Hennepin County Judges in MN Invite Insights from Urban Native Community by MNNativeNews published on 2017-11-15T19:03:47Z Judges on the Hennepin Country District Court are reaching out to American Indians living in the county - to hear about their experiences in family court. Family court hears cases involving child custody, divorce and domestic violence. White Earth descendent Anne McKeig (mc-keg) was a judge in the Hennepin County family court before she was appointed as a Justice on the state Supreme Court in fall of 2016. She says she is still involved in the county judicial listening sessions. MCKEIG: I had noticed that there were just no litigants coming to court. I mean we know that domestic violence is a huge issues in Indian Country. We know that 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual assault in their lifetime, so I didn’t understand why with a large urban indian population, why we were’t seeing those litigants. So we went out to the community and held some listening sessions to say what would you like to see from the court? She says Hennepin County judges got an earful. Native people need the law enforcement to be more effective in enforcing court orders. MCKEIG: We heard loud and clear that there is a concern in the community that even if they get a civil order for protection, they have trouble enforcing that order for protection and that’s due to some relationships that need to be furthered between law enforcement and the Native community. The judicial listening sessions are part of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to make county courts more effective. Hennepin county’s approach will serve as a model for their other communities around the country.