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A friend of mine has had one omnibus hearing and is scheduled for another one in 3 months. What does that mean?

Saint Paul, MN |

Please tell me what two omnibus hearings mean in Dakota county, mn

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Attorney answers 5


An omnibus hearing is a hearing in a criminal case where he/she will attempt to negotiate a settlement to the case. It is also where you discuss any additional evidence that you need from the prosecutor, discuss legal issues with the case, and all other issues. Many times defendants have multiple omnibus hearings where it appears the case will resolve, but something needs to be done before that can happen.


By default, most criminal cases in Minnesota will have three types of court appearances: first appearance, uncontested omnibus hearing, and trial. Any one of those may be repeated if the lawyers or the court feel it could be helpful. The defendant may insist on a speedy trial as a matter of right, however. In addition, sometimes between the "uncontested omnibus hearing" and the trial, the court will schedule a "contested omnibus hearing" - normally at the request of the defense. At a contested onmibus hearing, the court normally will hear witness testimony and be asked to rule on defense motions relating to admissibility of evidence at trial.


Your friend's case was most likely continued. An omnibus hearing is a hearing where evidence may be contested, parties may talk about resolving the case, evidence may be exchanged, discovery issues are discussed, etc. It is not unlikely for a case to have more than one omnibus hearing, mostly because the parties aren't ready to set the case on for trial because there is outstanding discovery or more issues to discuss for potential resolution. So, your friend's second omnibus probably doesn't mean must of anything, except that the case is continuing along as they often do ... slowly.


I recently had a case in Dakota County that was continued at the Omnibus Hearing. It was then reset for almost three months. This is very likely what happened in your friend's case; one party, or both, continued the case. All that means is the Omnibus Hearing will be held later than originally scheduled. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing.

If your friend's case has reached this point, then I assume he has an attorney (if not, he should start contacting attorneys). His attorney may be the best person to answer this question.

I wish you both the best of luck.


The criminal process may vary slightly by county. However, in many counties the second appearance is an omnibus hearing and, if there are contested issues, it is set for a contested omnibus hearing where issues such as whether is probable cause to proceed to trial, may be argued. An omnibus hearing may also be continued if the parties are working toward a resolution or if certain evidence has not bee turned over.

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