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The North Dakota Court of Appeals was created by the state legislature on an experimental basis in 1987 to hear cases assigned by the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Its judges are chosen from among active and retired district court judges, retired supreme court justices, and lawyers.
The Court of Appeals sits in three-member panels. The Court only hears cases specifically assigned to it by the Supreme Court, which is done only infrequently. It is composed of three judges chosen from among active and retired district court judges, retired justices of the Supreme Court, and attorneys. Temporary judges are assigned by the Supreme Court for up to one year. In some years, the Supreme Court assigns no cases to the Court of Appeals.