TO: Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle

FROM: Sally Holewa

DATE: June 11, 2007

SUBJECT: AR 20 - Magistrates

At the May 23, 2007 Administrative Council meeting, I asked for clarification regarding the procedures used in regard to the appointment and removal of magistrates.

Although N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 20 does not require it, under the former Council of Presiding Judges, there was an informal agreement that the presiding judge will notify the Office of the State Court Administrator when a new magistrate is appointed. The Administrative Council agreed that it was beneficial to have data on magistrates located in a central office.

We also discussed whether appointments made under a presiding judge remain valid when a new presiding judge is elected. Although N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 20 is not specific on this point, it is specific on removal from office. Since removal from office requires a written notification by the presiding judge, it can be assumed that an appointment does not terminate upon a change of presiding judge. Therefore, a new appointment order is not required when there is a change in presiding judge.

Jim Ganje has drafted the attached proposed amendment to N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 20. I believe it is consistent with the discussions and the intention of the Administrative Council.