Carlton County Courthouse to host Sixth District grand jury trials

The Carlton County Board passed a resolution allowing the use of a courtroom for grand jury trials by the Sixth District Court during the pandemic.

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The third floor courtroom of the Carlton County Courthouse is the largest courtroom in the Sixth Judicial District. For that reason, the courtroom has been designated for any grand jury trials in the district. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

The third floor courtroom of the Carlton County Courthouse has been designated as the location for grand jury hearings in the Sixth Judicial District during the pandemic.

The Carlton County courtroom is the largest courtroom in the district and therefore the one that is most conducive to social distancing, County Coordinator Dennis Genereau told the Board of Commissioners during its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 24.

“We can comfortably and safely seat at least 20 people in the gallery,” said Sara Taylor, Sixth District Court administrator.

Between 16-23 jurors as well as a judge, court reporter, county attorney and court security are needed in the room during a grand jury hearing, Taylor said.

There was only one grand jury in the district last year, Genereau said. He added that Carlton County would not incur any of the costs.


Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola said there are several costs included in a grand jury trial, including victim/witness time, witness subpoenas, support staff time and more. She said the bailiffs are provided by the sheriff's office.

There are separate costs paid for by the state such as the pay for judges, court reporters, public defenders and court administration, as well as juror fees, Ketola said. The state would still cover those costs.

"If the Carlton County Courthouse is utilized by another county other than Carlton, then that county would use their own people and absorb those costs," Ketola said.

The board unanimously approved the resolution.

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