All District Court Judges

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Adam Gefreh

District Court Judge

Elected: 1963 - 1972

Judge Gefreh was born in Emmons County, North Dakota, December 31, 1918. Attended the rural Marie School District in Emmons County, where he received his elementary education. In 1938 he attended the spring and summer quarter at the Ellendale State Teachers College, after teaching rural school for two years, he attended the Northern State Teachers College of South Dakota, 1940-1941. After four years in the military he attended the Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he received his law degree in 1949, he was admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia and North Dakota that same year, later he was admitted to the Bar in the state of Colorado. He practiced law in Linton, North Dakota. In 1951 he was elected as a legislator, serving six years in the House and four years in the Senate. In November 1962 he was elected Judge of the Third Judicial District, term to begin January 1963, he served in that capacity until his resignation in 1972, to become the first Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Hearings and Appeals for the Social Security Administration, in Fargo, North Dakota. After three years in Fargo, he moved to Colorado, where he continued to serve as Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration, until his retirement in 1996. He died November 18, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado, at the age of 90.

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Emil A. Giese

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1958 - 1976

Judge Giese was born near New Leipzig, North Dakota, February 9, 1908. Educated in the public schools of New Leipzig. Graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1932, with a L. L. B. degree, he was admitted to the North Dakota Bar that same year. He practiced law at Carson, North Dakota, from 1933 to 1958, served as State's Attorney of Grant County for twenty-one years. On January 1, 1958 he was appointed Judge of the Sixth Judicial District by Governor John E. Davis, for the unexpired term of Judge Joris O. Wigen. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1976. After his retirement he moved to a lake home in Wisconsin, in 1978 he move to Green Valley, Arizona. Judge Giese died in Sacramento, California on February 10, 1984.

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Gerald G. Glaser

District Court Judge

Elected: 1977 - 1994

Born September 26, 1932, Mandan, N.D. Graduate: Mandan High School; BJC; Ph.B., U.N.D.; J.D. University of North Dakota Law School, 1956. Admitted to Bar, 1956. Practiced in Bismarck 1956 to 1971; counsel for Public Service Commission; Assistant State's Attorney; County Justice; Municipal Judge. Appointed Judge of Burleigh County Court of Increased Jurisdiction in 1971, and elected in 1975. Elected District Judge 1976, 1982, and 1988. Retired in 1994. Served as a Surrogate Judge 1997-2002.

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Samuel L. Glaspell

District Court Judge

Elected: 1897 - 1905

Judge Glaspell was born January 17, 1852. He came to this territory in the early eighties, locating shortly thereafter at Jamestown, North Dakota. He was a devoted student of the law and attained a high place in his profession. He served as State Legislature and as State's Attorney of Stutsman County. He was Judge of the Fifth Judicial District from 1897 until 1905. Judge Glaspell died on May 24, 1908.

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Ronald E. Goodman

District Court Judge/Surrogate Judge

: 2001 - Present

Born September 17, 1947, Grand Forks, ND. B.S., St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 1969; M.A., University of North Dakota 1974; J.D., UND School of Law 1981. Engaged in private law practice 1981-90. Elected county judge for Dickey and LaMoure Counties in November 1990. Elected district judge 1994, 1998 and 2004. Treasurer, ND District Judges Association, past president Southeast Judicial District Bar Association; past member ND Bar Association Board of Directors; Lions Club; Oakes Chamber of Commerce. Married: wife, Mary Jo. Two sons: Chris and Eric. Retired as district judge on Aug. 1, 2006.

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Benny A. Graff

District Court Judge/Surrogate Judge

Appointed: 1974 - 2004

Born in 1938, Hibbing, MN. Hibbing Junior College, A.S., 1958; University of North Dakota, B.S.Ch.E, 1961; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1964, with Order of the Coif; Editor, North Dakota Law Review. Admitted to the North Dakota Bar, 1964. Private practice in Mandan, ND, 1964-70. Corporate counsel for S.C. Johnson, Inc., Racine, Wisconsin, 1970-71; Assistant Counsel, U. S. Senate Subcommittee for Judicial Improvement, 1971; private practice in Carrington, ND, 1971-74. Appointed District Judge, February 1, 1974; elected 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 1998. Presiding Judge from 1976 until his retirement. Chief Presiding Judge in 1987. Retired as District Judge, January 31, 2004. Appointed Surrogate Judge, 2004. Married: wife, Kay; two children.

