BISMARCK, N.D. (GPN) – A Williston district judge is telling North Dakota lawmakers that new judges are badly needed in western North Dakota.
Judge David Nelson says criminal defendants are staying in jail too long because they can’t make bail while they’re awaiting trial. And the increase in case filings means it takes longer to schedule their trials.
(AUDIO: David Nelson1, 7 seconds, “There’s people … their bond.”)
Nelson says the crush is so great that he’s scheduling as many as 30 criminal trials on the same day. Many of those cases are settled, but those that aren’t have to be sorted through.
(AUDIO: David Nelson5, 24 seconds: “About two years ago … this day.”)
Nelson spoke Monday at a North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a request to hire three new district judges. One of the new judges would be based in Fargo. The other two would be based in western North Dakota’s oil country.
The committee didn’t take action right away on the bill. The full Senate will vote on it later.
North Dakota now has 44 district judges statewide. Seven of them cover northwestern North Dakota and only two of them are in Williston.
Nelson says the pressure of work has caused him to snap at people.
(AUDIO: David Nelson4, 21 seconds, “I’m a pretty … gets to you.”)
(AUDIO: David Nelson3, 19 seconds, “I come in … causes problems.”)