Michael V. Sovis
|Michael V. Sovis|
|Current Court Information:|
|Minnesota First Judicial District|
|Appointed by:||Rudy Perpich|
|Succeeded by:||Colleen Goggins King|
|Past post:||Attorney, Private practice|
|Undergraduate:||University of Minnesota, 1971|
|Law School:||Hamline University School of Law/Midwestern School of Law, 1975|
|Grad. School:||University of Minnesota, 1972|
Michael V. Sovis was a First District Court judge in Dakota County, Minnesota. He was appointed to this position on June 1, 1988 by Governor Rudy Perpich and was later retained in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. He retired from the bench after pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree drunken driving.
In the news
Sovis arrested, charged with DWI (2012)
Sovis was arrested on Christmas Eve in 2012. According to court documents, witnesses saw a black SUV, later found to be driven by Sovis, hit a parked vehicle, make a U-turn and then hit another parked vehicle before crashing into a snowbank.
Sovis told officers he consumed six drinks which contained vodka before getting behind the wheel. An officer at the scene reported having to hold Sovis up so he would not fall down. A breath test measured Sovis' blood alcohol at 0.28 percent, over three times the legal limit in Minnesota.
Sovis pleads guilty and requests medical disability retirement
Sovis entered a plea of guilty in Ramsey County District Court to two counts of third-degree drunk driving. He was sentenced to two years of probation, with two days credit for time served. His sentence also requires him to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and refrain using alcohol and nonprescription drugs. He is also required to undergo random drug testing.
His attorney, David L. Ayers, read a letter in court that Sovis wrote to Governor Mark Dayton requesting a medical disability retirement. At the time of the incident, Sovis was 64. With a medical disability retirement, Sovis will collect a year of regular pay before he is eligible to begin receiving his pension at age 65. Judges in Minnesota must retire by age 70.
Sovis' attorney, Ayers, said in a statement,
|“||I think it’s important to know that this incident is totally inconsistent with Judge Sovis' character. . . He’s a very honorable man who has been humiliated by this incident, but he also knows, of course, that he has no one to blame but himself.||”|
Sovis received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1971 and 1972, respectively. He received his J.D. degree in 1975 from the Hamline University School of Law/Midwestern School of Law.
- 1988-2013: Judge, First District Court
- 1982-1988: Adjunct professor, Hamline University
- 1975-1988: Attorney, Private, practice