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All District Court Judges

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Lindsey Nieuwsma

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2021 - Present

Born in Belfield, ND and raised on a ranch near Grassy Butte, ND. B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from North Dakota State University, 2006. Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, 2010. In private legal practice in Bismarck, ND, 2010 to 2015. Staff Attorney for the ND State Court Administrator Office, 2015 to 2018. Judicial Referee and Magistrate for the South Central Judicial District, 2018 to 2021. Appointed District Judge in 2021 by Governor Doug Burgum.

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Samuel L. Nuchols

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1911 - 1915

Judge Nuchols was born in Maryville, Tennessee on March 1, 1871. He attended College and Law School at the University in Tennessee, where he also was admitted to the Bar and practiced law until 1902, when he moved to Mandan, North Dakota. He was City Attorney of Mandan for three years. In 1911 he was appointed Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, by Governor John Burke, serving until his resignation in 1915. He then entered private practice in Mandan, North Dakota. In 1919 President Wilson appointed him Assistant United States Attorney, with headquarters at Fargo, North Dakota, which position he held until 1921, when he again entered private practice at Bismarck, North Dakota. Judge Nuchols died January 1, 1928.

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James H. O'Keefe

District Court Judge

Elected: 1971 - 1994

Born May 22, 1930, at Fargo, N.D. Graduate of Grand Forks Catholic Schools; Ph.B. and J.D. University of North Dakota 1956. Veteran Korean Conflict. Law Clerk for Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; Editor, North Dakota Law Review; Walsh County State's Attorney; Municipal Judge at Grafton; Past President, State's Attorneys Association and District Judges. Elected District Judge in 1970. Reelected 1976, 1982, and 1988. Retired 1994. Surrogate Judge 1995-2002. Married to Leatrice. Six children. Died January 17, 2003.

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Everett Nels Olson

District Court Judge

Elected: 1979 - 2002

Born July 12, 1939, in Hettinger, North Dakota. B.A. from Dickinson State University, 1962. L.L.B. from University of North Dakota, 1965. Practiced in New Town, 1965-68, and Minot, 1968-79. Elected District Judge in 1978, 1984, 1990, and 1996. Retired as District Judge, December 31, 2002. Appointed Surrogate Judge, 2003. Married: wife, Mary; four children.

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Lonnie Olson

District Court Judge

Elected: 2016 - Present

Graduate, Devils Lake Central High School, 1980. Bachelor of Arts, University of North Dakota, 1984. Juris Doctorate, University of North Dakota School of Law, 1987. Private practice of law from 1987 to 1989. Served as a Special Assistant States Attorney for the Lake Region Child Support Enforcement Unit, 1990. Elected Ramsey County States Attorney, 1990. Elected District Judge 2016.

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Thomas R. Olson

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2014 - Present

Augsburg College, B.A. 1976. Studied at Luther Theological Seminary 1975-1976. William Mitchell College of Law, J.D. 1981. Served in Clay County, Minn., Attorney's Office from 1983-1985. Private legal practice in Fargo focusing on civil litigation and mediation, 1985-2014. Appointed District Judge by Gov. Jack Dalrymple 2014, elected 2016.

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Leo J. Palda

District Court Judge

Elected: 1903 - 1904

Judge Palda was born March 4, 1873, in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa High School. In 1893 he graduated from the University of Michigan Law Department. He moved to Kenmare, North Dakota in 1899 where he began practicing law, later he moved to Minot, North Dakota where he continued practicing law. He served as Judge of the Eighth Judicial District from 1903 to 1904. After his judgeship he continued practicing law in Minot, North Dakota, until his death on November 6, 1946.

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Charles A. Pollock

District Court Judge

Elected: 1897 - 1916

Judge Pollock was born in Elizabethtown, Essex County, New York, September 27, 1853. He attended Cornell College at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, from where he graduated in 1878 with a B. A. degree. In 1881 he graduated from the Law Department of the University of Iowa, he then opened a law office in Fargo, North Dakota. His Alma Mater conferred upon him the Master of Arts degree in 1881, and L. L. D. degree in 1908. He lectured in the Law Department of the University of North Dakota in 1900. In 1885 he was elected District Attorney of Cass County, then Dakota Territory, which position he occupied until 1889. He was president of the North Dakota Bar Association in 1921. He served as Judge of the Third Judicial District from 1897 until 1916. Judge Pollock died on July 9, 1928.

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John C. Pollock

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1946 - 1958

Judge Pollock was born in Casselton, Dakota Territory, on December 29, 1888. Educated in the Casselton and Fargo, North Dakota, public schools. For professional reasons the family moved to Fargo in 1897, where he received his B.A. degree from the Fargo College, in 1909. He graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1912, then returned to Fargo where he entered in the practice of law with his father and brother in the Pollock & Pollock Firm. He became State's Attorney in 1927, serving two terms, was appointed Juvenile Commissioner, First Judicial District February 1, 1931, served until he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District, by Governor Fred G. Aandahl, on October 23, 1946, served in that capacity until his death on August 9, 1958.

