The 1803 Louisiana Purchase included land that later became North Dakota. In 1861, a Dakota Territory was established, taken from parts of the territories of Nebraska and Minnesota. During the late part of the 1800s, the advent of the railroads started attracting settlers, and in 1889 it achieved statehood. Before statehood was given, North and South Dakota were embroiled in a fierce rivalry to be the first state to be admitted to the union. Traditionally, it is North Dakota which is listed first as the 39th state; however, when the time came for signing the bill, President Benjamin Harrison did not take special note, but rather signed at random, so no one is certain. One of the state’s famous landmarks is the beautiful ‘Badlands’, a part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The capital city of North Dakota is Bismarck.

The state of North Dakota has 53 counties. Many are named for early settlers and political leaders. All but eight were established before North Dakota was granted statehood. The newest county, Grant, was named in honor of President Ulysses Grant when it was separated from Morton County in 1916.

The judicial team of North Dakota is composed of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the District Courts, and the Municipal Courts. These judicial systems are the ones responsible for giving a fair and equal justice to the population of North Dakota.

The highest court in the state is the Supreme Court. It consists of four associate justices and one chief justice, elected to office in a non-partisan election with terms of service up to ten years. Administering and judging are the two primary responsibilities of the Supreme Court. Judging is practiced as an appellate court which gives the Supreme Court the responsibility of hearing appeals based on the decisions made by the Court of Appeals and the district courts. Administrative responsibilities include using procedural rules to allow the smooth transition of the judicial business, direct supervision of the legal profession, ensuring that all non-federal courts are operating effectively and efficiently, and stressing the importance of the judicial high standards of conduct.

Public Records

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