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The North Dakota Court System dates back to 1861 and consists of a Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, District Courts and Municipal Courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state and has five justices. Each justice is elected into a ten-year term. The Supreme Court selects one of the justices to be Chief Justice for a five-year term. He or she assumes additional administrative and supervisory responsibilities as Chief Justice. This person is voted in by all the other justices. The Supreme Court also has an Advisory Council that serves the Chief Justice and helps support him or her in their role. The Chief Justice must, as part of their management role, appoint someone to be the State Court Administrator to help with managing the entire court system.
The Supreme Court also has a Clerk who supports the court in a variety of ways assisting with management and administration.
ND sanctioned a Court of Appeals in 1987 to alleviate some of the caseload on the Supreme Court. Cases are assigned to the Court of Appeals from the Supreme Court. The court uses a panel of three judges to sit and review cases, and they serve one-year terms. Only retired Supreme Court justices and attorneys can sit on the Court of Appeals.
This state allows access to public records, but they are limited to specific types such as petty misdemeanor cases, civil actions, criminal offenses, traffic violations, family issues, and probate cases. Most cases in Municipal Courts will show up in an online court search. However, no expunged, juvenile or sealed records will show in a records search for the state. The United States federal government has laws pertaining to certain case types and children’s names, home addresses, banking information, tax IDs, social security numbers and other private or sensitive information. Therefore, things like that will be redacted from the files before they are made public.
ND has a section on the judicial branch website (northdakota.gov) where patrons can find some types of forms for cases like small claims, divorce, juvenile delinquency, mental health issues and probate cases, civil actions and other common legal proceedings. Many of these are specific to the problem-solving courts and self-represented type litigation such as small claims. Additionally, ND judicial branch website has a section for e-filing. They have instructions on how to use the e-filing portal, additional guides and information on requirements and technical aspects along with FAQs, court documents, and a privacy notice. They also have a feature where patrons can pay tickets and fines online.
Use the Infotracer search tool to find state court records within minutes! Infotracer allows you to access thousands of court cases for ND throughout the state including Bismarck, Fargo, Minot, Cass County, Burleigh County, and Grand Forks County. According to the ND Open Records Statute NDCC 44-04-18 et seq., public records include criminal records, child support, vital records, death records, domestic violence cases, infractions, civil cases, family and probate court issues and bankruptcies.
Someone can efficiently perform a public records search without any special permission or even a reason. Most records will be readily available for public access except in cases where the files are court-ordered private or made confidential by law.
Enjoy free instant access to ND court records from all the court types in the state. Performing a state court records search by name is the best way to lookup cases online. These records will include records from the state district and municipal courthouses from all eight judicial districts in the state.
In 2012, the North Dakota courts received 46,935 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 3.9% and counted 45,090 filings and had 49,082 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of North Dakota at year end of 2016 has decreased by 1.0% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 13,272 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in North Dakota courts counts to 13,391, with 13,391 felony cases.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
The state is divided into eight judicial districts, and District Courts serve these regions. There is one court in each of the 53 counties. These courts are general jurisdiction courts for the state and have original domain over most legal actions except where otherwise limited by law. These courts also provide appellate services for the Municipal courthouses as requested by the Supreme Court. District Court judges are elected into their positions and hold a six-year term. There are 51 District Court judges in this state. These courts also have five referees assisting the judges with the caseload. District Court cases include criminal, juvenile, small claims, family relations, civil cases, and traffic violations.
The state's court system is further layered to include Municipal Courts. These courts are limited jurisdiction courts that handle mostly city ordinance violations. Judges are elected into their seats and stay for a four-year term. If the city has 5,000 residents or more, the Municipal judge must be an attorney. Otherwise, the judge may or may not be a licensed attorney. The most common type of cases heard in these courts are traffic violations such as DUI/DWIs, along with parking and other traffic-related offenses. Some cities also provide the court with a clerk to help out with scheduling, maintaining records, taking minutes of court proceedings, and receiving payments for fines.