North Central Presiding District Judge William M. McLees will retire from his post effective June 30, according to a Wednesday announcement from the North Dakota Supreme Court.
The court will have 90 days from this announcement to determine whether the judgeship is necessary for effective judicial administration. They can choose to get rid of the position, transfer the position to another jurisdiction in need of an additional judge, or fill the position with a new judge.
To make this decision, according to court administrative rule 7.2, the court will consider written consultations with the attorneys and judges of the North Central Judicial District.
Those letters should be sent in no later than March 14.
The rule states that the court will consider the population, caseloads, unusual case types, trends in population and caseloads, travel requirements that may be affected by their ruling, the age and possible retirement of remaining judges, and the availability of facilities for the courts and law enforcement.
According to biographical information provided by the North Dakota Supreme Court, McLees was born in Valley City in 1951 and obtained both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of North Dakota.
He practiced law privately in Watford City from 1976 to 1982 and served both as a McKenzie County Judge and a multi-county judge before being elected as a district judge in 1994 and reelected every six years until his final election in 2012.