2.722 JUDICIAL DISTRICTS.
Subdivision 1. Description.
Effective July 1, 1959, the state is divided into ten judicial
districts composed of the following named counties, respectively, in each of which districts
judges shall be chosen as hereinafter specified:
1. Goodhue, Dakota, Carver, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott, and Sibley; 33 judges; and four
permanent chambers shall be maintained in Red Wing, Hastings, Shakopee, and Glencoe and one
other shall be maintained at the place designated by the chief judge of the district;
2. Ramsey; 26 judges;
3. Wabasha, Winona, Houston, Rice, Olmsted, Dodge, Steele, Waseca, Freeborn, Mower,
and Fillmore; 23 judges; and permanent chambers shall be maintained in Faribault, Albert Lea,
Austin, Rochester, and Winona;
4. Hennepin; 60 judges;
5. Blue Earth, Watonwan, Lyon, Redwood, Brown, Nicollet, Lincoln, Cottonwood, Murray,
Nobles, Pipestone, Rock, Faribault, Martin, and Jackson; 16 judges; and permanent chambers
shall be maintained in Marshall, Windom, Fairmont, New Ulm, and Mankato;
6. Carlton, St. Louis, Lake, and Cook; 15 judges;
7. Benton, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, Clay, Becker, and
Wadena; 27 judges; and permanent chambers shall be maintained in Moorhead, Fergus Falls,
Little Falls, and St. Cloud;
8. Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Renville, Swift, Yellow Medicine, Big
Stone, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin; 11 judges; and permanent chambers shall be
maintained in Morris, Montevideo, and Willmar;
9. Norman, Polk, Marshall, Kittson, Red Lake, Roseau, Mahnomen, Pennington, Aitkin,
Itasca, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods, Clearwater, Cass and Koochiching;
22 judges; and permanent chambers shall be maintained in Crookston, Thief River Falls, Bemidji,
Brainerd, Grand Rapids, and International Falls; and
10. Anoka, Isanti, Wright, Sherburne, Kanabec, Pine, Chisago, and Washington; 43 judges;
and permanent chambers shall be maintained in Anoka, Stillwater, and other places designated by
the chief judge of the district.
Subd. 2. Altering boundaries.
The Supreme Court, with the consent of a majority of the
chief judges of the judicial districts, may alter the boundaries or change the number of judicial
districts, except the Second and Fourth Judicial Districts.
Subd. 3. Hennepin and Ramsey probate judges; courts.
The probate judges of Ramsey
and Hennepin probate courts in office on August 1, 1982, shall be district court judges of the
Second and Fourth Judicial Districts, respectively, and shall continue in office for the balance of
the term for which they were elected and shall be eligible for reelection. The offices of probate
court of Ramsey and Hennepin Counties, and all of their jurisdiction, records, powers, duties,
functions, and personnel, are hereby transferred to the district courts of the Second and Fourth
Judicial Districts respectively and made divisions of them. The chief judge of the fourth judicial
district shall at all times assign at least two judges to the probate court duties.
Subd. 4. Determination of a judicial vacancy.
(a) When a judge of the district court dies,
resigns, retires, or is removed from office, the Supreme Court, in consultation with judges and
attorneys in the affected district, shall determine within 90 days of receiving notice of a vacancy
from the governor whether the vacant office is necessary for effective judicial administration or
is necessary for adequate access to the courts. In determining whether the position is necessary
for adequate access to the courts, the Supreme Court shall consider whether abolition or transfer
of the position would result in a county having no chambered judge. The Supreme Court may
continue the position, may order the position abolished, or may transfer the position to a judicial
district where need for additional judges exists, designating the position as either a county,
county/municipal or district court judgeship. The Supreme Court shall certify any vacancy to the
governor, who shall fill it in the manner provided by law.
(b) If a judge of district court fails to timely file an affidavit of candidacy and filing fee or
petition in lieu of a fee, the official with whom the affidavits of candidacy are required to be filed
shall notify the Supreme Court that the incumbent judge is not seeking reelection. Within five
days of receipt of the notice, the Supreme Court shall determine whether the judicial position
is necessary for effective judicial administration or adequate access to the courts and notify the
official responsible for certifying the election results of its determination. In determining whether
the position is necessary for adequate access to the courts, the Supreme Court shall consider
whether abolition or transfer of the position would result in a county having no chambered judge.
The Supreme Court may continue the position, may order the position abolished, or may transfer
the position to a judicial district where the need for additional judgeships exists. If the position is
abolished or transferred, the election may not be held. If the position is transferred, the court shall
also notify the governor of the transfer. Upon transfer, the position is vacant and the governor
shall fill it in the manner provided by law. An order abolishing or transferring a position is
effective the first Monday in the next January.
Subd. 4a. Referee vacancy; conversion to judgeship.
When a referee of the district court
dies, resigns, retires, or is voluntarily removed from the position, the chief judge of the district
shall notify the Supreme Court and may petition to request that the position be converted to a
judgeship. The Supreme Court shall determine within 90 days of the petition whether to order
the position abolished or convert the position to a judgeship in the affected or another judicial
district. The Supreme Court shall certify any judicial vacancy to the governor, who shall fill it
in the manner provided by law. The conversion of a referee position to a judgeship under this
subdivision shall not reduce the total number of judges and referees hearing cases in the family
and juvenile courts.
Subd. 5. Judicial employees.
The complement for the law clerk and court reporter assigned
exclusively to a judgeship that is abolished under this section is abolished upon vacancy of the
position. The complement for the law clerk and court reporter shall be transferred to the judicial
district to which a judgeship is transferred pursuant to this section.
History: (11,12) RL s 7; 1907 c 146 s 1; 1909 c 11 s 1; 1909 c 126 s 12,13; 1911 c 193 s 1,2;
1911 c 205 s 1; 1913 c 150 s 1; 1913 c 320 s 1; 1915 c 16 s 1; 1917 c 484 s 1; 1917 c 490 s 1;
1917 c 494 s 1; 1921 c 329 s 1; 1923 c 199 s 1; 1923 c 222 s 1; 1923 c 387 s 1; 1925 c 75 s 1-4;
1931 c 104 s 1; 1951 c 698 s 1-3; 1953 c 584 s 1-3; 1953 c 687 s 1; 1953 c 694 s 1-3; 1955 c
483 s 1; Ex1957 c 14 s 1,2; 1959 c 701 s 1; Ex1961 c 61 s 1; 1963 c 860 s 1; 1965 c 737 s 1;
1967 c 182 s 1; 1967 c 840 s 1; Ex1967 c 22 s 1; 1971 c 392 s 1; Ex1971 c 7 s 3; Ex1971 c 32 s
21; 1977 c 432 s 1; 1982 c 398 s 1,2; 1Sp1985 c 13 s 57,58; 1987 c 404 s 59; 1990 c 594 art 1 s
38; 1991 c 146 s 1; 1991 c 345 art 1 s 36,37; 1994 c 636 art 8 s 1; 1995 c 226 art 6 s 1,2; 1999
c 216 art 6 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 5 s 1; 2005 c 136 art 14 s 1