setting with extensive public contact. Work includes contact with persons who may be mentally ill and disruptive.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, talk and hear. Work is essentially sedentary with occasional walking, standing, bending, and carrying items weighing less than 25 pounds such as papers and files. Work requires extensive computer use.

Supplemental Information

Instructions to Apply:
Apply for this position online In addition to completing the online application, please upload and attach a one- page cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and writing sample (no more than ten pages). 

Salary Information:
Court Operations Manager (.80 FTE)
The expected starting salary range for external candidates is $37.43 to $47.74 per hour. The full salary range for this position is $37.43 to $58.08 per hour.

Judicial Referee (.20 FTE)
The Judicial Referee salary is $78.79 per hour.

This position is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and is eligible for State of Minnesota employee benefits.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch (MJB) is committed to providing fair and equal access to justice. If you share this same commitment, desire a meaningful career serving the public, and want the opportunity to make a difference for your community, consider a career with us. We celebrate and are committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion, and actively seek and encourage applications from persons with diverse backgrounds and characteristics. 

Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the Minnesota Judicial Branch that all decisions regarding employment are made without discrimination on the basis of disability. Please let us know if you need a reasonable accommodation for a disability to participate in the employee selection process by contacting Human Resources at

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the Minnesota Judicial Branch that all decisions regarding recruitment, hiring, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment be made without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, disability, sexual orientation, or age. We value and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Apply Online