Access and fairness in the courts. That will be the focus of a listening session by Minnesota's First Judicial District Equal Justice Committee and the Prairie Island Indian Community.

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, residents from in and around Goodhue County are invited to the Prairie Island Community Center for the event.

The stated goals are:

• For citizens to voice their concerns and give suggestions about attending court.

• Share ideas about ways to improve the quality of court services.

• Share experiences with members of the judicial branch so that they better understand community member's experiences.

Chris Channing, Goodhue County's court administrator told the Republican Eagle that it's "always interesting to see and hear from those that have to interact with the court" during these events.

Community dialogue sessions are common within Minnesota; four were held throughout the state in 2018.

According to the Minnesota Courts website, the First Judicial District Equal Justice Committee has held six of these hearings since 2008. Channing explained that the First Judicial District Equal Justice Committee is required to hold a listening session at least once every two years. None has been in Goodhue County until now.

The most recent District 1 discussion, held in Shakopee, did not have any major themes arise. Shakopee community members spoke on issues including listening to litigants, simplifying the divorce process and making resources available for restorative practices.

For more information about the event, visit: