How Stearns County Courts Got Caught Up
When the pandemic hit in 2020 many aspects of life were affected and that included the court system. Stearns County was no exception to that but Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall says as of a week ago they are caught up. There are 10 judicial districts in Minnesota and Stearns County is one of 3 who is now caught up.
Kendall says the county chose to schedule things a different way to get caught up. The different way includes prioritizing and viewing each case specifically on whether each case is likely to be settled out of court or if it is likely to be headed for a jury trial. Kendall says it was a team effort to accomplish this and because everyone gets along well they were able to do it. She says putting cases in different categories worked so well during the pandemic the plan is to continue to use this plan going forward.
During the pandemic zoom video was often used. Kendall says they will continue to use zoom where appropriate in cases where travel and time are of the essence for victims and victim's family testimony. She says victims and families used to have to take time off work but with zoom as an option they can participate using video technology.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Janelle Kendall it is available below.