News Item
Justice Coaltion in Rochester Thursday

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Justice Coalition: Cuts Threaten Public Safety in Southeastern Minnesota


Members of the Coalition to Preserve Minnesota’s Justice System will hold a news conference Thursday, February 12, at the Olmsted County Courthouse in Rochester to express their concerns about the impact of proposed funding cuts to the justice system.

Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson formed the coalition in 2008 in response to concerns about the growing inability of the state’s justice system to keep up with the more than 2 million cases filed each year and a proposal to cut funding by as much as 10 percent.

“Our justice system is at the tipping point,” said Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson. “Underfunding and budget cuts have left courts, public defense, and the justice system, generally, short-staffed and overwhelmed with their caseloads.  Public service windows are closed part of each week in many courthouses, services have been cut and civil and criminal case delays are building throughout the state.”

In addition to Chief Justice Magnuson, also scheduled to speak are: Third Judicial District Chief Judge William Johnson; Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem; Olmsted County Sheriff Steven VonWald; State Public Defender John Stuart; and Mark Delehanty , Board Member, Civil Legal Services.

Who: Coalition to Preserve Minnesota’s Justice System: Minnesota Judicial Branch, Minnesota District Judges Association, Minnesota Association for Court Management, Minnesota Board of Public Defense, Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, Minnesota Urban County Attorneys Association, Minnesota City Attorneys Association, Hennepin County Bar Association, Ramsey County Bar association, Civil Legal Services, Teamsters, AFSCME, Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners, League of Women Voters, WATCH

What:   News Conference

When:  1:30 p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where:  Courtroom 5, Olmsted County Courthouse,

                151 Fourth Street SE, Rochester