Weather Forecast


Justice is...


In light of my recent appointment to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and make the citizens of this area aware of the hardworking and dedicated individuals who work in and with the courts.


It has been my privilege to be a trial court judge. It is with many fond memories of judges, court personnel, court reporters, probation officers, social workers, attorneys, jurors, law enforcement officials and board members that I leave my position. I hope the public will appreciate what fine and hardworking people they have serving them in the courts.

Justice is only accomplished when all parts of the court system function well. It is difficult, and frankly impossible, to keep everyone happy in light of the circumstances which bring people and parties to court. I can attest to the dedication of those who work in the courts who go above and beyond the call of duty when they have no obligation but do so to insure timely and efficient administration of justice.

I hope the readers of this letter will continue to support the courts, whether it be through jury service, a supportive voice, an understanding heart or adequate funding for the Judicial Branch. Liberties are priceless, but they can only be assured through a strong, independent and dedicated judiciary as we now have.

“Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.” Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Honorable John P. Smith

Cass County District Court Judge

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
(218) 855-5879