New Judicial District Administrator Appointed in Hennepin County
Jury summonses, warrants, extradition papers, and other court documents in Hennepin County now bear a new signature. Judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District appointed Sarah Lindahl-Pfieffer as the judicial district administrator for Hennepin County District Court. The appointment was approved by the Minnesota Judicial Council on October 19, 2017.
Lindahl-Pfieffer replaced Kate Fogarty, who accepted a federal court position after three years as judicial district administrator in the Fourth Judicial District.
As judicial district administrator, Lindahl-Pfieffer oversees court administration staff in Hennepin County in support of a full range of court operations for the District Court, including processing and management of all records and files of the Court, as well as providing services to the public, other county offices, and the judiciary.
Hennepin County Judges Honored
The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) recognized Fourth Judicial District Judge William H. Koch for his commitment to the highest professional standards in the legal community with its Professionalism Award in 2017. Judge Koch received the Award at HCBA’s annual meeting on June 1. The award is given to lawyers who best exemplify the practice of law as a profession, which includes a spirit of public service, and promotion of the highest possible level of competence, integrity, and ethical conduct.
In addition, Fourth Judicial District Judge Tanya Bransford received a Minnesota Lawyer Diversity and Inclusion award on October 12, 2017. It was the first year of the legal newspaper celebrating individuals and organizations that have contributed in a meaningful way to promoting diversity and inclusion within Minnesota's legal community.
Free Valentine’s Day Wedding Ceremonies Performed by Hennepin County Judges
In a fifth annual event, 31 couples said, “I do,” in the atrium of the Hennepin County Government Center over the noon hour on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2017. Twelve Hennepin County judges united the couples in matrimony at no charge. The Honorable Ivy Bernhardson sang at the event, and background music was provided by a string quartet comprised of other judges.
Hennepin County Judges in the Community
- Fourth Judicial District Referee JaPaul Harris facilitated a housing and expungement workshop on January 20, 2017, at the Brian Coyle Center with East African immigrant communities. There were approximately 35 participants and three languages spoken: English, Somali and Oromo. The areas of discussion were expungements, the process of eviction, tenant’s rights, and court resources. The participants expressed an interest in having the Court return on another occasion to discuss additional topics including civil law, juvenile law, and harassment restraining orders.
- The Fourth Judicial District is participating in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
- On August 18, 2017, 10 young people, ages 13-19, from Minneapolis YMCA youth programs spent a half-day at Hennepin County District Court to participate in a variety of activities, including a speed networking event with judges and court staff, observing a court trial, and taking a tour of the facility.
- On August 1, 2017, 10 judicial officers from Hennepin County District Court participated in the 33rd annual National Night Out celebration. In pairs, judicial officers visited several neighborhoods throughout the city of Minneapolis, connecting with community members and organizers in attendance at the various block parties.
- On May 20, 2017, Hennepin County District Court held a Warrant Forgiveness Day at the Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis. More than 150 people attended the event, during which justice partners cleared 145 outstanding warrants, held hearings on 262 cases, and scheduled 130 cases for future hearing. In addition, 30 defendants completed 122 hours of community service as part of the events.
- The presiding judge of Hennepin County Drug Court, the Honorable Marta Chou, is participating in an educational pilot aimed at opioid use prevention. The pilot, called Chasing the Dragon, involves speaking to middle school and high school students about the dangers of opioid abuse. The pilot involves a partnership between the Minnetonka School District, the Minnetonka Police Department, the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Metro Drug Task Force.