Tenth Judicial District

Tenth district case filings
New Administrator Among District Leadership Changes
In June 2017, Tenth Judicial District Chief Judge Douglas B. Meslow announced that Paul Patterson had been appointed to serve as the new District Administrator of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. As District Administrator, Patterson oversees the administrative affairs of the District, including management and processing of all court records and files, district budgeting and accounting, human resources, and maintenance of the District’s computer network. Patterson replaced Mike Moriarty, who retired after serving 13 years as Tenth Judicial District Administrator.

Also in 2017, Sheldon Clark was promoted from Self-Help Center Attorney to be the new Manager of Litigant Services for the Tenth Judicial District. In this role, Clark is responsible for managing the District’s Self-Help Center team, the Early Neutral Evaluation program, and project management at the District level.
Judges, Court Staff Work to Enhance Community Outreach
The Tenth Judicial District held several community outreach events in 2017:
  • The Tenth Judicial District Equal Justice committee held a community dialogue at the Fridley Community Center on January 31, 2017. The event was well-attended and the court received beneficial feedback from the community. The District is planning to host another event in 2018 to encourage on-going communication in the community.
  • In addition, Law Day events were convened in both Anoka and Wright counties. Both events offered eight different free legal advice clinics to the public, tours, and presentations. In Anoka County, students from two area high schools attended a Judicial Branch education program. In total, more than 500 people attended the Law Day events in Anoka and Wright counties.
  • Also, Anoka County District Court recognized National Adoption Day at a special session of court on Saturday, November 18, 2017. This session finalized adoption proceedings and celebrated multiple adoptions.
Treatment Courts Celebrate One-Year Anniversaries
The Tenth Judicial District treatment courts successfully completed their first year of serving the community in 2017. Anoka County’s Drug Court and Veterans’ Court hit their one-year anniversaries in December. Wright County’s Drug Court completed its first year in November.
Courthouse Building and Security Improvements
Throughout 2017, there were several projects underway to enhance the functionality and security of Tenth Judicial District court facilities:
  • Construction is underway in Sherburne County on a new court facility expected to open in June 2018.
  • Wright County is in the planning phase of building a new court facility, which is scheduled for occupancy in the fall of 2019.
  • Three Anoka County courtrooms built in the 1960s were remodeled to bring them into the modern era, including state of the art technology and improved in-custody facilities.
  • Six counties in the District received grants through the Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative: Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, and Washington. All of these counties are in the process  of enhancing security in large part due to the funds received (see page 14 for more information on this courthouse security grant program).
Increasing Access to Services for Court Users
The Tenth Judicial District Litigant Services Team works throughout the District in the areas of the Self Help Center, the Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) program, and legal research as it pertains to procedures in court administration offices.
The Team added an additional staff member in 2017, and expanded hours in all eight of the counties in the District. Nearly 6,000 self-represented litigants were served by the Team in 2017.

The ENE program hosted a Continuing Legal Education event in 2017 for providers to learn different techniques as it relates to their roles. The District also piloted ENE’s new Provider Availability Scheduling System, designed to enhance and simplify provider scheduling.
Enhancing Customer Service and Convenience
Kiosks to allow jurors to electronically check themselves in for service were installed throughout the counties in the Tenth Judicial District in 2017. Currently, planning is underway to utilize an electronic notice feature to better assist the public in the very important role of jury service. The notices will provide potential jurors with convenient reminders of their service and an enhanced ability to check themselves in each day.

The District has also implemented a new interpreter scheduling program, along with hiring a full-time Spanish interpreter. This interpreter is available to work in each of the counties in the District. The implementation of this program allows the District to better provide service to court users, with the added benefit of cost savings.