News Item
Judges, Court Staff to Hold Second Community Listening Session in Apple Valley THIS WEDNESDAY

Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017

In April, the judges and staff of Minnesota’s First Judicial District held a Community Listening Session in Apple Valley to give area residents the opportunity to share ideas related to Minnesota’s court system. On October 25, the First Judicial District will hold a follow-up Community Listening Session, during which judges and court staff will provide an update on how the court is responding to the ideas and recommendations that were generated at the April event, and allow the public to provide additional ideas for improving the quality of court services.
The follow-up Community Listening Session, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, October 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley.
The First Judicial District’s April Community Listening Session was attended by nearly 50 people. The discussions were lively and covered a range of topics relating to criminal court, family court, juvenile court and self-represented litigants. A report generated after the session noted five major themes that emerged during the discussions:
  • Procedural fairness for families and children navigating the family and juvenile court system;
  • Indian Child Welfare Act issues arising in juvenile court;
  • Assistance for self-represented litigants;
  • Chemical dependency issues in criminal cases; and
  • Continued and ongoing diversity-related training for judges and court personnel.
During the October 25 event, judges and court staff will provide updates on each of these five themes.
“The justice system belongs to the people, and it is critically important that the people have a voice in how our courts work,” said Brenda Koenig, Court Operations Manager at Dakota County District-Apple Valley and member of the First Judicial District Equal Justice Committee. “We were so grateful that so many people attended our event in April, and we value the constructive and insightful feedback we received about our justice system. We are looking forward to continuing this conversation with the people we serve, and showing how we are putting those good ideas into action.”
The Community Listening Sessions are planned and organized by the First Judicial District Equal Justice Committee. All ten of Minnesota’s judicial districts have an equal justice committee, which partner with the Minnesota Judicial Branch Committee for Equality and Justice to advance efforts to eliminate bias from court operations, promote equal access to the court, and inspire a high level of trust and public confidence in the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
The Dakota County Western Service Center is located at 14955 Galaxie Avenue in Apple Valley. Directions to the building are available at