In the Interest of M.S. Southeast Human Service Center, Petitioner and Appellee
M.S., Respondent and Appellant
from the District Court of Richland County, Southeast
Judicial District, the Honorable Bradley A. Cruff, Judge..
W. McBeth (on brief), Richland County State's Attorney,
Wahpeton, ND, for petitioner and appellee.
R. Butts (on brief), Wahpeton, ND, for respondent and
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
1] M.S. appealed from district court orders for less
restrictive treatment and denying his demand for a change of
judge. We affirm, concluding the court did not err in denying
M.S.'s demand for a change of judge.
2] M.S. was subject to an existing one-year order for less
restrictive treatment relating to his mental illness. On June
8, 2017, before the order expired, the Southeast Human
Service Center filed a petition for continuing treatment
under N.D.C.C. § 25-03.1-23, alleging M.S. required
further psychiatric care and was unwilling to adhere to
treatment on his own. On June 15, 2017, M.S. filed a demand
for change of judge under N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21. Judge
Daniel Narum, as presiding judge, denied his request, finding
that Judge Bradley Cruff was assigned to M.S.'s case in
2013 and had made rulings in the matter. After a hearing, the
district court found M.S. required continuing treatment and
ordered that M.S.'s less restrictive treatment be
extended for one year, to June 2018.
3] M.S. does not challenge any of the findings of fact or
conclusions of law related to the order for less restrictive
treatment. The sole issue on appeal is whether Judge Narum
erred in denying his demand for a change of judge.
4] Section 29-15-21, N.D.C.C., governs a demand for change of
judge. Under N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21(2), "[t]he demand
is invalid unless it is filed with the clerk of the court not
later than ten days after the occurrence of the earliest of
any one of the following events:"
a. The date of the notice of assignment or reassignment of a
judge for trial of the case;
b. The date of notice that a trial has been scheduled; or
c. The date of service of any ex parte order in the case
signed by the judge against whom the demand is filed.
that M.S.'s demand stated he filed it in good faith under
N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21 and did not allege Judge Cruff
demonstrated bias against him. See Gray v. Berg,
2015 ND 203, ¶ 9, 868 N.W.2d 378 (stating a demand for
change of judge alleging ...