Library staff is trained in legal research and will assist in finding legal information. Library staff will help you get access to legal help, materials, and resources. Library staff cannot give legal advice, give any type of interpretation of the law, or fill out legal forms.
Library staff is trained in legal research and can assist you in locating legal information, but we can not give legal interpretation of the law.
Our mission is to provide quality legal information services in a cost-effective manner for the judiciary, members of the bar, government employees and members of the public.
Suzanne Stephenson, Law Librarian
Tim Grover, Law Librarian
The Law Library is organized under Chapter 134A of the Minnesota Statutes, "County Law Libraries." The governing agency is a seven-member Board of Trustees. The composition of the board is designated by statute and consists of two judges from the Tenth Judicial District, two practicing attorneys appointed by the County Attorney, a member of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, the Washington County Library Director, and one practicing attorney appointed by the president of the Washington County Bar Association.
All library expenses, including information resources in all media, furniture and equipment, and staff salaries and benefits are funded through a combination of court fees and fines. The only tax levy dollars associated with the library provide for the library's space, heat, light, ventilation, and so forth.
Law Librarians that has served at Washington County
- J. Martin Sjolie, J.D. (October 1986 - January 1988)
- Shelia H. Chappel, J.D. (January 1988 - April 1994)
- Judith A. Flader, M.L.I.S (June 1994 - June 2005)
- Patricia A. Dolan, M.L.I.S., J.D. (June 2005 - December 2006)
- Elizabeth K. Robb, M.L.I.S., J.D. (January 2006 - January 2008)
- Brian R. Huffman, M.L.I.S., J.D. (August 2008 - October 2012)
- Pauline Afuso, M.L.I.S., J.D. (October 2012 - October 2017)
- Tim Devine, M.L.S. (October 2017 - September 2019)
Board of Trustees
- Hon. Greg Galler, District Court Judge (Board Chair)
- Hon. Ellen Maas, District Court Judge
- Amy Stenftenagel, Director, Washington County Library
- David Tomenes, President of the Washington County Bar Association
- Rick Hodsdon, Assistant Washington County Attorney
- Gary Kriesel, District 3 County Commissioner
- Thomas Weidner, Attorney
History of the Law Library
The Library was established in December 1956, through a petition to then District Judges Carl W. Gustafson and Rollin G. Johnson, which stated:
"Whereas there are now very few necessary law books available to the District Judges, and the attorneys practicing before them in the court house in The City of Stillwater, County of Washington, State of Minnesota, and whereas there is an obvious need to have an adequate law library for the use of judges and attorneys during the trial of actions, and available to the judges at all times in Chambers, and whereas provision is made for the establishment of a county law library under Minnesota Statutes 1953, Section 140.34 - 140.46 inclusive, being Ch. 184, Laws of 1949, and whereas provision is made in said law for the maintenance and financing of said law library by contributions from District Court cases, from Municipal Court and from Probate Court, and from other sources, and whereas the undersigned members of the Washington County Bar Association and the Minnesota State Bar Association feel it is absolutely necessary in trial of cases pending before this court, to have an adequate law library available at all times to insure proper rulings and to avoid errors which could result in expensive retrial of cases. Now therefore the undersigned attorneys in active practice before the above named court, hereby respectfully petition said court to make the order establishing a county law library in the court house in the City of Stillwater, County of Washington, State of Minnesota and to maintain same, all pursuant to said Minnesota Statutes 1953, Section 140.34 - 140.36 inclusive. Dated this 28 day of November, 1956."