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The Office of the District Court of Minnesota will be closed for the Labor Day Holiday on Monday, September 1st. The CM/ECF system will be available but the CM/ECF Helpdesk will not be staffed.

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms and are seeking public comment. The public comment period closes on February 17, 2015. The proposed amendments and other information are posted on the judiciary's website.

A new juror scam email seeking personal information (social security number, date of birth, driver's license numbers, etc.), which could aid in identity theft has been reported in several federal courts. Please see the "Public Alert" on the United States Courts website.

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is issuing for public comment proposed amendments to the Court's Local Rules. The proposed amendments affect Local Rule 7.2 and a new proposed Local Rule 12.1, Criminal Discovery and Pretrial Motions. Please click on the links to read the public notice for a brief summary of the proposed amendments and the proposed amendments in redline and final form. All public comments to the proposed amendments must be submitted by August 18, 2014.

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of one part-time United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

The salary of the part-time position is $13,439 per year and the position will be located in Bemidji. The term of office for a part-time magistrate judge is four years; incumbents may be reappointed to successive terms.

To read the full public notice, application instructions, and application form, click on the links. Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Time on Monday, August 11, 2014.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Davis is pleased to announce the appointment of Hildy Bowbeer to the position of United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Minnesota. Bowbeer took the oath of office in the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis on June 23, 2014. Please click on the link to read the press release.

On Friday, June 6, 2014, the Court hosted a reception and tour of the "Freedom Riders" exhibit, which is on display in the Minneapolis Courthouse Atrium until June 20th. The exhibit examines the story of the 1961 Freedom Riders, non-violent protesters who, in interracial groups, travelled through the South and risked their lives to challenge segregated facilities. By bravely confronting violence, intimidation, and imprisonment, the Freedom Riders put pressure on the federal government to ultimately pass some of the most important civil rights legislation in American history. The Freedom Riders' efforts helped move the nation closer to its promise of "equal justice of all."

Friday's event began with opening remarks by Chief Judge Davis about the Court's outreach efforts and the significance and legacy of the Freedom Riders. After this, the program featured inspiring speeches by Daniel Bergin of Twin Cities Public Television ("TPT"); Honorary Chairperson, Dr. Josie R. Johnson; and Keynote Speaker, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison. Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel then introduced four of the Minnesota Freedom Riders: Peter Ackerberg, Robert Baum, Dave Morton, and Claire O'Connor. They each shared reflections on their firsthand experiences travelling to Mississippi and facing imprisonment and intimidation. The program concluded with closing remarks by Judge Susan R. Nelson.

Click on the link to view a photo. (Left to Right: U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison; MN Freedom Rider Robert Baum, Karen Olson Aelony, widow of MN Freedom Rider Zev Aelony; MN Freedom Rider Clare O'Connor; MN Freedom Rider Dave Morton; MN Freedom Rider Peter Ackerberg; Magistrate Judge Noel; and Chief Judge Davis)

The exhibit is available for public viewing at the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis through June 20, 2014, during courthouse business hours.

The "Freedom Riders" exhibition was created by the Gilder Lehrman Institution of American History and PBS's flagship history series, American Experience. It is funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The American Experience documentary film Freedom Riders, directed by Stanley Nelson, can be viewed at www.pbs.org/freedomriders. This documentary will air Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. on TPT.

The Court appointed a Merit Selection Panel to advise the Court on the selection of a new part-time U.S. Magistrate Judge to serve in Bemidji. Judge Donovan W. Frank will chair the Panel. For more information about the Panel appointment, please read the public notice.

On Friday, May 16, 2014, the Court hosted the culminating event of this year's "Open Doors to Federal Courts" program, which focused on the lives of Dred and Harriet Scott and their role in shaping the nation's history. The program was a collaborative effort by the Court, Minneapolis Public Schools, volunteer attorneys from various bar associations, and Mixed Blood Theatre. The event—held at William Mitchell College of Law and attended by approximately 250 high school students from Minneapolis Public Schools—was a great success!

The day began with a welcome by Chief Judge Davis and greetings from Eric S. Janus, President and Dean of William Mitchell College of Law. Students then watched a play about Dred and Harriet Scott performed by members of Mixed Blood Theatre. After this, the students met Lynne Jackson—great–great–granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott and founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation—who gave an informative and engaging presentation about the lives of her ancestors. The event concluded with a presentation by a diverse panel of judges and attorneys, including Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Judge Kevin G. Ross of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Judge Lyonel Norris of the Hennepin County District Court, Judge Edward Wilson of the Ramsey County District Court, and attorneys Lariss Jude and Ben Kwan. The panelists shared personal stories of triumph over various obstacles in their lives.

Prior to the May 16th event, Open Doors program volunteer attorneys from various organizations visited students in their U.S. History and Government classes and spoke to them about the Dred Scott decision and about their own life experiences. The Court would like to thank all who participated in the program, including our guests; our speakers and panelists; members of the planning committee; and members of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, the Hispanic Bar Association, the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Urban Debate Program.

To view two photos from the event, please click on the links:

    Photo 1: The Mixed Blood Theatre actors portraying Dred and Harriet Scott; Judge Kevin G. Ross and Chief Judge Michael J. Davis.

    Photo 2: (L to R) MN Court of Appeals Judge Kevin G. Ross, MN Supreme Court Associate Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright; Attorney Lariss Jude; Hennepin County District Court Judge Lyonel Norris.

The Court appointed a Merit Selection Panel to advise the Court on the selection of a new full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge. Sam Hanson and Rachel Zimmerman will co-chair the Panel. For more information about the Panel appointment, read the public notice.

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