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North Dakota Municipal Courts

North Dakota also has Municipal Courts, which are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. They handle mostly local ordinance violations. There are 90 Municipal Courts in North Dakota with 75 judges presiding. There are 357 cities in North Dakota and cities with a population of 5,000 or more residents must have a Municipal Court. Cities with fewer than 5,000 people may choose whether or not to establish a Municipal Court or not. In those cities with 5,000 or more residents, Municipal Court judges must be licensed attorneys. Municipal Court judges are elected into office, and they serve 4-year terms. When there is a vacancy, the executive officer of the city stands in until a new judge can be elected. In the case of illness, injury, or temporary absence, the city can appoint another judge as an alternate Municipal Court judge to fill until the original one returns.

Municipal Courts handle all local ordinance violations such as traffic matters, parking tickets, DUI/DWIs, Class B misdemeanor offenses, and other local law violations. The only exception is some juvenile offenses. Those will go to special problem-solving courts which are a division of District Court. Municipal Courts do not hold jury trials; the judge handles all verdicts. Municipal Court judges are authorized to perform weddings in all parts of the state.

Municipal Courts may or may not fund a Court Clerk to manage court records, maintain the court calendar, take payments for fines and fees, record minutes of the court proceedings and other court-related duties. If the city does not choose to hire a clerk, the Municipal Court judge must assume those duties.

Municipal Court judges must attend two Supreme Court educational seminars each year. This rule is a mandatory requirement; if any judge does not participate within a calendar year, they will be excused from their seat and receive disciplinary action.

Courts in North Dakota

North Dakota Court Records Search