Surrogate Judges

Statute

27-17-03. Services and compensation of retired justices and judges.

1. Upon retirement of a justice of the supreme court or a judge of the district court, the chief justice of the supreme court may appoint the retired justice or judge to serve as a surrogate judge of the supreme court to aid and assist the court in the performance of judicial duties within the unified judicial system as may be assigned by the chief justice with the retired justice's or judge's consent.

2. An appointment under this section does not become effective until the appointee subscribes and files in the office of the secretary of state an oath or affirmation substantially as follows: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitutions of the United States and the state of North Dakota, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of surrogate judge of the state of North Dakota to the best of my ability."

3. Subject to subsection 4, a surrogate judge is entitled to receive compensation for services rendered for each day actually engaged in the performance of judicial duties in an amount equal to five percent of the gross monthly salary of a regularly elected or appointed and qualified justice or judge of the court to which the services are rendered, or one-half of that daily compensation for services of one-half day or less.

4. A surrogate judge is not entitled to receive as compensation for services rendered in the performance of judicial duties during any calendar year a sum of money which when added to any judicial retirement benefits received by the surrogate judge for that year exceeds the annual salary of a justice or judge of the court from which the justice or judge retired. The compensation must be paid upon the certificate of the surrogate judge showing that the services were performed for the number of days claimed in the certificate. Services of a surrogate judge under this section and receipt of compensation therefore do not reduce or otherwise affect the amount of any retirement benefits to which the judge otherwise would be entitled.

5. In addition to daily compensation, a surrogate judge is entitled to receive reimbursement for travel expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of judicial duties under the assignment, as regularly elected or appointed and qualified justices and judges are entitled to receive.

6. A retired justice of the supreme court or a retired judge of the district court is also eligible to serve as a master and to be compensated for services rendered in any civil case or other judicial proceeding when so designated by the court having power to appoint masters; a retired justice or judge, when requested, is also eligible to serve as legal counsel and to be compensated for services rendered in the office of the attorney general, in any executive department, commission, or bureau of the state, and for any committee of the legislative assembly.