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State Supreme Court rules Greenwood’s vacancy to be filled

The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the impending vacancy in Judgeship No. 1 of the Southeast District Court should be filled. On Feb. 16, Judge John Greenwood announced he will retire from his position on Aug. 1. Under state law ...

The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the impending vacancy in Judgeship No. 1 of the Southeast District Court should be filled.

On Feb. 16, Judge John Greenwood announced he will retire from his position on Aug. 1. Under state law the Supreme Court has 90 days, once notified by Gov. Doug Burgum of the vacancy, to determine if the vacancy should be filled, move the judgeship to another jurisdiction, or to eliminate the judgeship if there is no further need for it.

In its ruling dated Wednesday, April 19, the court ruled the vacancy should be filled under North Dakota Century Code 27-25. A judicial nominating committee, made up of six permanent members and three temporary members, assembles a list of two to seven nominees to fill the vacancy, and forwards that list to the governor. The governor may then appoint one of the nominees, return the list of nominees and reconvene the committee, or call for special election to fill the vacancy for the rest of the term.

Mike Nowatzki, the governor’s communications director, said the governor will issue a notice to the judicial nominating committee to meet and come up with a list of nominees. The committee has 60 days from April 19 to come up with the list and present it to the governor.

Rod Olson, court administrator for Unit II of Southeast District Court, said Greenwood would have been up for re-election in 2018. Whoever fills Greenwood’s vacancy will serve through the end of his term and can seek election to the seat.

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Greenwood was appointed to the Southeast District Court Judgeship No. 1 in 1999 by then-Gov. Ed Schafer. He was elected to the position in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2012.

Related Topics: SOUTHEAST DISTRICT COURT
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