News Item
Minnesota Supreme Court to Hold 50th Traveling Oral Arguments, Community Dinner in Fairmont

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019


The Minnesota Supreme Court will visit Fairmont in October as part of the program that seeks to teach students about the Minnesota court system and build the public’s trust, confidence, and understanding in the judiciary. During the visit, the Supreme Court will hold a community dinner on Tuesday, October 8. On the morning of Wednesday, October 9, the state’s highest court will convene at Fairmont High School to hear oral arguments in a real court case in front of hundreds of students.
“The Minnesota Supreme Court is looking forward to our visit to Fairmont, and having the opportunity to meet with students and community members and talk about our remarkable justice system in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “We are especially excited to be celebrating the fiftieth traveling oral argument program with the Fairmont community. We hope many members of the community come out to share a meal and good conversation at the dinner event.”
More information on the two events, which are both open to the media, is provided below:
Public invited to a “Meet Your Court” community dinner
On the evening of Tuesday, October 8, all area residents are invited to the grand ballroom at the Holiday Inn 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 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 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.
Area students to watch oral arguments in a real court case
On Wednesday, October 9, the Minnesota Supreme Court will convene in the Performing Arts Center at Fairmont High School in Fairmont at 9 a.m. School officials expect to fill the auditorium with students from Fairmont High School and with special guests from other area schools.
The Court will hear oral arguments on an actual court case. Following the oral arguments, the Supreme Court justices will hold a question-and-answer session with students, share lunch with student representatives, and spend the afternoon visiting classrooms.
“We are honored and privileged to have the Minnesota Supreme Court coming to our school to present oral arguments,” said Fairmont Junior/Senior High School Co-Principal Jake Tietje. “This a wonderful opportunity for our students and students from surrounding schools to see the Court in action. We are very excited about participating in this program.”
More information about the Court’s visit to Fairmont High School, including a detailed schedule and information on the case the Court will hear on October 9, will be provided in the weeks ahead.
About the Traveling Oral Argument Program
Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, Minn., in 1995, school visits have taken center stage in the Court’s public outreach and education efforts. The Court travels to two high schools in Minnesota each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall visit includes a community dinner event. The Fairmont event marks the fiftieth traveling oral arguments event for the Court.
Fast Facts about the Traveling Oral Argument Program
  • Forty-seven unique communities in 31 different counties have hosted the program.
  • The Court has traveled more than 9,000 miles round trip visiting communities across Minnesota.
  • Nearly 5,000 community members have attended a community dinner.
  • Almost 60,000 students have participated in the traveling oral argument program.

Dinner and Ticket Information