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Chronic budget deficits are the court’s new normal, Maturi says

The Minnesota State Bar Association’s northern lawyers gathered in Bemidji last week and one of the events was “The State of the Ninth Judicial District” by Chief Judge Jon Maturi. The judge greeted the bench and bar by calling them the American aristocracy, as described by Alexis de Tocqueville.
“Of course, he didn’t know you like I do,” Maturi said, adding that he’s thinking of applying to the bench in North Dakota where the court budget is better.

The court, like everything else governmental, is facing a “new normal” of chronic deficits and cuts in service, Maturi said. He is not projecting any layoffs this biennium but the district has already been reduced from 17 to six court administrators, he said. A short-run economic cycle of recession has merged with a long-run demographic trend of an aging populace to create the new normal, he said.

The situation calls for a “creative destruction” of the way the court provides services, as for example, the music industry had to reinvent itself, he said. The answer may lie in preventing people from being in court in the first place, he said, for instance by reducing recidivism and offering mediation and early neutral evaluation in family law. “Making things better may offer the greatest potential,” Maturi said.

2 comments

  1. This is the same judge that, in a harassment restraining order hearing for a women accused of harassing her son’s ex-girlfriend about an order for protection that the ex-girlfriend had on the woman’s son, told the women in court when she was trying to ask a question to the ex-girlfriend on the stand that if she wanted contact, the women and ex-girlfriend could go behind the doors and have all of the contact she wanted. A very inappropriate comment considering the type of hearing taking place. Judge Maturi was very rude and short tempered. He also asked the woman’s 15 year old daughter, who was on the stand, if she knew anything about her brother giving his daughter a gift for her birthday. This information was gained the previous day by the judge when the brother was charged in his court for offenses that were unrelated to the hearing the 15 year old was testifying on. So, can a judge in a small county stay unbiased? Judge Maturi obviously showed he cannot. Additionally, when the brother’s attorney sought to exclude evidence that was gained by an officer making a random stop for no specific reason without knowing who the driver of the vehicle registered in his name was, Judge Maturi denied the exclusionary rule, even though, Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court Justice clearly stated that a parolee/probationer does not have full 4th amendment rights when it comes to stopping them at will, but added that the identity of the parolee/probationer had to be known in advance of the stop. It is said of Itasca County that the end justifies the means whether it is a police officer or judge. Itasca County is well known in all of Minnesota for its bias and injustice.

  2. Also, listed as Judge Maturi’s community activities is “Advocates Against Domestic Abuse”. Advocates Against Domestic Abuse, Grand Rapids, has changed its name to Advocates for Family Peace. This may be a good cause but during court hearings, Judge Maturi should not be hearing and ruling on cases from that group, yet he does. In the earlier referenced case, the son’s girlfriend was represented by the Advocates for Family Peace. Coming up, Judge Maturi will also be hearing the case against the son for violations of that OFP that the Advocates for Family Peace represented and the judge questioned the fifteen year old sister about. That definitely has the appearance of being biased.

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