Connie Cleveland, 52, is an Attorney in Fargo and has been with the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office since 1991, initially assigned in the criminal prosecution division, and currently serving as legal counsel for Social Services. Connie is a UND School of Law graduate.
While at UND, Connie represented District 42 in the North Dakota Legislature for two terms, serving on the Judiciary Committee and the Human Services and Veteran’s Committee.
Also while in Law School, Connie served as a law clerk for Judge Kirk Smith, and an intern with the Grand Forks County State’s Attorney. Following graduation from law school, Connie was a law clerk for Judge James Preece in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District.
Connie has also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Burleigh County, a specially appointed prosecutor in Morton County and Richland County and a Special Assistant Attorney General.
Connie has focused her practice most recently on the protection of children and termination of parental rights for children who are abused and neglected.
Connie has served on the Court Improvement Committee, Juvenile Policy Board, SBAND CLE Committee, and is currently the Vice President of the Cass County Bar Association. Connie has been an adjunct instructor at MSUM since 1996, teaching Criminal Law and Procedure, Business Law and Mass Communications Law.
During her career, Connie has engaged in over fifty criminal jury trials, over forty appeals to the North Dakota Supreme Court and completed termination of parental rights regarding over five hundred children.
Connie and her husband, Ray Bauske, have three children and live in Fargo.
University of North Dakota School of Law - Grand Forks, North Dakota Attended: 1985 - 1988, Degree: Juris Doctor, May 1988
University of Oslo School of Law - Oslo, Norway Summer Law School Exchange Program: 1987 Course Studies: International Law and Human Rights.
University of North Dakota - Grand Forks, North Dakota Attended 1979 -1984, Degree: Bachelor of Science, Secondary Education, May 1984
University of Bergen -Bergen, Norway Sommerkurs for Utlandske Norskstuderende: 1980
ChildProtect: Trial Advocacy for Civil Child Protection Attorneys
National District Attorneys National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse And National Child Protection Training Center
National Conference on Juvenile and Family Law: 2011
National Conference on Domestic Violence: National College of District Attorneys Trial Advocacy: 1995
National College of District Attorneys 1994
Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse:
American Prosecutor's Research Institute's (APRI) 1992
State's Attorney's Office - Cass County, North Dakota 1991- Present
Assistant State's Attorney: Legal Counsel - Social Services (1997 -Present)
Serve as member of Cass County Social Service's management team, which is comprised of the six agency managers and the Executive Director. Represent Cass County Social Services in securing legal and physical custody of abused and neglected children and in obtaining involuntary termination of parental rights. This includes twenty two appeals to the North Dakota Supreme on child protection issues. Provide legal consultation to four agency units: Administration, Family Services, Economic Assistance, and Adult Services, as requested by the Executive Director of Cass County Social Services and the Cass County State's Attorney. Supervise Social Services Legal Team by preparing budget, allocating work, providing consultation and guidance on cases, developing protocol and procedures for responding to the diverse needs of agency, and providing reports and information on potential issues of concern to the Chief Legal Officer of the County, the Cass County State's Attorney. Provide in-house training to various professionals on legal issues, including state and federal statutes and administrative policies.
Consulted with law enforcement officers regarding criminal investigations. Reviewed reports from local law enforcement officers to determine appropriate criminal charges. Prepared criminal charging documents and letters declining prosecution. Appeared at Arraignments to notify defendants of criminal charges and recommend conditions of release. Engaged in pre-trial motion practice, negotiations, discovery supervision, and witness preparation. Engaged in bench trials before the County and District Courts. Engaged in forty-three criminal jury trials, including drug offenses, assaults, gross sexual imposition, burglary, theft, DUI, violation of orders of protection, forgery, welfare fraud, and child abuse. Reviewed Presentence Investigation Reports and provided sentencing recommendations to Court. Proposed and pursued funding for VAWA position funded by federal grant. Obtained prope1ty and funds through asset forfeiture actions on behalf of Cass County in criminal cases. Prepared briefs and presented oral arguments to the North Dakota Supreme Court on appeals of convictions in eighteen cases.
North Dakota Attorney General, 2003 - 2012, Special Assistant Attorney General
Represented North Dakota Department of Human Services in litigation involving children in the custody of NDDHS after successful termination of parental rights and prior to adoption, and to establish authorization for placement of adults pursuant to N.D.C.C. 27-20-30.1.
Minnesota State University Moorhead, Adjunct Faculty, 1996 - Present
Mass Communications Law (MC 401) - August 2008 to Present. Legal Environment of Business (Accounting 304) - August 2005 to December 2007. Minnesota Criminal Law and Procedure (CJ430) -August 1996 to May 2001.
State's Attorney's Office - Burleigh County, North Dakota 1989-1991 Assistant State's Attorney.
