United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The court is headquartered in Fargo and has additional locations at Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Minot. The district was created in 1889, when the Dakota Territory was divided into North Dakota and South Dakota. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown St. Louis at the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse and Building.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
Article III judges
|Judge Daniel Hovland||1954||Moorhead, MN||W. Bush||11/26/2002 - Present||2002 - 2009||Patrick Conmy||Concordia College, B.A., 1976||University of North Dakota School of Law, J.D., 1979|
|Chief judge Ralph Erickson||1959||Thief River Falls, MN||W. Bush||3/14/2003 - Present||2009 - Present||Rodney Webb||Jamestown College, B.A., 1980||University of North Dakota, J.D., 1984|
|Senior Judge Patrick Conmy||Reagan||12/17/1985-5/5/2000||1985-1992||5/5/2000-Present||Harvard College, 1955||Georgetown University Law Center, 1959|
|Magistrate Judge Charles Miller (North Dakota)||09/2004-2020||University of North Dakota, 1976|
|Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal||11/15/1990-10/1/2022||North Dakota State University, 1977||University of Minnesota Law, 1984|
The jurisdiction of the District of North Dakota consists of all the counties in the state of North Dakota. The District of North Dakota has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
The court is headquartered out of Fargo and has additional locations at Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time (Criminal)**:||Median time (Civil)**:||Three-year civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.|
**Time in months from filing to completion.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see District of North Dakota-Justia.com-Dockets and Filings.
| • Wetlands drainage (2010)|
Judge(s):Ralph Erickson (US v. Peterson, Case No. 2:08-mj-16)
|Click for summary→|
|Judge Erickson denied an appeal from Alvin Peterson, a retired North Dakota farmer who was in a legal battle with the federal government over draining wetlands. Peterson appealed a ruling from the District of North Dakota magistrate judge Alice Senechal in which he was convicted in 2008 of illegally draining wetlands under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Peterson appealed the ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on the basis that the conviction was based on insufficient evidence. The appellate court upheld the district court decision. Their decision can be read here.|
| • North Dakota child support (2010)|
|Click for summary→|
|Judge Erickson ordered the State of North Dakota to have its child support enforcement unit supply a list of people who are part of a class action lawsuit involving excessive traffic fines. The state of North Dakota asked for the list so they can know who is behind on child support payments while those who represented people in the class action suit rebutted the state's claims. The judge ordered that the state have the list as long it is kept confidential and the State of North Dakota pays for accessing the list.|
The District of North Dakota was established by Congress and assigned to the Eighth Circuit on April 26, 1890 with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, one additional judicial post was added for a total of 2 current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of North Dakota:
|April 26, 1890||26 Stat. 67||1|
|June 25, 1921||42 Stat. 66||2(1 temporary)|
|1928||Temporary post expired||1|
|February 10, 1954||68 Stat. 8||2|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information on the judges of the District of North Dakota, see former federal judges of the District of North Dakota.
Four separate courthouses serve the District of North Dakota.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- News: Flooding closes Ward County Courthouse, June 28, 2011
- United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Official Website
- Judges of the District of North Dakota
- Opinions for the District of North Dakota
- United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota Official Website
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Grand Forks Herald "Judge rejects appeal in N.D. drainage case," March 2, 2010 (dead link)
- Grand Forks Herald Judge to N.D.: Seek lawsuit list, January 29, 2010 (dead link)
- History of the District of North Dakota from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Charles Miller (North Dakota) • Alice Senechal •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|
State of North Dakota
List of North Dakota ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Game and Fish | Commissioner of Labor | Public Service Commission |