Chair Carol Ronning Kapsner called the business meeting of the Judicial Conference to order at 1:45
p.m. on June 14, 2012. Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator, called the roll:
Judges of Supreme Court Gerald W. VandeWalle Dale V. Sandstrom Mary Muehlen Maring Carol Ronning Kapsner Daniel J. Crothers
Judges of District Court Donovan Foughty Lee A. Christofferson M. Richard Geiger John C. McClintock, Jr. Michael G. Sturdevant Sonja Clapp Karen K. Braaten Lawrence E. Jahnke Debbie Gordon Kleven Joel D. Medd John T. Paulson John E. Greenwood James D. Hovey Thomas E. Merrick Daniel D. Narum Frank L. Racek John C. Irby Steven L. Marquart Steven E. McCullough Gail Hagerty David E. Reich William W. McLees Gary H. Lee Joshua B. Rustad
Judges of Municipal Court Robert A. Keogh
Surrogate Judges Ronald E. Goodman Allan L. Schmalenberger Kirk Smith
Clerk of the Supreme Court Penny Miller
Members of the Bar Michael F. Daley Steven J. Lies
A quorum was declared and the business meeting proceeded.
Justice Crothers made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 21, 2011 meeting.
The motion carried and the minutes were approved.
Chair Kapsner advised the committee that the Judge Sonna Anderson, chair of the Committee on
Legislation, was not present. Because no legislative proposals have been received, Judge
Anderson did not submit a report to the Conference. Members of the Conference were directed
to contact Judge Sonna Anderson soon if they wish to have the Judicial Conference vote on
proposed legislation for next session.
Chair Kapsner next directed the members to a memo from attorney Sherry Mills Moore regarding
the sunset provision of the parenting coordinator law and asked if anyone would like to comment
on whether the Judicial Conference should take a position on the legislation. There were no
comments from the floor.
Chair Kapsner then directed the member’s attention to the Summary of Previous Work on
Addressing the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants. She encouraged the members to review the
summary and to contact any member of the Executive Committee if they were interested in
having the Committee pursue any of the recommendations or Judge McClintock’s suggestion
from the November 2011 conference that the court establish a service center for self-represented
litigants similar to the Alaska court system’s service center.
Chair Kapsner then recognized Judge Greenwood and invited him to address the Conference.
Judge Greenwood stated that the four local attorneys in Stutsman County who handle the
majority of mental health cases statewide are asking for a significant increase in compensation.
He said that he recognized that the payment for these services is between the county and the
attorney but suggested that since the Stutsman County attorneys work with so many counties, it
would be difficult to negotiate a pay rate with each county individually. He said that currently,
Stutsman County pays $75/hour for these services. He asked if anyone was aware of other
counties paying more than that. Judge Paulson said the federal courts are paying $110/hour. He
said he had received a letter, co-signed by the four attorneys, asking for an increase in pay and
suggesting that they would no longer accept assignments if the pay was not increased. He said
that he had done an informal survey of some other counties, and they all seem to be paying the
$75/hour rate. Judge Narum said that he was allowing mental health attorneys $90/hour in
Dickey, LaMoure and Ransom counties. Judge Greenwood said the Stutsman County state’s
attorney contracts with other counties to handle their mental health cases, and they have agreed
on a rate of $75/hour. Judge Greenwood indicated that he would report the response back to the
four attorneys and ceded the floor back to Chair Kapsner.
There being no further business, the meeting was ended at 2:05 p.m.
Sally Holewa State Court Administrator Executive Secretary to the Judicial Conference