Four lawyers have applied to fill a judgeship in the South Central Judicial District.
The Judicial Nominating Committee will interview Justin Balzer, Micheal Mulloy and Lindsey Nieuwsma, all of Bismarck, and Travis Finck of Valley City. The committee will forward at least two candidates for consideration by Gov. Doug Burgum, who ultimately will fill the post.
Balzer is the supervising attorney of the Bismarck Public Defender Office. Nieuwsma is a judicial referee in the South Central Judicial District. Finck is executive director of the North Dakota Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents. Mulloy is in private practice at Mulloy Law in Bismarck.
One will be chosen to fill a seat being opened by the pending retirement of Judge John Grinsteiner on Aug. 20.
When a district judge leaves, the state Supreme Court determines whether to keep the judgeship in the present location, move it elsewhere or abolish it. The decision is based on statewide caseload data and comments from interested parties including attorneys and judges. The Supreme Court earlier ordered the vacancy filled and determined that the judgeship will remain in Mandan.
The South Central Judicial District comprises Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sioux and Sheridan counties. It has seven judges chambered in Bismarck, two judges chambered in Mandan, and one judge chambered in Washburn.