Watford City To House New Judge

BISMARCK — Watford City will be home to a new judgeship aimed at addressing the increase in court filings in growing Oil Patch communities, the North Dakota Supreme Court decided Tuesday.

State legislators created two new judgeships for the Northwest Judicial District, with one chambered in Williston and the other location to be determined.

Watford City, Williston and Stanley were discussed as possible locations for the judgeship, the ruling said. A report filed by the Northwest Judicial District said the presiding judges said Williston was their first choice for the judgeship, but the courthouse does not have adequate space. The second choice was Watford City, which was supported by the McKenzie County Commission and the Watford City mayor.

Court filings increased 37 percent in the district between 2010 and 2012, with McKenzie County seeing the largest percentage increase with 135 percent, according to numbers in the ruling.

The Legislature also created a new judgeship for the East Central Judicial District in Fargo. A committee will interview applicants and nominee candidates by the end of June. The governor has until July 31 to name the judges.

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