Most people envision going to a courthouse for jury duty or to apply for a marriage license. Going to a courthouse is not something most people do very often. The thought of having to go to court for an Initial Case Management Conference (“ICMC”) Hearing can be a scary thought. People going through a divorce, child custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation or paternity case are required to come to court early on in the case for an ICMC Hearing.
What is the purpose of this Hearing? It is an informal “meet and greet” conference with the judge letting him or her know what the issues are in the case that are agreed upon, if any, and those where there is no agreement. The judge spends time letting the parties know they can either find a way to settle the case or they can choose to proceed to trial. The Hearing is meant to give the case direction – either it will settle through the parties coming to an agreement or through a mediation process or at a trial.
Attorneys for the parties are required to appear at the ICMC hearing with their clients.
Not all counties hold ICMC Hearings. This is a link to a map Minnesota Counties showing the counties that use the ICMC Hearing process – http://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/ECM-ENE/ICMC-ENE-Map-(6-23-16)(really-upright).pdf
While intimidating, an ICMC Hearing can be an important tool to move a family court case forward in an efficient way.
If you are considering representation in a family law case, contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655.