Met with Law Enforcement Officers, reviewed law enforcement reports, and prepared crimi nal charging documents. Appeared at Arraignments to notify defendants of criminal charges and recommend conditions of release. Engaged in pretrial preparation, including researching issues, responding to motions, negotiating resolutions, directing discovery responses, participating in motion hearings and preparing witnesses. Provided sentencing recommendations to Court. Filed and Pursued involuntary mental health commitments. Prepared and prosecuted all juvenile cases involving deprivations and delinquencies. Engaged in nine criminal jury trials, including drug delivery, several sexual assaults and three DUI prosecutions. Prepared briefs and presented oral arguments to the North Dakota Supreme Court on two appeals.
Ninth Judicial District Of Minnesota, Judicial Law Clerk, 1988-1989. Provided research and analysis of issues on cases pending before the Honorable James Preece, District Court Judge and Presiding Judge of the District. Prepared bench memoranda, discussed cases, drafted and edited opinions, attended courtroom proceedings and maintained the County Law Library.
State's Attorney's Office, Grand Forks County, North Dakota 1988, Student Intern. Met with Complainants, drafted criminal complaints and made limited appearances in County Court under the Third Year Law School Student Practice Rules.
North Central District Court Of North Dakota, Judicial Law Clerk, 1987. Provided research and analysis of issues on cases pending before the Honorable Kirk Smith, District Court Judge and Presiding Judge of the District. Prepared bench memoranda and attended courtroom proceedings.
Massee, Leonard & Lindquist - East Grand Forks, Minnesota, Law Clerk. Provided research and analysis of issues on cases for four attorneys, including drafting legal correspondence and documents for civil practice and collections work. 1986
Bar Membership: Supreme Court of the United States of America- Admitted 2003. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals -Admitted 1992. U.S. District Court - Admitted 1989. North Dakota - Admitted 1988.
Cass County Bar Association 1991 - Present(Treasurer - 2012; Vice President - 2013)
North Dakota State Bar Association CLE Committee (Chair: 2008-2009) 2005 - 2009
North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel 1996 - 2004
N.D. Department of Human Services: Adoption and Safe Family Act Workgroup 1998 - 2000
CENTRE, Inc. Community Relations Board 1997 - 2002
NDSAA Legislative Committee 1990 - 1995
N.D State Bar Association Legislative Committee
Cass County Family Violence and Sexual Assault Committee
P.E.O. Chapter V 2008-present
First Presbyterian Church, Fargo, Personnel Committee (Currently); Support and Endowment Committee (Currently); Thanksgiving Community Dinner, Co-chair (2001 -present); Pastor Nominating Committee (2012); Sunday School Teacher (2001 - 2012); Member Presbytery Special Investigations Committee (2010); Youth Committee (2009-2012); Clerk of Session (2003 - 2005); Stephen Minister (1996 -2001); Elder.
VIP Volunteer -Lincoln Elementary School 2003-2007
Junior Great Books Leader - Lincoln Elementary School 2003-2007
Ronald McDonald House - Board of Directors 2004-2006
Volunteer Tutor - Adult Literacy Program (N.D. Coalition for Adult Literacy) 1990-1991
First Presbyterian Church, Bismarck 1989-1991
Our Children Need To Know - Board Member 1989-1990
Volunteer Board Operator - KCRB/FM Radio (Bemidji MPR Affiliate) 1988-1989
United Hospital, Grand Forks - Corporate Board Member 1985-1988
State Legislator -District 42, Grand Forks, ND 1985-1988
Ran two successful elections and served two legislative terms in the North Dakota House of Representatives from District 42. Session Committees: Judiciary and Transportation (1985) and Judiciary and Social Services and Veteran's Affairs (1987). Interim Committees: Judicial Process, Law Enforcement and Administrative Rules.
National Organization for Women Legislators 1984-1988
American Red Cross Volunteer, 1979-1988, W.S.I.T; W.S.I.; C.P.R. Instructor; First Aid Instructor 500 hour Volunteer Award 1985
Volunteer Board Operator -KFJM/FM Radio (UND NPR Affiliate) 1981-1983
Attorney of the Year, Rainbow Bridge Safe Exchange Visitation Center, 2004
Angel In Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Outstanding Legislator, 2002
Outstanding Legislator, Grand Forks Education Association, 1986
Five Year Volunteer Award, American Red Cross, 1985
Outstanding Young Women in America, 1984, 1985, 1986
Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges, 1983, 1984
Honve Award for Foreign Study, 1980
Parents: Clifford Ray Cleveland (Deceased - 1991) Railroad Engineer -Burlington Northern; Cleo Rae (Jensen) Cleveland (Deceased - 1992) Director UND Center for Economic Education School Board Member
Sibling: Cordell (Corey) B. Cleveland, Grand Forks, North Dakota President, Frandsen Bank and Trust
Husband: Raymond J. Bauske, B.S.Ed. Secondary Education, N.D.S.U. 1989, former law enforcement officer
Children: Mitchell James Bauske, B.S. Ag. Econ. Summa Cum Laude N.D.S.U. - December 2012 Graduate Student at N.D.S.U.; Claire Cleveland Bauske, Junior at Davies High School, Fargo; Matthew Ray Bauske, Sophomore at Davies High School, Fargo