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State Court Administration


State Court Administrator:  The state court administrator plans for statewide court system needs, develops and promotes statewide administrative practices and procedures, oversees the operation of statewide court programs and strategic initiatives, serves as a liaison with legislative and executive branches of government, and responds to media requests.

The State Court Administrator's Office is responsible for budget preparation and financial controls, personnel management systems, management information systems, planning and research, training and education, public information, technical assistance, court facilities, and staffing boards and committees.  Divisions within the state court administrator’s office include finance, human resources, education and technology, and staff who provide trial court services, research and statistical analysis, public information, and legal counsel.

Staff from the state court administrator’s office provide information, technical assistance and project support services to all levels of the court system on a wide variety of topics; assess innovative business techniques, and evaluate new procedures in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations and make courts more accessible to litigants and to the citizens of North Dakota.

Assistant State Court Administrator for Trial Courts; The assistant state court administrator for trial courts is responsible for providing information and recommendations to the state court administrator and the Administrative Council on matters concerning district and juvenile courts including docket currency, caseflow management, juror utilization, and records management; oversees implementation and monitors  compliance with policies of the Supreme Court and the Administrative Council; As  the State Juvenile Services Coordinator  oversees statewide contracts for juvenile services and implementation of juvenile court rules and policies adopted by the Supreme Court and procedures adopted by the Juvenile Policy Board, makes recommendations in matters related to budget, staffing, personnel, programs, and performance of juvenile courts, and assists the Juvenile Policy Board in the development and implementation of long-range strategic plans for delivery of juvenile services.

Legal Counsel:  Staff and contract attorneys assist in drafting policies, procedures, court rules and administrative orders; advise trial court and supreme court employees on interpretation of statutes, rules, policies, procedures, contract enforcement and grant regulations; draft contracts, memorandums of understanding and interagency agreements;  and staff court committees, boards, commissions and complaint panels.

Trial Court Services Staff:  Trial court services staff develops and manages the Juvenile Drug Courts, Family Law Mediation Program, Court Improvement Project, the Guardianship Monitoring Program, and the Juvenile Court Guardian ad Litem Program; provides training and monitoring of continuing education requirements for Parenting Investigators, Parenting Time Coordinators, and Family Law Guardians; and is responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of court security plans.


The Education division oversees education for judges and employees and monitors compliance with continuing education requirements; develops training agendas and handles all details of contracting with speakers and venues; assists the Judicial Education Commission in the development and implementation of long-range strategic planning for education; provides oversight in the production and distribution of various benchbooks and employee manuals;  develops content and provides oversight of the production of the court system newsletter; designs informational brochures and other resources intended for public education; works in conjunction with other government and community entities to develop and deliver training to a variety of audiences; and assists courts in crafting local media policies.

Research and Planning

Staff services are provided to the Judicial Planning Committee and other advisory committees of the Supreme Court by staff in the office of state court administrator. The duties of these staff personnel include research, bill drafting, rule drafting, arrangement of committee meetings, and any other tasks assigned by various committees. The Office of the State Court Administrator also collects and analyzes data for a number of reports.

Human Resources

The Human Resource Director administers the statewide human resources and risk management programs; develops, implements, interprets, and evaluates programs, policies, procedures, and rules; ensures court system compliance with federal and state employment laws and regulations; assists and provides advice and recommendations to managers on hiring, evaluation, correction, and termination of employees; assists in resolving conflicts between employees; provides training on and oversight of human resource and risk management programs; maintains demographic and statistical data regarding the workforce; and provides staff services to the Personnel Policy Board.


The Finance Division ensures the integrity of North Dakota Court System financial resources and provides financial services that support court operations; ensures court system accountability of funds through sound financial policy development, analysis and reporting and liaison with external financial partners such as the Office of Management and Budget, State Auditor and State Treasurer.  Specific activities include providing financial training and guidance to court staff, managing fixed assets, banking, collections and tax intercepts, accounting and procurement. The Finance Division coordinates the benefits program and processes payroll, invoices, purchase orders, contracts, reimbursements, budget requests, receipts and grants.

Information and Technical Services

IT services include development of applications, procurement and management of hardware and software, maintaining network services, web development and hosting, software integrations with the court system’s  business partners, and installation and maintenance of equipment.  Through a statewide Service Desk, JBIT provides customers with a single point-of-contact for application and technical problems and for requests regarding the entire technical infrastructure.

Court Administrator's Office

Supreme Court
State Capitol
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0530


Sally Holewa
State Court Administrator
Lana Zimmerman
Executive Assistant  
Renee Barnaby
Executive Assistant 
Andrew Forward
Staff Attorney
Sara Behrens
Staff Attorney
Cathy Ferderer
Family Law Mediation Program Administrator
Rose Nichols
Guardian Monitoring Program Manager
Heather Traynor
Court Improvement Project Coordinator
Lee Ann Barnhardt
Director of Education
Jessica Throlson
Program Manager
Bryan Pechtl
Education & Special Projects Coordinator
Amy Klein
Director Human Resources

Matthew Peterson
Juvenile Court Data Specialist

Scott Johnson
Assistant State Court Administrator


Don Wolf
Director of Finance
Dion Ulrich
Supervisor of Accounting
Jody Bachmeier
Accountant Analyst
Kelsey Boxrud
Accountant Analyst
Cheryl Manderfeld
Payroll & Benefits Specialist
Sandy Schwan
Account Technician