After 21 years Olmsted County Judge Kevin Lund retires

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It was a bittersweet day inside a Rochester courtroom, on Thursday.

Longtime Olmsted County Judge, Kevin Lund drops his final gavel on his judicial career.

Lund was first appointed to Minnesota’s Third District Court as a judge in 2001 by then-Governor, Jesse Ventura. Colleagues said that in his 21 years on the bench countless juveniles have been changed for the better because of Lund’s fair and compassionate way of handling kids who’ve been in trouble with the law.

Lund said he will spend his retirement spending time with his family. He even joked about possibly being a school crossing guard.

He reflected on what it has meant to sit on the bench for two decades.

“Judges have a lot of power and one of my sons said, ‘no I think they have a lot of responsibility.’ And it dawned on me that that’s the way you need to look at it,” he said. “With young people or their parents or anyone that’s in my courtroom, I’ve tried to remind myself every day that their life is as important to them as my life is to me,” Lund said.

When asked what he hoped young people who had appeared before him would gain from the experience, he said, “I’ve always wanted them to have a measure of hope in what would otherwise be described as hopeless circumstances, so if they take away a measure of that, that’s terrific.”

Thursday afternoon, family, friends, and colleagues gathered in the courtroom to witness Lund’s last court hearing, which was making an adoption official for a young boy. Lund as well as the many in the courtroom were emotional following the adoption hearing.

“What you saw were genuine tears of joy about a situation that probably two years ago nobody ever thought or believed was possible. What was considered impossible today became possible. It’s a great feeling, and that’s what I’m going to miss,” Lund said.

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