All District Court Judges

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George M. McKenna

District Court Judge

Elected: 1921 - 1942

Judge McKenna was born in Laporte, Indiana, February 10, 1879. Received his primary education in the public schools of Wisconsin. Graduated from St. Thomas College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Law Department, University of Minnesota. He served as State's Attorney of Logan County, North Dakota from 1904 until 1919. Elected Judge of the Second Judicial District in 1920, he served in that capacity until his resignation in 1942, due to ill health. Judge McKenna died September 7, 1971.

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Georgia Dawson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2010

Born in 1949. BA, University of North Dakota, 1971, J.D., University of North Dakota 1974. Private practice in Jamestown, ND 1971-85; private practice, Fargo, ND 1986-88; Assistant State's Attorney, Stutsman County, ND 1974-76. Assistant City Attorney, Jamestown, ND 1977-78. City Attorney, Jamestown, ND 1977-85; Special Assistant Attorney General 1978-86; Attorney Jamestown Public Schools and outlying districts 1978-87; Cass County Judge 1988-94. Elected East Central Judicial District Judge in 1994, 1996, 2002 and 2008. Retired as District Judge September 1, 2010. Married. Three children.

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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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Gerald H. Rustad

District Court Judge

Elected: 1993 - 2010

Born in 1944 in Williston, North Dakota. B.A. degree from University of North Dakota. J.D. degree from University of North Dakota School of Law 1969. Editor of North Dakota Law Review 1968-69. Private practice 1969-92. Williams County State's Attorney 1979-82. City attorney for Williston 1988-92. Elected District Judge in 1992, 1998 and 2004. Retired 2010. Married: Wife, Dawn. Four children. Judge Rustad died Dec. 4, 2014.

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Glenn Dill III

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2001

Born at Fargo, ND, January 28, 1941. B.S., University of North Dakota, 1963; J.D., University of North Dakota, 1965. Sole practice Kenmare 1965-93. Assistant Ward County States Attorney 1965-93. Appointed Ward County Judge 1993. Elected Judge of the Northwest Judicial District 1994; served 1995-2001. Member, State Bar Association Title Standards Committee. Wife, Kitty. Two children. Died September 12, 2001.

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Glenn K. Swanson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1963 - 1970

Judge Swanson was born in Upham, North Dakota, February 2, 1922. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, Swanson received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1949, and was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar that same year. On June 4, 1963 William L. Guy appointed him Judge of the Second Judicial District and he served in that capacity until 1970. He died Nov. 13, 2014.

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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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H. Patrick Weir

District Court Judge

Elected: 2009 - 2012

Born 1939 in Dickinson, North Dakota. He is a 1961 graduate of St. John's University, B.S., cum laude, and received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1964, where he served on the editorial board of the Notre Dame Law Review. He was a Law Clerk to Chief Judge Charles J. Vogel, United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit, 1964-1965. After that he became a partner with the Vogel Law Office, Fargo, North Dakota. He later joined the Bismarck Vogel Firm, where he practiced until his appointment by Governor John Hoeven as Judge of the Southwest Judicial District, chambered in Dickinson, North Dakota, succeeding retiring Judge Allan Schmalenberger; term beginning September 16, 2009. Judge Weir retired as a district judge Dec. 31, 2012.

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Hamilton E. Englert

District Court Judge

Elected: 1964 - 1980

Judge Englert was born in Valley City, North Dakota January 31, 1909. Educated at Valley City Public Schools; standard teaching degree from Valley City State College; B. A., University of North Dakota. Attended Dakota Business College of Fargo; post graduate work, Gregg College, Chicago, Illinois. Served as official district court reporter for twenty-seven years, 1935-1962. Admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1949, and practiced law in Valley City until 1963, when he was elected Judge of the First Judicial District. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southeast Judicial District, he served in that capacity until 1980. Judge Englert died on May 6, 1998.

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Harold B. Nelson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1949 - 1954

Judge Nelson was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, February 10, 1885. He attended a business college in St. Paul Minnesota, in 1905 he became instructor of the business college in Minot, North Dakota. In 1909 he became court reporter for Judge A. G. Burr of Rugby, while he was court reporter he studied law by clerkship under Judge Burr, and was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1914. In 1916 he opened his law office in Rugby, North Dakota, he continued in private practice until 1949, when he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District, by Governor Fred G. Aandahl. After serving five years on the bench he resigned on April 30, 1954 to re-enter private practice. Judge Nelson died on December 21, 1960.

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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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Harold P. Thomson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1947 - 1951

Judge Thomson was born near Hamilton, North Dakota, November 21,1889. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1914. He served as State's Attorney of Pembina County for several years. He was elected Judge of the Second Judicial District in 1946, he served in that capacity until 1951. He was confined to bed for about a year before his death, he conducted judicial duties from the hospital and his home. Judge Thomson died in Winnipeg on May 13, 1951.

