Like many states, Minnesota has a conciliation court, which is a user-friendly forum where disputes involving less than $15,000 can be resolved, most typically by a referee or judge. The case is typically done off the record, attorneys are typically not involved, and there is a right to an automatic appeal to District Court.
However, a lot of collectors sue people in District Court, which is confusing because a person has 20 days to serve a response, which is not that complicated, but many people think that they are supposed to get a court date. But if they don’t serve an answer, then the creditor plaintiff can seek default without further notice.
A recent article noted that 82% of cases in District Court proceed by default, whereas only 54% of cases in conciliation court proceed by default. The Minnesota State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee recently recommended mandating that cases involving less than $4000, can only be filed in conciliation court.