Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Vacancy in Judgeship No. 3

Supreme Court of North Dakota

August 26, 2015

In the Matter of the Vacancy in Judgeship No. 3, with Chambers in Bottineau, North Dakota, Northeast Judicial District

Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Dale V. Sandstrom, Carol Ronning Kapsner, Daniel J. Crothers, Lisa Fair McEvers.

OPINION

Per curiam.

[¶1] On May 29, 2015, Governor Jack Dalrymple notified the Supreme Court of the resignation and retirement of the Honorable Michael Sturdevant, Judge of the District Court, with chambers in Bottineau, Northeast Judicial District, effective September 1, 2015. Judge Sturdevant's retirement creates a vacancy under Section 27-05-02.1, N.D.C.C.

[¶2] Under Section 27-05-02.1, N.D.C.C., this Court is required to review vacancies that occur and determine, within 90 days of receiving notice of a vacancy, whether the office is necessary for effective judicial administration. This Court may, consistent with that determination, order a vacancy filled or order the vacant office transferred to another judicial district in which an additional judge is necessary, or abolish a vacant judicial office, with or without a transfer.

[¶3] Under N.D. S.Ct. Admin. R. 7.2, notice of a written consultation with attorneys and judges and other interested persons in the Northeast Judicial District was posted June 3, 2015, on the website of the Supreme Court regarding the vacancy created by Judge Sturdevant's resignation in Judgeship No. 3. Written comments on the vacancy were permitted through July 3, 2015. This procedure is sufficient for purposes of the consultation required under Section 27-05-02.1, N.D.C.C.

Page 127

[¶4] A number of comments regarding filling the vacancy were received, and a Report containing population and caseload trends, and other criteria identified in N.D. S.Ct. Admin. R. 7.2, Section 4, was filed June 23, 2015 by the Northeast Judicial District. The State Court Administrator provided weighted caseload statistics for the Northeast Judicial District, as well as statewide statistics.

[¶5] Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, McHenry, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Towner and Walsh Counties comprise the Northeast Judicial District. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's, Population Division, Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014, which was released March 2015, the only counties in the Northeast Judicial District experiencing population decreases since 2010 are Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh.

[¶6] Six district judges and one judicial referee are chambered in the district: two judges are chambered in Devils Lake; one judge each in Grafton, Rugby and Bottineau; and one judge who travels between Cavalier and Langdon. The judicial referee's primary office is in Bottineau, but the referee travels extensively throughout the district.

[¶7] The 2014 weighted case filings show an increase in the Northeast Judicial District, following a decrease in 2013. According to the district's Report and the weighted caseload statistics, the number of felony criminal cases and general civil cases have increased in the district. In 2014, case filings increased for Benson, Bottineau, McHenry, Pierce, Ramsey and Towner Counties. Based on the district report, case filings are projected to increase in Renville and Rolette Counties in 2015, with Bottineau's filings slightly decreasing. The 2012, 2013 and 2014 weighted case filings are shown in the chart below.

County

2012

2013

2014

Benson

1,061

1,086

1,357

Bottineau

1,984

2,085

2,133

Cavalier

826

892

775

McHenry

1,585

1,505

1,559

Pembina

2,095

1,606

1,538

Pierce

883

860

1,051

Ramsey

5,168

4,771

5,622

Renville

975

529

523

Rolette

2,331

2,068

1,569

Towner

515

384

401

Walsh

3,526

3,112

2,925

NE Total

20,949

18,898

19,453

[¶8] According to the district's Report, Judgeship No. 3 is the primary judge for Bottineau and Renville Counties, shares primary assignment for criminal cases in Rolette County, and presides over all civil cases in Rolette County with the exception of emergency hearings. Judgeship No. 3 is also the secondary judge for McHenry and Pierce Counties, and assists in the event of the unavailability of the primary judge and in the case of a recusal or demand for change of judge in those counties.

[¶9] Based on the weighted caseload study for an average of 2013 and 2014 case filings, the Northeast Judicial District shows a .65 overage of judicial officers. That overage, however, has decreased from the weighted caseload study based on the average of 2012 and 2013 case filings. Intangible factors impacting the Northeast Judicial District and judicial resources are two of the three most impoverished counties in the state, Benson and Rolette Counties, and both the Turtle Mountain and Spirit Lake Nations are in the district. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.