North Dakota Supreme Court Decisions

The North Dakota Supreme Court began its history as the Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory in 1861. The size of the court varied between three and eight justices until the adoption of the North Dakota Constitution in 1889. While the Constitution initially set the size of the Court at three justices, a constitutional amendment in 1908 increased it to five justices, which is the size that it remains today. Each justice serves a 10-year term, as provided by a constitutional amendment in 1930.

Under the North Dakota Constitution, the Supreme Court holds general appellate jurisdiction as well as the authority to issue any writs that are needed to exercise its jurisdiction. It also holds the authority to form a three-member panel, known as a Court of Appeals, to hear cases that the Supreme Court assigns to it when the need arises. The Supreme Court chooses the members of the Court of Appeals from retired Supreme Court justices, current or retired lower court judges, and lawyers. A study by Stanford University in 2012 found that the Court is the second-most conservative state supreme court in the U.S.

To serve on the North Dakota Supreme Court, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of North Dakota. They also must be “learned in the law.” Candidates run for seats on the Court in non-partisan elections. This means that voters do not see the political affiliation of a candidate on the ballot. Elections are staggered so that one judge is elected every two years. However, if a vacancy arises, the Governor of North Dakota has the authority to appoint a replacement justice. This justice will serve for up to two years until the general election, in which they can run to retain their seat. The justices of the North Dakota Supreme Court and the District Court judges vote to elect the Chief Justice every five years, or when a vacancy arises.

Browse Opinions From the North Dakota Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the North Dakota Supreme Court
North Dakota v. Dearinger  
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 132
Docket Number: 20210295

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2021, the State filed a complaint charging Madison Dearinger with hindering law enforcement, a class C felony, and false information to law enforcement, a misdemeanor. Under the felony count, the State alleged Dea...

State v. Taylor
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 129
Docket Number: 20220038
State v. Johansen
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 130
Docket Number: 20220046
Interest of A.P.
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 131
Docket Numbers: 20220129, 20220130, 20220131
Blue Appaloosa v. NDIC  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 119
Docket Number: 20210292

Justia Opinion Summary: Blue Appaloosa, Inc., appealed a judgment affirming an Industrial Commission order determining it violated N.D. Admin. Code ch. 43-02-03 by beginning construction of a treating plant prior to obtaining a permit or filing...

State v. Frohlich
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 121
Docket Number: 20210303
State v. Bradshaw
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 125
Docket Number: 20210306
State v. Tergesen
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 120
Docket Number: 20210309
North Dakota v. Pulkrabek  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 128
Docket Number: 20210332

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Pulkrabek was convicted by jury in April 2017 on terrorizing and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced in November 2021. Pulkrabek argued a variety of events before and during the trial were structural errors in vi...

Larson v. WSI  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 118
Docket Number: 20210333

Justia Opinion Summary: Christine Larson, doing business as Active Nutrition, appealed a judgment entered after the district court ordered Larson’s appeal be dismissed and denied her request for a writ of mandamus. In a notice of decision dated...

North Dakota v. Thomas  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 126
Docket Number: 20210339

Justia Opinion Summary: Ephrium Thomas appealed after a jury found him guilty of robbery and terrorizing a child victim. Thomas argued the district court erred in admitting evidence of a statement made by him to law enforcement. After review of...

Interest of A.G.
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 0127
Docket Number: 20210345
Lehnerz, et al. v. Christopher  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 122
Docket Number: 20210353

Justia Opinion Summary: Megan Christopher appealed a disorderly conduct restraining order entered against her, arguing the district court abused its discretion in issuing the order because reasonable grounds did not exist to believe she engaged...

Quamme v. Quamme
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 124
Docket Number: 20220034
Interest of A.C.  
Date: June 8, 2022
Citation: 2022 ND 123
Docket Number: 20220081

Justia Opinion Summary: A.L. appealed an order terminating his parental rights over A.C. A.L. argued the juvenile court erred in finding the Cass County Human Services Zone engaged in active efforts to prevent the breakup of an Indian family as...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.