Number of Court Cases in North Dakota Jumps

January 25, 2013

The number of court cases is skyrocketing in North Dakota, especially in the oil-producing western part of the state, according to the state’s court administrator.

Sally Holewa told the Senate Judiciary committee that nearly 186,000 cases were filed last year. That’s up more than 11 percent from 2011.

Holewa said the numbers don’t include the more than 20,000 cases that are reopened each year.

Lawmakers are looking at adding three new judgeships to keep pace with increased caseloads caused by record oil development.

North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle appealed state lawmakers during his State of the Judiciary speech to add two judgeships in the epicenter of the oil boom in northwestern North Dakota, and one judgeship in Fargo. The cost to establish the judgeships is pegged at about $1.7 million.

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