Minnesota Department of Corrections
PURPOSE: To provide a procedure for service of legal papers to offenders.
INSTRUCTION: When paperwork arrives at MCF-LL via mail, fax, or process servers, staff must follow these facility specific procedures.
Affidavit – document to be notarized that provides the name of the staff serving the offender or serving the warden with the paperwork on a specified date.
Legal papers – all legal documents that are required to be personally served to an individual including such examples as: pending criminal charges, orders for protection, civil actions (i.e., divorce, child custody, child support, and paternity cases), and restraining orders.
Process server – a sheriff’s deputy or other designated person who is required to serve legal documents.
Time-sensitive documents – documents that require legal action within the next 14 days.
A. Paperwork hand delivered to MCF-LL by a process server
1. A-control must call the paper server liaison at extension 103, warden’s administrative assistant at extension 112, release clerk at extension 569 or the office services supervisor at extension 132. One of these people must report to the lobby to receive the paperwork.
2. The paper server liaison must verify in the correctional operations management system (COMS) that the offender is under MCF-LL authority and is physically in the facility (i.e., not out on a writ or hospital special duty), his offender identification number (OID), his living assignment, and case manager. The offender summary report from COMS must be printed out and used for identification when the paperwork is served. Staff must log the paperwork on the Paper Server/Civil Commit Log (attached) and write the offender's OID on the paperwork, if not already noted.
3. Time-sensitive documents - A-team staff must serve time-sensitive documents to an offender. If an affidavit is required, the process server must wait in the A-control lobby while the offender is served.
a) The paper server liaison must ensure there are two sets of the paperwork: one for further distribution and one to be served on the offender. The paper server liaison gives the original document to the watch commander along with the offender summary report from COMS and an affidavit of service (if needed). If an affidavit is needed and the process server did not include one, staff may use the standard Affidavit (attached).
b) The watch commander must note in the pass-on log if the paperwork is for an order for protection or harassment order and must radio A-team to report such information to the watch center.
c) If an affidavit is required, the watch commander must inform A-team staff who to contact so the affidavit can be signed and notarized.
d) The A-team member serving the offender must sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary. The notary must notarize the affidavit, make a copy of it, and give the original to the process server. The copy of the affidavit is put with the second set of paperwork.
e) The paper server liaison must fill out an Action Request Memo (attached) to the attention of the case manager to notify that an offender on his/her caseload was served legal papers. The memo must be attached to the second set of paperwork.
f) The case manager must review the paperwork, make a copy for his/her file, if needed, and forwards the paperwork to the file room for retention in the offender’s base file.
4. Non-time sensitive - the case manager must serve non time-sensitive documents on an offender.
a) If an affidavit is needed, the paper server liaison must make arrangements with the paper server for the delivery of the affidavit that is either faxed/scanned back to them with the original to follow in the mail, or they can personally pick it up.
b) The paper server liaison must ensure there are two sets of paperwork. One set (the original) must be served on the offender and the other is for the base file.
c) The paper server liaison must fill out an Action Request Memo to the attention of the case manager and attach to the one set of paperwork, the offender summary report from COMS, and an affidavit (if required), and put it in the case manager’s mailbox across from the file room.
d) The case manager must serve the offender, complete the affidavit (if required), and have the affidavit notarized.
e) The case manager must give the original affidavit (if required) back to the paper server liaison who returns the document as previously arranged with the process server.
f) The paper server liaison must give the second copy of the paperwork that was served on the offender and a copy of the affidavit (if required) to the file room.
B. Paperwork received via mail or fax
1. The paper server liaison must verify in COMS that the offender is in MCF-LL, his OID number, and case manager. If the offender is not at MCF-LL, the paper server liaison contacts the sender.
2. The paper server liaison must log all paperwork received on the Paper Server Log/Civil Commit Log.
3. If there is an affidavit to show that the warden has also been served, the warden must review the paperwork and sign the affidavit. The warden’s assistant must notarize the affidavit and give the original and a photocopy (for the base file) to the case manager.
4. The paper server liaison must fill out an Action Request Memo to the attention of the case manager and put the paperwork in the case manager’s mailbox across from the file room.
5. The case manager must serve the offender and follow the instructions of the sender, giving a copy of the paperwork and affidavit(s) (if required) to the file room.
C. Legal documents regarding civil commitment
1. The central office risk assessment/community notification (RA/CN) unit e-mails the MCF-LL end of confinement review committee (ECRC) clerical staff that the RA/CN unit has received court documents for the production of records of an offender who has been referred for possible civil commitment.
2. The ECRC clerical staff must forward that e-mail to appropriate MCF-LL staff to obtain copies of records and to the following areas/staff to inform them that the civil commitment process has begun:
a) Records supervisor;
c) Program directors;
d) Psychology director;
e) Health services director/supervisor;
f) The offender’s case manager;
g) Paper server liaison; and
h) MCF-LL watch commander e-mail group (MCF-LL watch center lieutenant).
3. If the warden’s office or case manager receives any civil commitment paperwork for the production of records and the ECRC clerical staff has not previously forwarded an e-mail from the central office RA/CN unit, the warden’s assistant, backup, or case manager must e-mail the list of staff as noted in Procedure C.2. and include the RA/CN unit, to ensure that the RA/CN unit is aware of all civil commitment documents that are served on offenders.
4. Any future documents from the courts (petition for commitment, order for continued confinement) received by records staff, the paper server liaison, or the case manager, must be scanned and e-mailed to the staff listed in Procedure C.2.
D. Service on the warden only – documents being served on the warden only for cases against an offender housed at MCF-LL must be served according to the sender’s directions. Those documents and a copy of the affidavit of service must be forwarded to the paper server liaison and routed to the case manager with the Action Request Memo for his/her review and subsequent filing in the offender’s base file. The original affidavit of service must be returned to the sender.
E. Orders for protection or harassment/domestic abuse restraining orders
1. In addition to the paperwork being served on the offender, staff must send an e-mail (including offender OID, name, living unit, and case manager) to the watch commander e-mail group for his/her pass-on log information.
2. Records staff must also be notified to enter the orders for protection into COMS.
F. Paperwork being served on offenders in minimum – the unit lieutenant, minimum program director, and the watch commander must be notified that documents have been received for an offender in minimum and what type of documents they are. Unit lieutenant/program director must advise how the offender should be served and decides if the offender should be moved inside the medium facility.
REFERENCES: Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.03, "Personal Service"
SUPERSESSION: Instruction 300.032-1LL, “Serving Legal Papers,” 2/8/11.
All facility policies, memos, or other communications whether verbal, written, or transmitted by electronic means regarding this topic.
ATTACHMENTS: Action Request Memo (300.032-1ALL)
Paper Server/Civil Commit Log (300.032-1CLL)
Warden, MCF - LL