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Frederick J. Graham

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1919 - 1920

Judge Graham was born in Stockbridge, Michigan, on March 31, 1881. He moved with his family to Merricourt, North Dakota, in 1894. He graduated from the Ellendale High School in 1899; Normal Industrial School of Ellendale in 1902, and from the Law School of the University of North Dakota in 1906, he was admitted to the State Bar of North Dakota that same year. Practiced law at Oakes and Ellendale, North Dakota, served as State's Attorney of Dickey County for one term, 1915-1916. In 1919 he was appointed Judge of the Third Judicial District, by Governor Lynn J. Frazier, he served in that capacity until 1920. He was Chairman of the North Dakota Republican State Central Committee 1926-1927; Republican National Committeeman 1928-1932, and member of the House of Representatives of North Dakota from 1943-1949. He was elected and served as president of the North Dakota State Bar Association from 1949 to 1950. Judge Graham died on September 21, 1953.

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John E. Greenwood

District Court Judge

Elected: 2003 - 2017

Born in 1949. Graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1971 and from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1975. Private practice in Jamestown, 1975-1993. Served as an assistant state's attorney for Stutsman County, 1977-1986. Appointed Stutsman County State's Attorney in May 1993; elected in 1994; reelected in 1998. Appointed Southeast Judicial District Judge by Governor Edward T. Schafer in 1999. Elected District Judge in 2002. Reelected 2006, 2012. Member, North Dakota Legal Counsel for Indigents Commission. Married: wife, Susan. Three children: Joseph, Karen, and Michael. Retired as district judge effective Aug. 1, 2017.

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Arthur Jackson Gronna

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1933 - 1962

Judge Gronna was born in Lakota, North Dakota on July 19, 1897. Received his A. B. degree from the George Washington University, in 1921; L. L. B. degree from Harvard University, in 1925. He was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1926, he practiced law at Williston, North Dakota. Served as Assistant State's Attorney from Williams County in 1927; State's Attorney 1928-1933. Elected Attorney General of North Dakota in 1932, resigned on November 1, 1933 to accept appointment as District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, by Governor William Langer, he served in that capacity until 1962. Judge Gronna died January 19, 1965.

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Richard W. Grosz

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2012

Born in 1953, Breckenridge, MN. Raised in Wahpeton, ND. B.S., University of Nebraska, 1975; J.D. with Distinction, University of Nebraska College of Law 1984. Previous positions: Assistant Attorney General for State of North Dakota; Chief Prosecutor for City of Wahpeton; Public Defender, 8th Judicial District, State of Minnesota; instructor in criminal law, business organization law, and administrative agency law at Interstate Business College, Fargo, ND; Professor of Pharmacy Law, NDSU. Elected Southeast Judicial District judge in 1994, reelected in 2000, 2006; defeated in Nov. 6, 2012, election.

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Harold M. Hager

District Court Judge

Elected: 1965 - 1976

Judge Hager was born in Northgate, North Dakota on June 8, 1914. Educated at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota; University of North Dakota School of Liberal Arts, B. A. 1935; School of Law, Juris Doctor 1937, he was admitted to the North Dakota Bar that same year. Practiced law in Fargo, 1937-1941, and assisted in the North Dakota State Code revision 1941-1942. After service in the Navy he practiced law in Grand Forks, North Dakota from 1945 until 1964, when he was elected Judge of the First Judicial District. He served in that capacity until 1976. Judge Hager died on January 10, 1998.

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James M. Hanley

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1915 - 1920

Judge Hanley was born in Winona, Minnesota, on January 6, 1877. He attended high school at Kasson, Minnesota and Carleton College. He was admitted to the Bar at the age of twenty-one, started his law practice in 1902 at Mandan, North Dakota. He was elected to the House of Representative in 1908 and 1911, he also served as Speaker of the House, and as States Attorney of Morton County 1909 and 1910. In 1915 he was appointed Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, by Governor Louis B. Hanna, he served in that capacity until 1919, when the judicial districts were revised he became Judge of the Sixth Judicial District from 1919 until 1920. Judge Hanley died on January 31, 1947.

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Larry M. Hatch

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1972 - 1991

Judge Hatch was born in Linton, North Dakota, July 31, 1930. Educated in Linton Public Schools, graduated from the North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota Law School in 1958. He practiced law at Linton, North Dakota, served as Emmons County State's Attorney from 1959 to 1972. In 1972 Governor William L. Guy appointed him Judge of the Third Judicial District. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the South Central Judicial District. In 1991 he resigned and moved to Fargo, North Dakota, to accept the position of Administrative Law Judge, for the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Social Security Administration.

