Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Ramsey County State’s Attorney Kari Agotness of Devils Lake to a judgeship in the Northeast Judicial District, effective Feb. 1.
Agotness was appointed Ramsey County State’s Attorney in 2017 and elected to the position in 2018, overseeing criminal prosecutions, juvenile court, child support enforcement and civil actions, among other duties. She previously served as Ramsey County Clerk of District Court for nine years and also has worked as a domestic violence advocate, a police officer and a special assistant attorney general for regional child support in Jamestown.
A native of Park River, Agotness earned her peace officer’s certificate from Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, her undergraduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and her law degree from the UND School of Law. She also served as a fellow at the National Center for State Courts’ Institute for Court Management in Williamsburg, Va.
Agotness has served as president of the Lake Region Bar Association and as a member of the Human Trafficking Protocol Team for Ramsey County.
She will fill the judicial vacancy created by the Jan. 29, 2021, retirement of Northeast Judicial District Judge Laurie Fontaine, who was first elected as a district judge in 1998 after having served as Pembina County State’s Attorney from 1987 to 1998. Four attorneys were named as finalists to fill the vacancy.