Southeast Judicial District Judge John T. Paulson has announced that he will retire June 3. He was elected a district judge in 1980 and is the longest serving district judge currently on the North Dakota bench.
In a letter to Gov. Jack Dalyrmple, Paulson thanked the voters of the Southeast Judicial District for allowing him to serve as one of their judges.
Paulson was a municipal judge for Valley City from 1968-70 and worked in the private practice of law from 1967-80. He was elected district judge in 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010.
Paulson, who is 71, was born in Valley City and graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1967.
Paulson's retirement will create a judicial vacancy in the SEJD. Under N.D.C.C. § 27-05-02.1, the North Dakota Supreme Court is required to review vacancies that occur and determine, within 90 days of receiving a vacancy notice, whether the office is necessary for effective judicial administration. The Court may order the vacancy filled, order the vacant office transferred to another judicial district in which an additional judge is necessary, or abolish the vacant judicial office.
If the Court orders the vacancy filled, the Judicial Nominating Committee will seek applicants for the position and select finalists to be considered for appointment by the governor. An appointee would be allowed to serve two years in the judgeship and then would be required to run in the next general election in order to serve the remainder of the term.