Newspaper Archive of
Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
September 6, 2017     Walsh County Press
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September 6, 2017

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COMMUNITY THE VVALSH COUNTY PRESS ° WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 PaBe 5 I Response To Notice Of Comment North Dakota Supreme Court No. 20170282 In The Matter Of Judicial Redistricting By David L Petersen, Attorney GRAFTON, N.D. -- The Walsh County Bar Association met to discuss the above de' scribed mater on August 9, 2017• By a neai'ly unanimous consensus, the Walsh County Bar As- sociation opposes any proposal to move Walsh County from the Northeast Judicial Dislfict to the Northeast Central Judicial District. We note that by a four to one vote, with Jus- tice Crothers dissenting, the Supreme Court or- dered Governor Burgum to fill the Walsh Coun- ty District Judge position soon to be vacated by retiring District Judge Richard Geiger. In his lengthy dissent, Justice Crothers offered his opinions in the matter. The local bar respectfully disagrees with Justice Crothers' dissenting opin- ion for many reasons. 1. Justice Crothers notes that Walsh Coun- ty has projected judicial officer needs of .97 in 2017, and that Grand Forks County and Nelson County have a deficit of 1.5 judicial officers. The Supreme Court's weighted case load figures for the Walsh County judicial officer needs (.97) is virtually aligned with the one judicial officer po- sition that Walsh County currently has. Most of a judge's time is taken up by criminal cases and domestic relations cases (divorce, custody, child support, domestic violence petitions and disor- derly conduct restraint petitions.) Civil litigation, in terms of a judge's time, is much less time con- sunning. Moving Walsh County to the North- east Central Judicial District, along with the at- tendant increase in travel between Grafton and Grand Forks, will likely increase this Northeast Central judicial officer deficit. 2. Moving Walsh County to the Northeast Central Judicial District does nothing to help the other judicial districts who have larger judicial officer deficits than Northeast Central, such as the Fargo area, the Bismarck area, and the Minor area. If one goal is to reduce the Grand Forks Coun- ty deficit, perhaps transferring the chambers in Lakota in Nelson County (which has very low caseload) to the Northeast Judicial District to be served largely by Devils Lake area judges and lawyers should be considered, rather that trans- ferring Walsh County to the Northeast Central Ju- dicial District. 3. We note the inherent djff ~. ,~be~. era ~. the judicial districts which include the• four larg~orth Dakota ~ifies,~and~ ,other judicial By Alice Midboe" PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Jokingly referred to as the "Mayor of Harris Ave," our beloved dog, Hercules was killed August 29 by a hit and nm driver. Granted, he wasn't on a leash as he lifted his face to the sunshine one last time, but still. Herc was 15 years old, cute as a button and still en- joying life. We are consoled by the fact that he's in heav- en now with his old flame, "Wah Wah" Goodbye sweet fried, we'll miss you. Anyone who has any information or knowledge on this accident, please con- tact Alice at 284-6678 or Joni at 360-1271. districts in North Dakota. The Northeast Judi- cial district (and most other judicial districts) clear- ly have a morn rural flavor, and have differing ju- dicial officer needs. Judicial case loads are only one of the factors to be considered when con- templating movements of communities from one judicial district to another. Case load numbers alone are only a part of the decision making equa- tion. 4. North Dakota is a very rural state. By much anecdotal experience in North Dakota, when judges and attorneys from larger cities al- locate their time, including travel to serve the ju- dicial needs of a rural based court, inevitably more and more cases, conferences, or hearings are held in the larger city where the judges or attorneys reside, and where these persons customarily have offices or chambers. While increased usage of IVN and other electronic means for conducting hearings may help, we believe most judges and lawyers would agree that except in some pro for- ma preliminary matters, it is better to see and ap- praise the litigants in person. Travel required to courts may miles away, whether they be defen- dants in criminal matters, or litigants in civil mat- ters, or witnesses or family members and their lawyers, is a very practicable burden for these per- sons, who in large part may be indigent, or suf- fer from poverty. The level of poverty in Walsh County is reaching alarming levels. 5. From experience of local attomeys, once the Grand Forks court calendars become loaded with Walsh County cases, the "waif' time between the commencement of a case, whether criminal or civil, and the conclusion of that case, becomes longer and longer. 