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Ralph Erickson

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Ralph Erickson
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
Title:   Chief Judge
Position:   Seat #2T
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   3/14/2003 - Present
Chief:   2009 - Present
Preceded by:   Rodney Webb
Personal History
Born:   1959
Hometown:   Thief River Falls, MN
Undergraduate:   Jamestown College, B.A., 1980
Law School:   University of North Dakota, J.D., 1984

Ralph Erickson is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota. Erickson has been the Chief Judge of the court since 2009.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Thief River Falls, North Dakota, Erickson graduated from Jamestown College with a bachelor's degree in 1980 and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1984.[2]

Professional career

Erickson was a private practice attorney in West Fargo, North Dakota from 1984 to 1994. Erickson served as a Magistrate Judge for Cass County Court, North Dakota from 1993 to 1994. Erickson then served as regional County Judge for Courts of Traill County, Steele County, Nelson County, and Griggs County in North Dakota in 1994. Erickson was elected to serve as District Judge for the East Central Judicial District Court of North Dakota from 1995 to 2003.[2]

Judicial career

District of North Dakota

On the recommendation of the Congressional Delegation of North Dakota, Erickson was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota by President George W. Bush on January 7, 2003 to a seat vacated by Rodney Webb. Erickson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2003 and received commission on March 14, 2003.[3]

Notable cases

Wetlands drainage (2010)

     United States District Court for the District of North Dakota (US v. Peterson, Case No. 2:08-mj-16)

Judge Erickson denied an appeal from Alvin Peterson, a retired North Dakota farmer who has been in a legal battle with the federal government over draining wetlands. Peterson appealed a ruling from District of North Dakota magistrate judge Alice Senechal in which he was convicted in 2008 of illegally draining wetlands under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Peterson has not paid a $10,000 fine that was levied in 2008 and could face bigger fines or his farmland sold if he refuses to comply with the judge's order.[4] Peterson appealed the ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on the basis that the conviction was based on insufficient evidence. The appellate court upheld the district court decision. Their decision can be read here.

North Dakota child support (2010)

     United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
Judge Erickson ordered the State of North Dakota to have its child support enforcement unit supply a list of people who are part of a class action lawsuit involving excessive traffic fines. The state of North Dakota asked for the list so they can know who is behind on child support payments while those who represented people in the class action suit rebutted the state's claims. The judge ordered that the state have the list as long it is kept confidential and the State of North Dakota pays for accessing the list.[5]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Rodney Webb
District of North Dakota
Seat #2T
Succeeded by:

North DakotaNorth Dakota Supreme CourtNorth Dakota Court of AppealsNorth Dakota District CourtsNorth Dakota Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of North DakotaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of North DakotaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitNorth Dakota countiesNorth Dakota judicial newsNorth Dakota judicial electionsJudicial selection in North DakotaNorthDakotaTemplate.jpg