BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Grand Forks attorney Kristi Venhuizen (VENN-HIGH-ZEN) to a newly created judgeship in the Northeast Central Judicial District, which is comprised of Grand Forks and Nelson counties.
Venhuizen has practiced law for 25 years and currently is a partner in the law firm of Kalash & Pettit Attorneys at Law. Since 1999, she has served as the Grand Forks city prosecutor, processing cases through Grand Forks Municipal Court, jury trials in Grand Forks District Court, appeals to the North Dakota Supreme Court and administrative hearings held through the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s Drivers License and Safety Division. In private practice, she has represented clients in family law matters, estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, probate law, domestic violence protection orders and real estate matters.
Venhuizen grew up in Grand Forks, where she graduated from Red River High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and her law degree from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kan., in May 1998.
Venhuizen has served as the supervising attorney for the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks since 2006 and as a Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor for the state of North Dakota since 2011. She has taught criminal law and criminal procedure in the Criminal Justice Department at UND since 2007. She is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota, having served as its president in 2011-2012, and has also served on the boards of the United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area, Agassiz Enterprises, Grand Forks Foundation for Education, Crime Stoppers and the North Dakota Ballet Co.
The Northeast Central Judicial District currently has five district judges. The 68th Legislative Assembly approved the creation of a sixth judgeship in the district through the passage of House Bill 1002, which the governor signed in April. The bill became effective July 1. Three attorneys were named as finalists for the judgeship, which is chambered in Grand Forks.