Centralized Team to Accept all Filings Implemented
In order to ensure that documents are classified appropriately for access to the public, in 2018 the Third Judicial District formed a centralized team of specialized staff that has document security classification expertise. Team members now accept all electronic and paper filings on behalf of all counties within the District.
Remote Interpreting Piloted
New equipment was installed in 2018 as part of a remote interpreting pilot in Olmsted and Freeborn counties. The pilot had a Spanish interpreter in Olmsted County providing remote interpretation for parties in Freeborn County. The pilot was a success, and efforts are underway to expand remote interpreting functionality to additional counties within the Third District.
Courtroom Technology Updated
Courtrooms in Freeborn, Mower, Rice, Steele, Waseca, and Winona counties received sound system and Interactive Video (ITV) upgrades in 2018. The sound upgrades have improved the clarity of the court record, and the ITV upgrades have allowed the courts to conduct remote hearings when a judge from another county is hearing a case, significantly reducing travel time for judges.
Steele County District Court Hosted an Open Courthouse Event
On Tuesday, May 1, the Steele County Courthouse in Owatonna hosted a Law Day “Open Courthouse” event designed to showcase the work of Minnesota’s Third Judicial District, and educate students and the public about the role of judges, attorneys, law enforcement, and citizens in administering Minnesota’s justice system.
The event included a recognition ceremony featuring remarks by Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson, Third Judicial District Assistant Chief Judge Joseph A. Bueltel, and local and state partners who helped with the transition to and transformation of the Courthouse. The ceremony was broadcast live online, so members of the community who were not able to attend could view the event.
The Open Courthouse event was scheduled to coincide with Law Day, and was hosted by Minnesota’s Third Judicial District in partnership with Steele County, the Steele County Bar Association, and local justice system partners.