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News Item
Public invited to visit Steele County Courthouse and celebrate Law Day on May 8

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Supreme Court justice and Third Judicial District judges will participate in public informational sessions

On Wednesday, May 8, the Steele County Courthouse in Owatonna will host a Law Day “Open Courthouse” event designed to educate students and the public about  Minnesota’s justice system. In addition, Steele County District Court and Steele County are hosting a warrant workout session. The public and media are invited to attend the public events, which run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
 
The Open Courthouse event will feature numerous activities, including:
 
  • An opportunity to meet local district court judges and justice system partners;
  • Guided tours of the Steele County Courthouse;
  • An information fair featuring representatives from nearly twenty justice partners;
  • A “You Be the Jury” program with participants acting as mock jurors;
  • An opportunity to observe Drug Court, and participate in a question-and-answer session; and
  • An informational session about “How Judges are Selected in Minnesota”, featuring former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson.
Students from Owatonna High Schools will have an opportunity to visit the Courthouse earlier in the day to participate in a special “You Be the Jury” session.
“As we celebrate Law Day, we want to give our community an opportunity to learn more about the work we do and the many organizations that support the justice system and citizens in Steele County,” said Robin Hoesely, Steele County Court Administrator.
 
A detailed schedule of events for the May 8 event is provided below:
 
[9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.] Warrant Workout Session
For Steele County residents who have an outstanding warrant, this is an opportunity to come to the courthouse and take steps to resolve their cases and have their warrants quashed.  For more information, please see the Warrant Workout flyer.
 
[11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.] “You Be the Jury” Trial Reenactment (Courtroom A)
Students from Owatonna High School and members of the public will participate in a "You Be the Jury" trial reenactment. The exercise is based on a real case. 
 
[1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.] Information fair
Visitors can tour information fair booths that will showcase the work of many of the justice system partners in the local community, share legal resources available to the public, and highlight new advancements in criminal justice and court technology being implemented across the state.
 
[1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.] Guided Courthouse Tours
Visitors will be guided through the courthouse during tours that begin on the hour at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.  Tours will begin on the first floor.
 
[1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.] “You Be the Jury” Trial Reenactment (Courtroom A)
Participants will observe closing arguments, participate in deliberations, and decide the outcome of a mock case.
 
[1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.] Drug Court Session, Presentation, and Q&A (Courtroom B)
Visitors will have the opportunity to observe a Drug Court session, then listen to a presentation on Drug Court with time at the end for questions and answers.
 
[3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.] "How Judges are Selected in Minnesota" Presentation (Courtroom A)
Participants will learn about how judges are selected in Minnesota from a panel that includes former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson.
 
The Open Courthouse event is scheduled to coincide with Law Day, a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day was first established in 1958 through a proclamation by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Congress passed a joint resolution designating May 1 as Law Day, U.S.A, in 1961.
 
The Law Day Open Courthouse event is being hosted by Minnesota’s Third Judicial District in partnership with Steele County and local justice system partners.
More information about the event, including a list of information fair participants, is available at www.mncourts.gov/SteeleCountyLawDay.
 
The Steele County Courthouse is located at 111 East Main Street in Owatonna. The Courthouse is a secured building, and all visitors are subject to screening before entering. Free public parking is available.