The office of Court Services oversees three programs: Community Work Service, Small
Community Work Service Program
Community work service provides offenders with an opportunity to take personal responsibility for their actions by actively working to repair the harm they have caused the community. It can be an alternative to lengthier jail sentences, and a way to pay off outstanding fines and forfeitures. Community work service is done for non-profit organizations throughout the county, including: civic clubs, churches, libraries, schools, nursing homes, and governmental agencies. Examples of work that has been completed include: highway cleanup, painting, clearing brush, mowing grass, shoveling snow, cleaning offices, sorting recyclables, sewing blankets and pillows, grooming snowmobile trails, raking, constructing brochure racks and picnic tables, working at community festivals and special events, typing, filing, cleaning offices, and weeding community gardens. Any organization interested in becoming a community work service site is welcome to contact Court Services for more information.
Small Claims Court Mediation Program
Small claims court is held twice a month
in our county, the first and third Wednesday of each month starting
at 1:30 pm. If a case is contested, a volunteer mediator meets with
both parties that afternoon to see if there’s an agreement that can
aJudge or Court Commissioner at a later date. This program is valuable because it allows the parties the opportunity to try to work out agreements in private, and these agreements can be tailored to meet the parties’ individual needs. It is beneficial to the public because there is no cost for mediation, and it saves court time and money because it frees up the judicial calendar to allow other cases to be heard in a more timely manner. If you enjoy helping people resolve their differences, being a mediator may be a volunteer opportunity you would enjoy. Please feel free to contact Court Services for more information about this worthwhile volunteer service.
Victim Offender Conferencing Program
Victim Offender Conferencing is a process which provides interested victims of crimes the opportunity to meet offenders in a safe and structured setting, with the goal of holding
offenders accountable for their behavior. With the assistance of a facilitator, victims are able to let offenders know how crime affected them, to receive answers to questions, and to be directly involved in a restitution plan. Offenders may take direct responsibility for their behavior, to learn the full impact of their crime, and to develop a plan for making things right with the victim.