Thursday, January 19, 2012
The North Dakota Supreme Court has censured a district court judge for his delay in resolving assigned cases:
Judge Hagar was served Formal Charges alleging he did not promptly decide the case of Ringuette v. Ringuette, Civil Case No. 51-09-C-1744, when a trial was held before him on September 21, 2010, and Judge Hagar did not enter the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment and Judgment until March 10, 2011. It was further alleged that since some time in the year 2009, Judge Hagar had a number of cases assigned to him that he did not promptly decide which resulted in the Presiding Judge of the Northwest Judicial District entering an Order of Reassignment of Case Duties on July 11, 2011, which removed Judge Hagar from all new case assignments for a period of thirty days, and required Judge Hagar to devote himself full time to bring his docket current and resolve all matters pending before him which require immediate judicial decision. The order listed ten cases which Judge Hagar had not promptly decided as of the date of the order. Additionally, during this same period, the Presiding Judge spoke with, encouraged and counseled Judge Hagar to fulfill his duty to promptly decide all matters assigned to him. Nevertheless, Judge Hagar did not meet the obligation he had under the North Dakota Code of Judicial Conduct to decide matters assigned to him and to dispose of all judicial matters promptly. Finally, it was alleged Judge Hagar did not promptly decide the case of Thomas v. Jewett, Civil Case No. 51-08-C-728, when a bench trial was held before him on November 24, 2009, and Judge Hagar did not enter the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment and Judgment until August 5, 2011.