State courts looking for $1.5 million to deal with DAPL cases

Jan 6, 2017

Senate Appropriations Committee 1/5/17.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s state court system will be asking the Legislature for a $1.5 million deficiency appropriation – to deal with cases arising because of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Court system finance director Don Wolf told the Senate Appropriations Committee the courts are anticipating around 400 jury trials related to arrested protestors. Wolf said there are a number of costs involved.

"The cost of surrogate judges, additional contract deputy clerks we may need to bring in, jury fees that we pay for jurors to come in, some meals costs and travel costs," Wolf said.

Wolf said that $1.5 million is the best guess at this point. He said the costs may go higher.

The deficiency appropriation will be introduced separately from the court system’s budget bill.