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All District Court Judges

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Ralph B. Maxwell

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1967 - 1978

Judge Maxwell was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota on November 26, 1919. Graduated from elementary school Turtle Mountain Consolidated Indian Day School, Belcourt and the Rolla High School. He received a B. S. degree in Commerce from the University of North Dakota, and L. L. B. degree from the Law School of the University of North Dakota in 1947. He was admitted to the North Dakota Bar that same year. He served as State's Attorney of Rolette County, 1949-1953; Assistant United States Attorney and United States Attorney for North Dakota, 1953-1958. From 1958-1967 he was in private practice at West Fargo, North Dakota. On August 1, 1967 he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District by Governor William L. Guy. He served in that capacity until 1978. Judge Maxwell died Sept. 28, 2014, at the age of 94.

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Jason McCarthy

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2016 - Present

B.A, Criminal Justice, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 1995. J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1999. Served in the Grand Forks County States Attorney's office for 13 years. Appointed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple Oct. 24, 2016, began service Dec. 1, 2016.

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John C. McClintock, Jr.

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2017

Born in 1961, Rugby, N.D. Graduated with B.S.B.A. in accounting from UND in 1983 and J.D. in 1986. Worked for Price Waterhouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Started private practice in Rugby 1991. Assistant Pierce County State's Attorney 1993-94. Member of North Dakota Bar Association and American Bar Association. Admitted to Federal District Court. Elected district judge in 1994, reelected in 2000, 2006, 2012. Four sons. Retired April 2017.

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William B. McConnell

District Court Judge

Elected: 1889 - 1896

Judge McConnell was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, November 15, 1849. He graduated from Waynesburg College, Greene County, Pennsylvania. He studied law under Judge Morris at Fort Wayne, Indiana, later he moved to the Dakota Territory. In 1886 he was appointed Supreme Court Justice of the Dakota Territory by President Grover Cleveland, he served until 1889. After statehood he became Judge of the Third Judicial District, 1889-1896. Judge McConnell died August 3, 1931 in Sandusky County, Ohio.

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Steven E. McCullough

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2004 - Present

Born in 1962. Graduate: West Fargo High School; BA, Moorhead State University; JD, University of North Dakota School of Law. Private practice 1987-2004, Fargo. Elected District Judge 2004, 2010, 2016.

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Lisa K. Fair McEvers

District Court Judge/Justice of the Supreme Court

Appointed: 2014 - Present

Lisa K. Fair McEvers is a native of Minto, North Dakota. She earned her B.B.A. degree in Information Management from the University of North Dakota in 1993. She earned her law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1997. She served as a law clerk to the North Dakota Supreme Court during the 1997-1998 term. She was in private legal practice from 1998-2001 and became a Cass County Assistant State's Attorney in 2001. She was appointed North Dakota Commissioner of Labor by Governor John Hoeven in 2005. She was appointed District Judge by Governor Hoeven in 2010 and elected to the position in 2012. Effective January 1, 2014, she was appointed by Governor Jack Dalrymple to the North Dakota Supreme Court. She was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018. She is married to James McEvers.

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Ray Garfield McFarland

District Court Judge

Elected: 1929 - 1953

Judge McFarland was born near Bloomfield, Iowa, on April 4, 1880. Graduated from Highland Park College of Law, Des Moines, Iowa in 1904. He came to North Dakota in 1905, and took up a homestead near Cleveland, North Dakota, which he still owned at the time of his death. He was associated with S. L. Glaspell in law practice, served two years as Assistant State's Attorney and five terms as Judge of Stutsman County. Elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial District in 1928, retired due to ill health on September 1, 1953. Judge McFarland died on December 10, 1961.

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George A. McGee

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1952 - 1953

Judge McGee was born in Amboy, Illinois, September 13, 1878. Following his graduation from Notre Dame University, he moved to Minot, North Dakota in November 1901, where he practiced law. In 1904 he was elected State's Attorney of Imperial Ward County, serving for four years. In 1952 he was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial District by Governor C. Norman Brunsdale. He served in that capacity until his death on March 24, 1953.

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Michael O. McGuire

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1979 - 2004

Born in 1941. Graduate: Fargo Central High School; BA, Moorhead State College; JD, University of North Dakota; National Criminal Defense College at University of Houston 1975; Judges School at University of Nevada 1979. Active duty with U. S. Army and Air Force. Practiced in North Dakota and Minnesota. Elected Cass County Judge with Increased Jurisdiction 1978; appointed District Judge 1979 by Governor Arthur A. Link and elected in 1980, 1986, 1992, and 1998. Member: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Award for serving as president of halfway house in North Dakota; 1980 Distinguished Alumni Award, Moorhead State. American Legion. Married: Linda; two children. Retired as District Judge October 31, 2004.

