Minnesota Appellate Court Hears Arguments In Bemidji
A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals visited Bemidji today to hear oral arguments on several cases from the area. The arguments were open to the public and the media.
The arguments were heard today at the Beltrami County Judicial Building. Judges Michael Kirk, Denise Reilly, and John Smith traveled from St. Paul to further the Court’s goal of hearing arguments across a variety of communities throughout greater Minnesota.
“The Minnesota Court of Appeals is a statewide court, and because it’s a statewide court, it’s important that the Court come to outstate Minnesota and show that they are a statewide court and hear cases from all over the state,” Appellate Court Judge John Smith said.
The three judge panel heard four cases throughout the morning at the Beltrami County Judicial Center.
A case reaches the Appellate Court after a case has been decided in the trial court. The losing party is then entitled to appeal the decision.
“Once the jury or the judge has decided a case, if a party believes that there’s been a mistake made, they have the right to appeal to first our court, and then our Supreme Court could look at a case that’s come up through our court if they chose to,” Appellate Court Judge Michael Kirk explained. “They don’t have to.”
By traveling throughout the state of Minnesota, the Court hopes to provide accessibility to the Court and also to spread awareness of what the Court of Appeals does.
“The Court of Appeals wants to be accessible and open to everyone. All of our hearings are open to people to come and watch, and it’s much easier when we go and travel around the state for the parties to get there to be able to watch their attorneys and watch the court in action,” said Appellate Court Judge Denise Reilly.
“I think it’s just a real important thing for our court to get out and around the state – to, as I indicated before, get some people awareness of what our court does as opposed to what a trial court does and do give people a sense that they have, what Judge Reilly was referring to earlier, accessibility to all courts of the state,” Judge Kirk added.
Three fellow judges from the Minnesota Appellate Court were in St. Cloud today hearing arguments from Stearns County.