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Hennepin County District Court Invests in Calendar Display Monitors

Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twelve flat screen monitors were installed in the Hennepin County Government Center to display daily court hearings by a party’s last name for cases heard downtown at the Government Center, Public Safety Facility and City Hall. 

The monitors operate similar to airport information monitors and are located on the wall near the C Tower weapons screening entrance.

In the event a case is not listed or a member of the public is unable to read English, a phone next to the monitors will offer assistance from Violations Bureau staff.  Cases in Family are listed on a limited basis.  Juvenile and suburban cases are not posted on the monitors.

Mark Thompson, Judicial District Administrator remarked, “We are working towards being a model government agency in the technology world.  The calendar display monitors refresh every 10 minutes to provide the public with the information they need.  After three days of testing the monitors, the public’s response has been very positive.”

The State of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District serves only Hennepin County and is the state’s largest trial court with more than 750,000 cases received annually. 

The monitors will replace the court information desk located on the skyway level of the Government Center.  On a daily basis, the court receives 225 – 275 requests for information regarding where a hearing is located or who the judge is.  Defendants, attorneys, witnesses, victims, victim advocates, WATCH representatives, general public and media will be able to access the information without court staff assistance. 

Prompted by shrinking budget allotments in Minnesota’s downturn economy, the courts are determined to become more efficient and cost effective through the use of technology. Previously, court staff spent approximately 90 minutes per day printing and posting court calendars on courtroom doors, as well as making copies to display at the front counters.