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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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William W. McLees

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2014

Born in 1951, Valley City, ND; resident of Watford City, ND, 1959-2002. B.A., Political Science, University of North Dakota (1973); J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law (1976). Private practice in Watford City, ND, 1976-1982. McKenzie County Judge 1983-1990. Multi-county Judge for Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley, and McKenzie Counties 1990-1994. Elected District Judge in 1994, reelected 2000, 2006, 2012. Married: Wife, Kim. Five children. Judge McLees retired June 30, 2014.

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Thomas E. Merrick

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2009 - 2016

Born August 2, 1950 in Elkhart, Indiana. Received his bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo and his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1983. Served in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of captain. Admitted to practice in North Dakota in 1983. Engaged in private legal practice in Jamestown, ND, from 1983-2009. Appointed district judge in 2009 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected 2012. Married, Pamela, with three children.

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Thomas K. Metelmann

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 1998

Judge Metelmann was born in Grafton, North Dakota, in 1951. Graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.A. degree in 1973; J.D. degree from University of North Dakota Law School in 1976. Engaged in private practice in Grafton and Walhalla, North Dakota from 1976 until 1983. He served as County Judge from 1983 until 1994, when he was elected Judge of the Northeast Judicial District, term to begin January 1995. Judge Metelmann served in that capacity until the end of 1998. Married: wife, Roxanne, one daughter, Jessica.

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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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Norbert J. Muggli

District Court Judge

Elected: 1965 - 1981

Judge Muggli was born in Richardton, North Dakota, May 26, 1919. Graduated from Richardton High School and St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He received his L. L. B. from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1942, and was admitted to the Bar that same year. Following three and one-half years in the Army, he practiced law in Dickinson, North Dakota, he served four terms as State's Attorney of Stark County and also was a member of the House of Representatives, 1957 and 1959. He was elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1964. With the reorganization of the district court system in 1979, he became Judge of the Southwest Judicial District, he resigned in 1981. Judge Muggli died on April 7, 1997.

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Daniel D. Narum

Presiding Judge

Appointed: 2006 - Present

B.S., Political Science, North Dakota State University, 1996; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1999. Engaged in private law practice 1999-2006. LaMoure County State's Attorney 2001-2006. United States Navy 1987-1990. Appointed district judge 2006 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected 2008, 2010, 2016.

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David W. Nelson

District Court Judge/Surrogate Judge

Elected: 1994 - Present

Born in April 1951, Williston, North Dakota. Attended UND-Williston 1971; B.A. (Social work) UND 1973. Attended Wartburg Theological Seminary 1974; J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law 1981. Private practice 1981-94. Municipal Judge 1984-94. Elected District Judge in 1994, 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014. Married: wife, Sherri. Two sons: Matt and Steve. Retired as District Judge Dec. 31, 2016.

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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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Pamela A. Nesvig

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2019 - Present

Born in 1978 in Bismarck. BS UND, 2001. JD, UND School of Law, 2005. ND Safety Council, 2001 to 2002. Law clerk, Pearson Christensen Cahill & Clapp, 2003 to 2005; Associate Attorney 2005 to 2006.  Special Assistant State’s Attorney, Bismarck Regional Child Support Enforcement, 2006. Assistant State’s Attorney, 2007 to 2010. Assistant Burleigh County State’s Attorney, 2010 to 2015. Judicial Referee and Magistrate for South Central Judicial District, 2015 to 2019. Appointed District Judge in 2019.

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William A. Neumann

Justice of the Supreme Court/Surrogate Judge

Elected: 1993 - 2005

Justice William A. "Bill" Neumann was born February 11, 1944, in Minot, North Dakota. He grew up in Bowbells and in Crosby, North Dakota, graduating from Crosby High School in 1961 and from the University of North Dakota in 1965. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1968 and returned to North Dakota, going into private practice at Williston and then Bottineau. In October 1979, he was appointed to the District Court and was elected in 1980 and reelected in 1984 and 1990. From 1981 through 1987, Neumann served on the North Dakota Judicial Conduct Commission. He was the first trial judge to chair the North Dakota Judicial Conference, from 1987 to 1989. In November 1992, he was elected to a ten-year term on the North Dakota Supreme Court, beginning January 1, 1993. Reelected in 2002. Justice Neumann has been a member of the Board of Directors of American Judicature Society since 1998. He and his wife Jackie have two children. Justice Neumann served 12 years and 2 1/2 months before resigning from the Court on March 14, 2005. After leaving the Court, he served as Executive Director of the State Bar Association of North Dakota until 2013. He is currently a Surrogate Judge and resides in Bismarck.