District Court Judges: Robert W. Holte, Presiding Judge; Glenn Dill III (deceased 09/12/01); Gary Holum; William W. McLees, Jr.; David Nelson; Everett Nels Olson, and Gerald Rustad.
Judicial Referee: Connie S. Portscheller
Number of Counties in District: 6
District Court Chambers: Minot, Stanley, Watford City, and Williston.
Mission: Dispensing timely justice within the rule of law.
The district continued to consider how to make the best use of jurors with the least disruption to their lives. An in-depth review was started this year to determine the causes for last minute cancellation of jury trials. Out of about 120 trials for which notices were sent to jurors, only 46 actually started. The district also distributes questionnaires to jury members and makes improvements based on the responses. The number of jury trials increased to 46, up from 37 last year.
Technology improvements continued throughout the district. Secure CITRIX "thin client" workstations were put in place in the clerk's offices, courtrooms, and public use areas. The state phone system in Williams County was upgraded and expanded to include the state-managed clerk of court's office.
More progress was made in case management. Overall the district had a 104% clearance rate; i.e., for every 100 new cases filed this year, 104 cases were completed. A district case management committee was created to discuss and implement a better case assignment system.
The Case Management Committee was considering implementing a modified Fargo model when the death of the Honorable Judge Glenn Dill and the subsequent transfer of his chambers to the East Central judicial district reduced the judicial assets the NW district had available. At year end, the district was still struggling with the new scheduling and case assignment problems.
Mission: To provide and promote rehabilitation services to delinquent, unruly, or deprived children in the least restrictive manner consistent with the protection of the public interest.
The district's judicial referee handles formal juvenile hearings, child support hearings, and protection & restraining orders as well as small claims cases. Juvenile and support hearings are held in each of the four chambered cities. Contracted attorneys provide juvenile indigent defense for juvenile cases, parental terminations, and guardian ad litem services.
During 2001 the Minot juvenile court reception area was upgraded with modular furniture to increase employee safety and better shield restricted information.
In 2001 the Minot juvenile court received 1,418 referrals, up from 1,132 in 2000. A large portion of our referrals continue to be for alcohol and drug violations. Referee Connie Portscheller heard a total of 245 formal cases in 2001, compared to 262 in 2000.
Due to the increased cost for community service, the Minot juvenile court staff began to supervise community service projects for the youth who cannot afford to pay the fee and also for those under age 14. The Minot juvenile court also became involved in the Crossroads skills building class provided by the ND Extension Office, with all costs paid for by grant money.
Clerk of District Court
In April of this year personnel in two of the six county clerk offices in the district (Ward and Williams Counties) were converted to state employees. The other four counties contracted with the state to provide clerk of court services in those counties.
The State Court Administrator's Office conducted a management review of three clerk's offices (Ward , Williams, and Mountrail Counties) and the district administration office. Many "best practices" were discussed and have been put into place.
After years of considering various proposals, the Ward County Board of Commissioners finally agreed to consolidate the clerk of court's office into one area on the second floor. Reduction in the number of clerks, the removal of an office wall, and efficient modular furniture made the move (scheduled for early next year) possible.
|Case Filings/ Dispositions||2000|