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Douglas B. Heen

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1959 - 1986

Judge Heen was born in Dunn Center, North Dakota on June 12, 1920. He attended schools in Grand Forks, graduating from Central High School, Grand Forks, North Dakota. He attended Cambridge University Law School, Cambridge, England, and graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1947. He practiced law in Devils Lake, North Dakota, served as State's Attorney of Ramsey County from 1947 to 1952 and Veterans Service Officer from 1955 until 1959, when he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District by Governor John E. Davis. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Northeast Judicial District, he served in that capacity until his retirement on July 10, 1986. He was Chief Presiding Judge 1980-1986, after his retirement he continued serving as surrogate judge until November 1993. In 1986 Judge Heen received the Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious award given by the State Bar Association of North Dakota. Judge Heen died at age 80 on February 2, 2001.

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Roland A. Heringer

District Court Judge

Elected: 1961 - 1960

Judge Heringer was born in Wishek, North Dakota, May 28, 1914. He attended school at Wishek and Ashlely, North Dakota, where he graduated from high school in 1933. He then attended the University of North Dakota and graduated from the Law School in June, 1937. Shortly after graduating he opened his law practice in Rugby, North Dakota, he served as State's Attorney of Pierce County from 1939 to 1942 and again from 1947 to 1951. In 1955 he was elected President of the State Bar Association, due to ill health he resigned before completing his term. He was elected Judge of the Second Judicial District on November 8, 1960. He died on December 23, 1960, before entering the duties as Judge.

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Ronald L. Hilden

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2006

Born in 1945, Hettinger, ND. United States Marine Corps 1966-1970. B. A. University of North Dakota 1972, J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law 1976. Private practice in Fargo, ND 1976-81. Appointed Stark County Judge 1983. Elected District Judge 1994, 1998 and 2004. SBAND Board of Governors 1986-88. Board member ABA, National Conference of Special Court Judges, 1988-94. Admitted in North and South Dakota. Member Ruger Collectors Association and Goldwing Riders Club. Retired Nov. 1, 2006. Judge Hilden died June 29, 2009 in Lead, South Dakota.

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Gordon O. Hoberg

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1983 - 1991

Born September 13, 1929, at Burnstad, N.D. Graduate of Bismarck High School; Jamestown College, 1956; University of North Dakota School of Law, 1959; National Law College. Veteran of Korean Conflict. Admitted to North Dakota Bar, 1959; practiced law in Wishek and Napoleon, 1959-1983; Logan County State's Attorney for 20 years. Appointed District Judge, August 12, 1983. Elected 1984 and 1990. Retired as District Judge, 1991. Appointed Surrogate Judge, 1992. Member: Court Services Administration Committee, National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges, North Dakota Bar Association, Stutsman County Bar Association, Lions, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Jamestown College Alumni Board. Married to Shirley Feil. Four children: Grayson, Connie, John, and Eric.

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William F. Hodny

District Court Judge

Elected: 1975 - 1998

Born December 3, 1932, Lankin, North Dakota. U.S. Air Force, 1950-53. Graduate of University of N.D. Law School, 1960. Practiced law in Mandan, 1960-67. Morton County Judge, 1967-74. Elected District Judge: 1974, 1980, 1986, and 1992. Retired as District Judge, March 11, 1998. Appointed Surrogate Judge, 1998. Married: wife, Joann; three children.

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Randall L. Hoffman

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 1999

Born in Kensal, ND, in 1955. Owned and operated a farm from 1973 through 1984. B.S., North Dakota State University, 1985; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1991. Engaged in private practice from 1991-94 with emphasis on family and criminal law. Elected district judge in November 1994. Resigned effective April 30, 1999.

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Daniel B. Holt

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1932 - 1946

Judge Holt was born in Woodsville, New Hampshire, on October 21, 1866. He attended St. Johnsbury Academy of Vermont; received his A. B. degree from Harvard University, 1890. He moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 1892, and began his study of law, in the law firm of Colonel John D. Benton and Charles F. Amidon. He was admitted to the North Dakota Bar in 1898. He engaged in the practice of law at Fargo, North Dakota for many years. Under an appointment of Judge John Burke, he conducted a study of workmen's compensation insurance, and did much of the preliminary work and study resulting in the enactment of the present North Dakota Workmen's Compensation Law. In May, 1932 he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District, by Governor George F. Shafer. Due to ill health he retired in the fall of 1946. Judge Holt died in the City of Wilmington, Delaware, March 16, 1947.