Meet Judge Charles

Governor Walz appointed Kellie Charles to the Ramsey County District Court after she was recommended to him by the Judicial Merit Selection Committee in 2020. Since then, she has presided over hundreds of cases and has worked hard to build a reputation of fairness and integrity. Judge Charles represents the Second Judicial District on the statewide Domestic and Sexual Violence Judicial Leadership Team, the statewide the Court Operations Advisory Workgroup and she also serves as a member on the Ramsey County Court Corrections Committee and the Ramsey County Court Equal Justice Committee.

Raised by her firefighter father and a nurse mother, a dedication to serving others was instilled in Judge Charles from an early age. She graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism. She received her J.D. cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in 1997. Judge Charles went on to spend 23 years representing indigent clients at both the trial and appellate levels at the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office. She also managed the appeals and special litigation team, the treatment court team, the probation violation team and the law clerk program.

Community Involvement

In over 28 years of living in St. Paul, Judge Charles has served on the board of three community councils—District 4- Dayton’s Bluff, District 2 -Greater Eastside, and District 14- Mac Groveland.  On those councils, she worked on the executive board, Housing and Land Use committees, and as a representative for the Great River Master Plan Task Force.   In 2012, Mayor Chris Coleman appointed her to serve on the Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget Committee of St. Paul (CIB).  The CIB committee brings residents together from across the city to make recommendations on prioritizing long-term funding.   

Judge Charles also spent 19 years on the executive board of AFSCME Local 2938 which represents employees of the Hennepin County Attorney Office and the Hennepin County Public Defender Office.  She was elected as president, vice-president and as a representative on several contract negotiation teams.  

Judge Charles is a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society where she volunteers on the Education Committee.  She promotes and judges the annual Mondale-Quie Essay Contest that awards scholarships to high school students on topics involving Minnesota courts.  She also judges topical prizes related to the courts for Minnesota History Day.

Since 2010, Judge Charles has volunteered as a lawyer representing veterans on pending criminal matters at the annual StandDown for Minnesota Veterans.  She hopes to return and volunteer as a judge this year.

Judge Charles spent time as an overnight host for Project Home—the emergency family shelter housed at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in the summer.  During the past year, she and her daughter have served food to residents at Friends of Dorothy Day in St. Paul.


Since 2009, Judge Charles has served as an adjunct faculty member at Mitchell Hamline School of Law teaching in a variety of courses including Advanced Trial Advocacy, Legal Practicum, Psychiatry and the Law, Appellate Advocacy, and the Expert Witness Training Academy.  She has also taught with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, the Minnesota Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee, and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council on Legal Education Opportunity.  Judge Charles also volunteers as a mock trial judge for the University of Minnesota. 

Professional Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Ramsey County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers Association 
  • Minnesota District Judges Association
  • Miami University Pre-Law Alumni Board

Paid for by Citizens for Judge Kellie Charles, 704 Macalester Street, St. Paul, MN 55116.