Friday, July 21, 2023 - 11:15 am

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Southeast Judicial District Judge Cherie Clark and East Central Judicial District Judicial Referee Stephanie Hayden to two newly created judgeships in the East Central Judicial District, which is comprised of Cass, Steele and Traill counties.

Clark was first appointed by Burgum to a judgeship in the Southeast Judicial District in Jamestown in 2017 and has since handled a broad caseload including criminal cases, complex civil litigation and juvenile matters. She served as an assistant Cass County state’s attorney from 2006 to 2017, building extensive trial experience in criminal cases and county civil cases, and previously served as assistant county attorney in Otter Tail County, Minn., for 3½ years.

Clark earned her undergraduate degree in 1996 and her law degree in 2000 from the University of South Dakota. She has served as president of the Cass County Bar Association, on the North Dakota Drug Court Professionals Association and on the regional Sexual Assault Response Team and Domestic Abuse Task Force.

Hayden has served as a judicial referee and magistrate judge in the East Central Judicial District since 2020, presiding over a variety of cases including family law disputes and parental rights, juvenile court matters and restraining order cases. She previously served as a creditors’ rights attorney with Rodenburg Law Firm in Fargo from 2009 to 2020; as a civil staff attorney and law clerk in the East Central Judicial District in 2008-2009; and for two years as a criminal law clerk in private practice.

Hayden is a graduate of West Fargo High School and a 14-year veteran of the North Dakota Air National Guard. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, a bachelor’s degree in paralegal from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her law degree from the UND School of Law in 2008.

The East Central Judicial District currently has nine district judges. The 68th Legislative Assembly approved the creation of two new judgeships in the district through the passage of House Bill 1002, which the governor signed in April. The bill became effective July 1. Seven candidates were named as finalists for the two judgeships, which are both chambered in Fargo.