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Albert G. Porter

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1948 - 1963

Judge Porter was born in Willmar, Minnesota on July 13, 1889. Educated in the local public schools, received a L. L. B. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1913. Admitted to the Bar in the State of Washington in 1915 and commenced the practice of law in partnership with his father, Samuel Porter, at Republic, Washington. He returned to the State of Minnesota and for eighteen months he was employed in the Legal Department of the Soo Line Railroad in Minneapolis. In 1919 he moved to Edgeley, North Dakota, and engaged in private practice. He moved to LaMoure in 1938 and served several terms as State's Attorney of LaMoure County. In 1948 he was appointed Judge of the Third Judicial District by Governor Fred G. Aandahl, he resigned from the bench effective January, 1963. Judge Porter died on November 4, 1966.

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Thomas H. Pugh

District Court Judge

Elected: 1921 - 1933

Judge Pugh was born on a farm near Petersboro, Ontario, Canada, July 6, 1868. He received his primary education in the country school, and went to the Petersboro High School. In 1887 he went to Detroit, Michigan and studied law in the office of an attorney, in 1891 he was admitted to the Michigan State Bar. In 1897 he came to Larimore, North Dakota, to practice law, in 1910 he moved to Dickinson, North Dakota, where he practiced law until 1920, when he was elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District. He served in that capacity until his death on January 14, 1933.

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Frank L. Racek

Surrogate Judge

Appointed: 1988 - Present

Born in 1957. B.A., Cum Laude, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN, 1979. J.D., with distinction, University of North Dakota 1982. Private practice in Fargo, ND 1982-88; appointed Judge of County Court August 1988. Elected District Judge in 1994, 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014. CPA certificate.

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Roy K. Redetzke

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1958 - 1978

Judge Redetzke was born in Alice, North Dakota, January 14, 1905. Attended grade and high school in Fargo, North Dakota. Graduated from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1927. He practiced law in Fargo for thirty-one years; Assistant State's Attorney of Cass County for sixteen years; Special Assistant Attorney United States Department of Justice, Lands Division, for three and one-half years. On October 1, 1958 he was appointed Judge of the First Judicial District, by Governor John E. Davis, he served in that capacity until 1978. Judge Redetzke died on May 11, 1982.

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David E. Reich

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2006 - Present

Born in 1956, Jamestown, ND. Holds a B.A. degree from the University of North Dakota, 1979. Received law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law, 1982. Law Clerk to the North Dakota Supreme Court, 1982-1983. In private legal practice in Bismarck, ND, from 1983-2006. Appointed District Judge in 2006 by Governor John Hoeven. Elected 2008 and 2014. Married: wife Ann. One child.

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Burt L. Riskedahl

District Court Judge

Elected: 1995 - 2006

Born in 1940, Bismarck, ND. Holds a B. A. Degree from Jamestown College 1962 and an M.S.W. from the University of Denver 1964. Received Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law 1973. Judge of the Burleigh County Court 1979-94. Elected district judge in 1994, 1996, and 2002. Retired as district judge March 31, 2006. Married: wife Margo. Two children.

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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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Bruce A. Romanick

Presiding Judge

Elected: 2000 - Present

Born in 1960, Washburn, N.D. B.S., University of North Dakota 1982. J.D., University of North Dakota 1986. Private practice in Washburn and Bismarck, N.D., 1986-88. Judge Advocate for the United States Army, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1989-1992. Private practice in Moorhead, MN, 1992-1994. Assistant State's Attorney, Burleigh County, 1995-2000. Elected District Judge in 2000, reelected in 2006, 2012, 2018. Married: Wife, Roxane. Two children.

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Lolita G. Romanick

District Court Judge

Appointed: 2014 - Present

BS in Occupational Therapy, University of North Dakota, 1979; JD, University of Idaho School of Law, 1983; BA in French, University of North Dakota, 1995. Private practice in Grand Forks and Minot, ND, 1984 - 2014. Appointed Northeast Central Judicial District Judge in 2014; elected 2018.

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Roderick Rose

District Court Judge

Elected: 1889 - 1896

Judge Rose was born in Smiths Falls, Canada, May 15, 1838. He moved with his parents to Woodstock, Canada, where he received his education. In 1858 he moved to Iowa where he was principal of the Montezuma and Davenport schools for twelve years. He was admitted to the bar at Davenport, Iowa in 1871; practiced law in Davenport; served three terms as mayor of that city before coming to Jamestown, North Dakota in 1882. He continued to practice law until 1888, when he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Dakota by President Cleveland. After statehood he was elected Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, serving through 1896. In 1900 he was elected State's Attorney of Stutsman County and served in that capacity until his death on September 10, 1903.

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Cynthia A. Rothe-Seeger

District Court Judge

Appointed: 1988 - 2008

Born in 1948. B.A., M.A., University of North Dakota. J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, 1975. Juvenile Supervisor 1975; Fargo Police Department Legal Advisor 1976; Cass County State's Attorney's Office 1976-81; Magistrate Cass County Court 1982; Cass County Court Judge 1983-88. Appointed District Judge 1988 by Governor George A. Sinner, she was the first woman to become a district judge in North Dakota. Elected District Judge in 1988, 1990, 1996, and 2002. Retired Dec. 31, 2008. Married: Husband, Mark Seeger. Two children.