6. The Walsh County States Attorney's of- rices, Clerk or Court, the Highway Patrol, Coun- ty sheriffand deputies,juvenile court officers, the North Dakota BCI, the Border Patrol, probation officers, and the county jail, are all based in the Walsh County Courthouse, or the Walsh Coun- ty Law Enforcement Center. Travel to and from Walsh County to Grand Forks to see a judge (even with the advent ofeleclmnic search warrants), and other numerous matters, is so much more diffi- cult and inefficient, than when the judge resides in Graflon or close to Graflon. for a judicial vacancy in Graffon, for example, the vote in that election will be unduly weighed by the large majority of voters who live in Grand Forks and its surrounding area, rather than the vot- ers who live in Walsh County. Unfortunately, most of the voters in an election for a judge do not have much knowledge of the character and qualification of a particular candidate. Maybe they vote by the number of yard signs? If there is a qualified candidate who resides in Grand Forks, and a qualified candidate who lives in Graflon or Walsh County, we believe a substantial number of Grand Forks voters will vote for the Grand Forks candidate solely because that can- didate is "from" Grand Forks. Given the large disparity in numbers between the Grand Forks voters and the rural voters, we believe the Grand Forks candidates will win the election al- most every time. 8. Last but not least, we believe that it is important to consider this judicial vacancy in Walsh County, not in a vacuum, but with due con- sideration of the future impact of Pembina and Cavalier Counties when they inevitably have a judicial vacancy. Both Cavalier and Pembina counties have a significantly lower caseload than Walsh County. Congider the impact on those counties, ifWalsh County is no longer part of the Northeast Judicial District, especially given the close judicial working arrangement these three counties have shared over the decades, and giv- en that they have a close connection in terms of attomeys who have cases in all three county seats, shared interaction of law enforcement and social services, etc. By moving Walsh County to the Northeast Central Judicial District, ifa vacancy occurs, or there is a judicial conflict of interest, ore even when a judge is on vacation, Pembina a0d Cavalier counties are left to be covered by a judge in Devils. Lake. That is a two hour dis- tance for law enforcement to travel to see a judge. Again, the Walsh County Bar Association strongly recommends that Walsh County con- tinues to be part of the Northeast Judicial District. Respectfully submitted this 28th day of Au- gust, 2017. The WALSH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIA- , ~,2.,,, Another issue is judge's elections. If TION. ~:' Walsh County is moved to the Northeast Cen,t~al Editor ~ ~ote: Readers are encour~dged to send Judicml District, when an electron is necess~y ~herr fnd~v~zl~t cbmments to the Supreme Court By Ronnie Setness PARK RIVER, N.D. -- The Bike Path is now open for walking and biking. This has been a concern for me for the last two years. It's a nice walk for my grandkids to come over to the house on. This fall, a load of clay was dumped on the west side of the sink hole and a Cat was used to push clay on to the hole. Thank you to whoever did this..The second week ofAugust I got a phone call from the water board giving myself and my son the opportunity to finish the task and we con- sidered it a privilege to do it. Now I can sit on the front porch and see traffic on the bike path again, Editor's Note: Setness is from Park River new-cars-for-senior-drivers. AAA Tool Another great resource that can help you evaluate and chose a ve- hicle that meets your needs is the AAA online tool "Smart Features for Older Drivers." • At SmartFeatures you can check the ar- eas you have problems with - like diminished vision, cognitive de- cline, limited upper body range of motion, decreased leg strength, arthritic hands, short stature or over- weight - and the tool will identify vehicles that have the features that will best accommodate your needs. Although this tool looks at model- year 2016 vehicles, in many cases the features shown are carded over for 2017 models. They also have a Smart.Features brochure you can download that will tell you what to look for in a vehi- cle to best accommodate your needs. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Sen- ior, p.o. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or vis- it SavvySeniororg. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book. PICK YOUR 5 MONTHS MATURITY DATE 9 MONTHS 2.5 YEARS 9 MONTHS 2.5 YEARS 3 YEARS your ; ¢;' advantage C oz eTiis tat.e Bank .... ~ "~ o/L-,zz~Jn Citizens State Bank of Lankin has an immediate opening for an energetic, self-starting individual to join our team as a full time backup teller with operations experience in our Edinburg, ND Office. This role is primarily responsible for processing all types of account transactions for the bank and its customers; ensuring account transactions are processed accurately, timely, and according to established policies and procedures. Basic qualifications; - High school diploma with I - 3 years of customer service experience. - Excellent work ethic including dependability, honesty and trustworthy. - Excellent computer skills with the ability to quickly learn new system/applications - Complete tasks in a timely manner with a high rate of accuracy• - Must be able to work independently and efficiently and with team members when needed. - Communicate professionally with customers and business partners, - Experience in cash handling and in offering products and services-to customers while working in a fast paced environment• Preferred qualifications: - Previous experience in banking or bank operations preferred, balancing or teller experience highly preferred but willing to train the right candidate. Benefits available. Please mail your resume to: Citizens State Bank of Lankin Attn: Christine Grove PO Box 128 Park River, ND 58270 Or email to CiOzens Smte Bank o~ Lankin is a family owned and operated bank since 1905 with Iocaffons in Lankin, Edinbur~, Et3raore and Pork River. I:I)R' btsttred Citizens State Bank o] tookin is an Equal Opportunity Employer Photo: Allison Olimb Above: (Lett) Madah Lmdy mad