Olmsted County is in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District. (There are 10 Judicial Districts in Minnesota.) The Third Judicial District encompasses Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona counties. The court reviews the number of cases within the district on a regular basis and provides for an “equalization” formula. As a result of the equalization, a judge will be moved from Winona to Olmsted County. Olmsted County will soon have 7 judges. This will help to alleviate the backlog of cases.
As a result of the addition of a judge, the Courthouse is making space and constructing another courtroom; the cost is split between Winona and Olmsted counties and the Court system. A study recently done by the Court System concluded that Olmsted County needs 8.3 judges and more courtrooms. The county will be studying the report and at some point in the future, will assess the space needs of the Courts which includes not only the courtroom but also antechambers, jury deliberation rooms, jury boxes, judges chambers, jury selection space, access to restrooms, and security issues.