Ramsey Co. Lets Cameras In Court For Urban League Case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — As part of a statewide pilot project, WCCO-TV has been allowed to take cameras into courtrooms.

It gives you a chance to watch proceedings that have never been seen on television before.

Last week, we showed you a bank fraud hearing in Stearns County, and on Tuesday, another trial in Hennepin County involved who’s at fault in a car accident.

Now a first for Ramsey County court: WCCO-TV news cameras captured the story.

Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan is listening to arguments concerning the Urban League of St. Paul’s building. The building is located on Selby Avenue. The dispute concerns what is happening with the building under current leadership of that non-profit organization.

The lawyers were in court just last month.

“I told you back then I was concerned about the wasting of an asset, and now it appears because of action on both sides that more wasting is going on.  I am not happy to hear that,” said Judge Marrinan.

“So your honor, there were efforts to try to resolve this issue.  I just didn’t receive any cooperation from the defense attorney,” said Jeff Martin, a lawyer for the plaintiff.

“I’m amazed your honor.  I never received a call from Mr. Martin,” said Neil Shapiro, a lawyer for the defendant.

Judge Marrinan is one of several Minnesota judges who want to open the way to electronic recording devices. The pilot project is only allowed in civil cases, but there is hope it will lead to more access by the media.

“It’s designed to help people understand the courts and what they do. To lift what could be perceived as a veil, not of secrecy because we’re always open, but to get people to really understand the importance of this third branch of government,” Marrinan said.

WCCO-TV will continue to follow this case and hope to bring you more coverage from inside Minnesota courtrooms.

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