About Us

Hours and Location

Open to the Public

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Government Center
14949 62nd St. N.
P.O. Box 6
Stillwater, MN 55082
Ph: 651-430-6330
Fx: 651-430-6331

Map and directions


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.

Library Staff

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.

The following people have served as Washington County Law Librarian:

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 J.D., M.L.I.S. (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.
This petition was signed by the following attorneys (in order of signing):
Carl Neumeier
John H. Rheinberger
Philip Eastwood
Lyle T. Eckberg
John L. Jewell
Reuben Thoreen
Roderick A. Lawson
John F. Thoreen
Winston S. Sandeen
William Johnson
Albert E. Ranum
James Douville
John T. McDonough
Robert C. Walter
Chester A. Wilson
John Harrigan
Vacil D. Kalinoff
Goodrich M. Sullivan

Board Members

The first Law Library Board of Trustees had three members, District Judge Rollin G. Johnson, County Commissioner Idor Pederson, and Attorney Roderick A. Lawson. Judge William T. Johnson replaced Judge Johnson in 1963, and the board remained unchanged until 1975, when it expanded to five members who included Judge John F. Thoreen, Judge Howard Albertson, County Attorney Robert W. Kelly, County Commissioner Idor Pederson, and Attorney Donald T. Raleigh.

Since 1975 the board has been privileged to include among its members: 

County Commissioners Judges Attorneys
Dean McGowan Esther M. Tomljanovich Lyle J. Eckberg
A.B. Schaeffer, Jr. Kenneth J. Maas, Jr. David T. Magnuson
John V. Jergens Thomas G. Armstrong Megan Hunt
Don Scheel J.E. Cass Paul Lacy
Dave Engstrom Gregory Galler John Rheinberger
R.H. Stafford Elizabeth Martin Kevin K. Shoeberg
Gary Kriesel Ellen Maas Jennifer Nodes
Lisa Weik Thomas Weidner
Mimi Hasselbalch
County Attorneys Paul Overson
Richard M. Arney
Thomas Foley Washington County Library Director Patricia Conley
Doug Johnson Court Administrator Christina M. Volkers
Assistant County Attorneys
Steve Povolny
Rick Hodsdon

(Portions of this history were reproduced from "A View from the Top," published in our newsletter, Law Library Notes, v. 1, issue 1, Spring 1998)

Page last revised on 8.12.2016:psa