|Randall L. Hoffman and|
Dennis W. Dockter
|PETITION TO CHANGE THE DESIGNATION OF EITHER JUDGESHIP NO. 2 OR NO.6 FROM VALLEY CITY IN BARNES COUNTY TO JAMESTOWN IN|
Comes now the Petitioners, Randall L. Hoffman and Dennis Dockter both of Jamestown, North Dakota, and hereby petitions the North Dakota Supreme Court to change the designation of either judgeship no. 2 or judgeship no. 6 from Valley City, in Barnes County, North Dakota to Jamestown, in Stutsman County, North Dakota.
Petitioners allege such chamber relocation is necessary for efficient and effective judicial administration in the Southeast Judicial District. The chamber relocation from Valley City to Jamestown will reduce the travel time for judges in a judicial district which already receives a high travel time adjustment for the weighted caseload study regarding limited judicial resources. The chamber relocation from Valley City to Jamestown will increase the amount of effective and efficient judicial resources by eliminating travel time in favor of court time in a judicial district, for which the 2000 Weighted Caseload Study shows a need for an additional judge and has an actual -1.09 judges short for necessary judicial services.
In its decision on Judgeship no. 6 in the Northwest Judicial District, the Supreme Court said:
"We recognize that travel in both the Northwest and Southeast Judicial Districts is greater than would be required if the distribution of judges reflected the distribution of population. In each district, travel would be reduced by the relocation of one chambers within the district." In the Matter of the Judicial Vacancy in District Judgeship No. 6, 2001 ND 199 | 26, 637 N.W. 2nd 3.
Barnes county has a population of 11,775. Stutsman county has a population of 21, 908. See The Profiles of General Demographic Charactoristics: 2000 prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Furthermore, the North Dakota State Hospital is in Jamestown, North Dakota. The caseload summaries for Barnes and Stutsman counties show that the distribution for 2001 case filings are: 225 mental health cases for Stutsman and 20 mental health cases for Barnes.
WHEREFORE, the undersigned Petitioners, as persons interested in the designation of a resident district court chambers, requests the following:
1. The North Dakota Supreme Court, after due notice and such procedures under N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 7.1, as it directs, order the redesignation and transfer of the Chambers of the Southeast Judicial District Judgeship No. 2 or 6 from Valley City in Barnes County to Jamestown in Stutsman County, North Dakota, and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 7, Designation of Judgeships and Chambers, be amended to reflect such order, effective July 1, 2002.
2. Any other relief deemed appropriate.
Dated this 1st day of March, 2002.Randall L. Hoffman
BRIEF SUPPORTING PETITION TO CHANGE THE DESIGNATION OF A RESIDENT DISTRICT COURT JUDGESHIP CHAMBER:
Petitioners have requested to move Southeast Judicial District Judgeship No. 2 or 6 from Valley City to Jamestown, North Dakota. This brief is submitted in support of that petition. The Petitioners have requested necessary information from the Court Adminstrator of the Southeast Judicial District, who acts under the authority of Presiding Judge John T. Paulson. Petitioners have received no response to this request for information. Instead, Petitioners were able to get the necessary public information from the Office of State Court Administrator in Bismarck, North Dakota. This brief follows the criteria required by N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 7.1 and is in lieu of a report of a court administrator of the Southeast Judicial District.
1a. The annual district court combined civil, criminal, mental health, and juvenile caseload summaries, for the most recent three year period and any discernable caseload trends or patterns, are attached to this brief and were obtained from the Office of State Court Administrator on 2/25/02. The three year average caseload for Barnes is 4048 cases. The three year average caseload for Stutsman is 7413 cases, nearly twice as many cases as Barnes.
1b. The number and location of attorneys in Barnes and Stutsman counties is taken from the 2001 Directory of Lawyers and Judges. Jamestown has 21 lawyers and one judge. Valley City has 14 lawyers and two judges.
1c. Both Valley City and Jamestown appear to have adequate community facilities such as restaurants, motels, etc.
1d. Convenience of travel access from surrounding communities shows that Jamestown has I-94 and ND Highway 281. Jamestown has an airport with services to Devils Lake, Bismarck, and Minneapolis. Valley City has I-94.
1e. The Stutsman County Courthouse has three courtrooms on the third floor and one jury room, two law libraries with one separate from a courtroom, two offices for judges, one office for a law clerk, and three offices for court reporters. The Stutsman County Courthouse has central air conditioning. The Barnes County Courthouse has one large courtroom and one small courtroom, one jury room, one law library in the large courtroom, and two offices for court reporters. There is no central air conditioning of the courtrooms or offices.
1f. The Stutsman County Courthouse has two courtrooms with separate connections to the Stutsman County Correctional Facility. The Barnes County Courthouse is not connected to the Barnes County Correctional Facility and such facility is across the street from the courthouse. Jamestown has the only state mental hospital in North Dakota.
1g. Not Applicable as there are no county courts.
1h. Jamestown has the South Central Human Service Center located at 520 3rd St. NW in Jamestown.
1i. Impact on travel time: Currently, there is one judge chambered in Jamestown. There are four other judges who regularly travel to Jamestown on a daily bases and regularly leave Jamestown before 5:00 pm in order to get back to their respective chambers or homes. The existence of two judges chambered in Jamestown will reduce travel time for at least 4 of 6 judges and provide consistent services to the Jamestown area for the entire workday. Currently, there are problems associated with demands for change of judge. This problem requires at least 4 judges to travel to Jamestown and the one judge in Jamestown to travel outside of Jamestown.
1j. Barnes County has a total population of 11,775. Stutsman County has a total population of 21,908. See In the Matter of the Judicial Vacancy in District Judgeship No. 6, 2001 ND 199, 637 N.W. 2nd 3. The total filings for the Southeast Judicial District are 406,031. The FTE required is 6.97. The adjusted judicial FTE is 5.88. The difference is -1.09 judges. Id.
Randall L. Hoffman,