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Law Day is May 1, 2015

The public is invited to celebrate Law Day at the Washington County Courthouse May 1.

The event features a courthouse tour, information fair, and Magna Carta quiz.

The Washington County Courthouse in Stillwater will open its doors to the public Friday, May 1, as part of a Law Day event designed to celebrate the 800th year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta – a Latin word meaning “Great Charter.” 

The document that became known as Magna Carta was first issued in June 1215. It resulted from negotiations, culminating in a meeting at Runnymede – a water-meadow alongside the River Thames in the English county of Surrey, 20 miles west of central London – between King John and rebellious English aristocrats on the brink of civil war.             

Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody a simple but enduring truth:  No one, no matter how powerful, is above the law. 

Magna Carta is a symbol of the rule of law and an inspiration for many basic rights Americans hold dear today, including due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel.

Staff from Court Administration will provide information of interest to the public about the rule of law and how it relates to administering justice in the Minnesota Judicial Branch. The public and media are invited to attend the event, which runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. with courtroom tours beginning promptly at 12:10 p.m. and 12:40 p.m.  

The event is scheduled on Law Day, a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day was first established in 1958 through a proclamation by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Congress passed a joint resolution designating May 1 as Law Day, USA in 1961.

The Law Day Open Courthouse event is being hosted by Washington County Judges, Court Administration, and the Washington County Law Library.

Check back here in the next few weeks about upcoming events!

The Washington County Courthouse in Stillwater is at 14949 62nd St. N. in Stillwater, MN.  

Posted 4.17.2015

Coming Soon:  
A Spring Educational Program for Public Librarians

April 24, 2015
10:00AM - 3:00PM
Chanhassen Public Library
7711 Kerber Blvd. 
Chanhassen, MN 55317

To registers, fill out the registration form and send the form and payment to
Brenda Wolfe
Carver County Law Library
Carver County Government Center
604 E. Fourth St. 
Chaska, MN 55318

For more information contact the law library at 651.430.6330 or .

?Updated March 24, 2015.

Featuring Free Public Seminars
Participants will come away with an understanding of various legal issues and options. Workshops are presented by a volunteer lawyer, and laptop computers will be available. Workshops are open to all members of the public, regardless of residence. The series of hands-on workshops brings quality legal information to the public, and is a collaboration between the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Minnesota Department of Education, and Washington County.


Criminal Expungement Workshop 

January 28, 2015
5:30 p.m-7:00p.m.

Washington County Government Center
14949 62nd St. N,
Stillwater, MN 55082

Program Description

The Washington County Law Library invites the public to attend a workshop on Criminal Expungement on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in room LL14 of the Washington County Government Center, located at 14949 62nd St. N., in Stillwater, Minnesota.  

To register and reserve your space, please call the Washington County Law Library at 651-430-6330.

Expungement is the process of going to court to ask a judge to seal a court record.  Usually, people ask for an expungement when they have been denied a job, housing, or a professional license because of their criminal background.  In 2014, the law regarding expungement changed, and now it is much easier for people to get their records expunged from the agencies that also keep track of court activity. 

In this workshop attendees will learn about the basic facts of criminal expungement, what kind of offenses can be expunged, and what goes on during the process of expungement, and how long it takes.  Some topics covered in this session will include: 

  • The basics of the process
  • How to fill out and file the petition
  • Recent Minnesota Supreme Court caselaw affecting criminal expungement
  • Recent changes to the expungement statutes, and how that affects the expungement process

There will be time after the presentation for individuals to ask questions and get answers and professional advice from an experienced attorney.

Shawn M. Betts has been practicing law for nearly 20 years and is a current member of the Minnesota State Bar.  His many years of legal experience include acting as administrator for the Washington County Criminal Defense Panel as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Criminal Defense Services, Inc.  He is also affiliated with the Dakota County Defense Panel and has worked as a prosecutor for the cities of Maplewood and White Bear Lake in Ramsey County.  Shawn is a frequent speaker on the topic of criminal expungement.  For more information, please visit his website at

Anyone can attend this informational session, but you must pre-register.  Please call the Washington County Law Library at 651.430.6330 or send an email to to pre-register for the session.

This presentation is sponsored by the Washington County Law Library.  

updated January 20, 2015.

Pauline Afuso
Washington County Law Librarian

Government Center
14949 62nd St. N.
P.O. Box 6
Stillwater, MN 55082

Ph: 651-430-6330
Fx: 651-430-6331

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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