Steele County Open Courthouse

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 the Steele County Courthouse in Owatonna will host 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 public is invited to attend the events.
The Open Courthouse events begin with a Warrant Workout from 9:00 - 10:45 a.m.  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.  

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.

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. 

A detailed schedule of events for the May 8 event is provided below:
[9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.] Warrant Workout Session
  • 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. 
[11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.] “You Be the Jury” Trial Reenactment (Courtroom A)
  • Visitors 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 a trial reenactment, then participate in deliberations, and decide the outcome of the 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 Retired Supreme Court Justice Paul 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.

Information Fair Participants include:
  • Fountain Centers
  • Workforce Development Inc.
  • Community Corrections 
  • Exchange Club/Center for Family Unity 
  • MNPrairie 
  • Rachel’s Light 
  • Hospitality House 
  • South Central Human Relations Center
  • Steele County Times 
  • United Way
  • Steele County Jail 
  • 3rd District Veterans Court 
  • House of Hope 
  • People’s Press 
  • 3rd Judicial District Equal Justice Committee 
  • 3rd Judicial District 
  • Crisis Resource Center 
  • Transition Housing