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Open judgeships mean a review of their location, necessity

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The state Supreme Court will be making some decisions on two district judgeships -- one in Stanley and the other in Bottineau.

Judge Robert Holte in Stanley is not seeking re-election, while Judge Lester Ketterling of Bottineau is resigning.

North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Vandewalle says in both cases, the high court will consider whether to keep those chambers in the two cities -- or move them. Vandewalle says in Holte's case, there has been a petition to move the judgeship to Minot.

"In the Bottineau situation, we have no petition to move the chamber," said Vandewalle. "However, that is something we can consider and must consider. We need to see whether that judgeship is needed in that particular district, in that particular chamber."

Vandewalle says other districts could petition to move the judges there, as well. He says he hasn't looked at the caseloads recently -- but it appears that there's plenty of work in both districts to keep those judgeships there.