News Item
Minnesota Supreme Court to Hold Oral Arguments, Community Dinner in Fairmont

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019


The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at Fairmont Junior/Senior High School (FHS) in Fairmont, MN, on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, beginning at 8:45 a.m.  More than 900 students from Fairmont Junior/Senior High School, Granada Huntly East Chain High School, Martin County West High School, Martin Luther High School, Redwood Valley High School, and Truman High School will fill the Performing Arts Center to watch oral arguments and interact with members of the Court.
The visit is part of a biannual program that seeks to teach students about the work of the state’s highest court, while building the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch.
The Court will hear oral arguments of a real case – State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Savonte Maurice Townsend, Appellant (Case No. A18-0792). Following oral arguments, the justices will answer students’ questions, eat lunch with student leaders, and visit classrooms at Fairmont Junior/Senior High School. 
The media is invited to attend the oral arguments and the question-and-answer session with students. In addition, members of the Supreme Court will hold a media availability immediately following the end of the program in the Performing Arts Center.
Media interested in covering the event should refer to the attached resource sheet, which provides timing details for the event, a summary of court rules governing the use of recording equipment during Court proceedings, and other guidelines and related information.
Gemini Studios will broadcast live via the Internet the oral arguments and the question-and-answer session for viewing by area classrooms and the community at under “upcoming events”.
Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, MN, in 1995, the school visits have been an important part of the Court’s efforts to improve public understanding of the judiciary’s work.  The Fairmont Junior/Senior High School visit marks the 50th in-school oral argument for the Court.
REMINDER - Public invited to a “Meet Your Court” community dinner
On the evening of Tuesday, October 8, all area residents are invited to the Holiday Inn Grand Ballroom in Fairmont to meet and share dinner with the members of the Minnesota Supreme Court and local district court judges.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The event will include a short program featuring brief remarks from members of the Supreme Court.
Tickets for the community-wide event are being sold for $20.00 to cover the cost of dinner, which includes Caesar salad, fresh baked bread, pork loin with plum barbeque sauce, parsley buttered baby red potatoes, green beans, and cheesecake.
Tickets to the community dinner must be purchased in advance and will not be available at the door. Tickets will be available until Tuesday, October 1.
Tickets to the community dinner can be purchased in three ways:
  • Online through the Fairmont Community Education & Recreation (CER) Webstore at under “Community Events.” Visitors will find the event listed on the left side of the page as “Minnesota Judicial Branch” in the Community Events section.  An account will need to be set up to purchase tickets online.
  • By phone by calling the Fairmont CER office at (507) 235-3141. Tickets can be purchased by phone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • In person by visiting the Fairmont CER office (714 Victoria Street, Fairmont). Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seating for the event is limited. The Holiday Inn Fairmont is located at 1201 Torgerson Drive, Fairmont, Minnesota.