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State Supreme Court coming to Wadena

Wadena has been tentatively selected as a location for the Minnesota Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in a case yet to be determined Oct. 10 at the Wadena Deer Creek Middle/High School, according to Wadena attorney Paul Carlson, who has been working on the project.

“We don’t know what the case will be yet,” said Carlson, “We’ll probably find out later this summer as the plans are finalized. But it will be a real case.”

Carlson said the court leaves its St. Paul chambers twice a year to and hears arguments in a different settings, usually a school. In the spring the site is usually in the Twin Cities area, in the fall the site is a rural area.

Part of the appearance of the justices will be a dinner which will be held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Wednesday evening, Oct. 9.

“The justices will split up and sit with people at different tables and talk with them,” said Carlson. “It’s an effort to humanize the court.”

The goal is to have 100 to 150 people attend the dinner, which will be open to the public. There will be a charge for the dinner but Carlson said there will be an effort to raise funds to be able to give tickets to students.

Carlson said after seeing articles about other appearances in rural Minnesota, he contacted the court about coming to Wadena. He said he mentioned the tornado and Wadena’s recovery and new high school.

Court staff personnel were in Wadena Tuesday to check the facilities.

“They were very impressed with the theatre-auditorium at the school,” said Carlson. He added that an effort may be made to broadcast the oral arguments live to other area schools through teleconferencing setups.

There will be additional meetings through the summer to iron out details. Carlson said the date of October 10 is subject to matching up with the schedules of the justices.

Carlson said that he has heard that Justice Alan Page likes to run on a track early the morning that oral arguments are heard, usually with some students from the school where the justices will appear. He said he isn’t sure how that will work yet.