Court Ride

Court Ride is a reliable, voluntary service that gives you a ride to court or to your public defender appointments at no cost if you do not have a way to get there.

 
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Eligibility

To use this service, you must:

  • Have an open case held in Hennepin County District Court
  • Have 1 or both of the following:
    • Be eligible for the public defender
    • Be released from the Hennepin County Jail (the Adult Detention Center in Minneapolis). Inmate information will be automatically transferred from the jail to the ride service to establish the first ride to court. For future rides or court appearances, speak with your public defender.

If you meet eligibility requirements, your public defender may schedule a ride to other appointments related to the court appearance, such as:

  • Pre-sentence information (PSI) appointments
  • Appointments at the Public Defender’s Office
  • Chemical health evaluation appointments
  • Appointments with court psychological services

How it works

Initial sign up

  • Sign up for your ride at your court appearance or meeting with your public defender.
  • If you are released from Hennepin County Jail, your information is automatically transferred to the ride service.

Once you're signed up, simply reply to initial text message to opt in and authorize future texts.

Initial text messages

Confirm your ride

You will get a text within 7 days of your court date or appointment asking if you still need a ride. To accept the ride:

  1. Reply "Yes"
  2. Confirm your address
  • Reply "Yes" if your address has not changed
  • Reply "No" if your address has changed. You must then text a new complete address to the service provider

You must reply to accept a ride each time you need a ride.

Text messages week of appointment

Ride locations:

  • You can ride one way to court.
  • If you need a round trip ride, pick up and drop off must be at the same location.

Leading up to your appointment

You will receive reminder texts:

  • The day before your appointment
  • The day of the appointment when the car is coming
    • Rides are set up to arrive at your appointment 15 minutes before your scheduled meeting time.
  • When your ride has arrived
    • If you aren't at the pick up location, the driver will wait 5 minutes and try to contact you. If you don't respond, the driver will leave.

Text messages on day of ride

After your appointment

You can stay as long as you like at the destination, but you must return during regular business hours to get a ride.

When your appointment is over, return to where you were dropped off and text “Ready.” A car will pick you up and take you back to your original pickup location.

Text messages after appointments

Additional information

People accompanying you during your ride

  • Children must be at least 5 years old. Car seats are not provided for children.
  • All other companion riders must be at least 18 years old.

Help getting in and out of vehicle

Lyft driver cannot help riders who need physical assistance getting into or out of the vehicle.

Problem with a driver

Call the phone number provided in the text message from the service provider. Hennepin County is not liable for situations that occur during the course of the ride.

To schedule a ride

Contact your public defender.

To cancel a ride

Reply "No" to the confirmation text. However, if you do not receive a response, the ride request will remain active.

To change your address

Send a text message to the service to update your address. You must provide the full address:

  • Street address and name
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code

For example: 1234 Johnson Street SW, Apartment 201, Minneapolis, MN 55111.

For Public Defender staff

How to request a ride for your client

All Public Defender staff have access to the referral template in Outlook email.

  • Email the completed template to PD.CourtRide@hennepin.us
  • Rush requests must cc Krystal Kraetzner, Michale Torrence, and Elizabeth Hogan

Timing

You must submit the template at least 36 hours before the appointment or by Friday noon for a Monday court date.

Support

For help, email PD.CourtRide@hennepin.us.

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