Select a State:

State of North Dakota

Methods of Judicial Selection: North Dakota

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 5
Court of Appeals: *
District Court: 42
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: ---
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: 7
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: district
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election**
Court of Appeals: chosen from among active and retired district judges, retired supreme court justices, and attorneys
District Court: nonpartisan election**
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 10 yrs
Court of Appeals: up to 1 yr
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 10 yrs
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission***
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission***
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election after 2 yrs in office; hold office for remainder of unexpired term
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: next general election after 2 yrs in office; hold office for remainder of unexpired term
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: selected by judges of supreme court and district courts
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: elected by judges in each district
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 5 yrs
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: 3 yrs
Qualifications
Supreme Court: U.S. and state citizen; licensed attorney
Court of Appeals: ---
District Court: U.S. and state citizen; licensed attorney

Selection and retention methods and term lengths are prescribed by Article VI of the North Dakota Constitution

*Cases assigned to the court of appeals by the supreme court are heard by three-judge panels.

**The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the primary election run in the general election, provided that each candidate receives at least as many votes as the number of signatures required to be placed on the primary ballot.

***In the alternative, the governor may call a special election to fill the vacancy