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Harry E. Rittgers

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1953 - 1960

Judge Rittgers was born in Lone Pine, California, January 13, 1884. When he was three years old he moved with his parents to Emmetsburg, Iowa, and thereafter they moved to Glenwood, Minnesota, where he attended high school. He then attended the University of Minnesota for one year, after that he attended business college in Fargo, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of North Dakota Law School and was admitted to the North Dakota Bar, June 30, 1913. He practiced law in Medina, North Dakota, for three years before moving to Jamestown. He served as State's Attorney of Stutsman County for twelve years and City Attorney of Jamestown for eighteen years. On September 15, 1953 he was appointed Judge of the Fourth Judicial District by Governor C. Norman Brunsdale, to fill the unexpired term of Judge McFarland. He served in that capacity until 1960. Judge Rittgers died on December 26, 1971.

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Harry L. Berry

District Court Judge

Elected: 1921 - 1944

Judge Berry was born in Martin County, Minnesota, on November 25, 1871. After Graduating from Mapleton High School, he entered the University of Minnesota studying law, received his law degree from the University in 1903. He then moved to North Dakota where he practiced law at Anamoose, Harvey, Stanton and Killdeer, North Dakota. He served two terms as State's Attorney of Mercer County. He was elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of North Dakota in 1920, served in that capacity until his death on July 16, 1944.

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Harvey J. Miller

District Court Judge

Elected: 1936 - 1964

Judge Miller was born on a farm south of Buffalo, North Dakota, on November 18, 1887. He attended rural public schools near Buffalo, graduating from the Buffalo High School. After receiving his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1911, he practiced law at New England, North Dakota for 24 years, where he also served as Mayor for six years and as State's Attorney of Hettinger County for two years. Elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1935, served in that capacity until 1964. Judge Miller died on December 16, 1979 at the age of 92.

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Herbert C. DePuy

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1943 - 1946

Judge DePuy was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, April 14, 1869. After his graduation from high school he purchased a weekly newspaper, which he operated for one year. In 1890 he graduated from law school, and in 1892 he came with his father, Attorney William R. DePuy, to Minot, North Dakota. He practiced law with his father in Minot for a time and served as Mayor for two terms. He moved to Grafton in 1906, where he served as State's Attorney of Walsh County from 1906 to 1920. In 1943 he was appointed Judge of the Second Judicial District, by Governor John Moses, served in that capacity until 1946. Judge DePuy died on February 22, 1949.

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James A. Coffey

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1911 - 1928

Judge Coffey was born in Lenoir, North Carolina, on July 4, 1872. He attended school at Lenoir, until moving to Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from high school. He received his B. A. degree from the University of Idaho, and L. L. B. degree from the University of Minnesota. He came to Courtenay, North Dakota in 1902, where he practiced law until 1910. In 1911 he was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial District by Governor John Burke, he served in that capacity until 1919, when the judicial districts were revised he became Judge of the Fourth Judicial District from 1919 until 1928. He returned to private practice, and was briefly associated with Alvin C. Strutz, and later headed the firm of Coffey, Mackenzie and Jungroth in Jamestown, North Dakota. Judge Coffey died on November 27, 1957.

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James A. Wright

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1992 - 1997

Born December 25, 1946, in Jamestown, ND, and raised in Courtenay, ND. A.A., Bismarck State College 1966; B.S., North Dakota State University 1969; J.D. Hamline University School of Law, 1976. Taught at Jamestown High School 1969-73. Engaged in private law practice from 1976-92. Appointed District Judge in March 1992, and elected in 1992, and 1996. Married: wife Janet. Daughter: Courtney. Died November 4, 1997.

James D. Gion

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2015 - Present

Lifelong resident of Hettinger County. Graduate of Regent H.S., 1971. Undergraduate B.A. degree from University of North Dakota, 1976. J.D. degree from UND Law School, 1982. Solo practice in Hettinger County 1982-2015. Hettinger County State's Attorney 1991-2015. Also served as State's Attorney of Bowman and Slope Counties. Appointed Southwest Judicial District judge by Gov. Jack Dalrymple, 2015. Married: wife, Susan, son, Tyrel.

James D. Hovey

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2010 - Present

B.A., Russian and Soviet Studies, University of North Dakota, 1987; M.A., Russian Language and Literature, University of Arizona, 1991; J.D., with distinction, University of North Dakota School of Law, 1996. Engaged in private law practice in Grand Forks, 1996-2010. City Attorney for Larimore, N.D., 2001-2010. Instructor, University of North Dakota Center for Legal Studies, 2002. Taught Basic Russian as a graduate student and completed 260 hours of language instruction at Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. Appointed district judge 2010 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected in 2014, 2016.