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Debra Mueske appointed court administrator for 7th and 8th Judicial Districts

Prior to her appointment, Mueske served as deputy district administrator for the Eighth Judicial District, court administrator in Kandiyohi, Meeker, and Swift counties, and as a senior court clerk in Kandiyohi County.

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ST. CLOUD — Debra Mueske has been appointed as the district administrator of the Seventh and Eighth Judicial Districts starting June 30, according to a news release from the Minnesota Judicial Branch .

Her appointment was approved in June by the Minnesota Judicial Council, which governs the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

Her appointment was put forward by Seventh Judicial District Chief Judge Jay D. Carlson and Eighth Judicial District Chief Judge Dwayne N. Knutsen on behalf of the 41 judges of the two districts.

“The 7th District judges look forward to working with Debra Mueske, continuing efforts for the 7th and 8th districts to work collaboratively to promote the efficient administration of justice, and continuing dedication to building public trust and confidence in the judiciary,” Chief Judge Carlson said in the release.

Prior to her appointment, Mueske served as deputy district administrator for the Eighth Judicial District, court administrator in Kandiyohi, Meeker, and Swift counties, and as a senior court clerk in Kandiyohi County.

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She received an Associate in Arts degree from Ridgewater College in Willmar and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in public administration from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. She is also a certified court executive through the Institute for Court Management at the National Center for State Courts.

“The 8th District judges are all very pleased that Deb has been selected to serve as our next district administrator,” Chief Judge Knutsen said in the release. “She has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, a strong work ethic, and the unique ability to work effectively with staff at all levels. Her skills and abilities will serve the district well."

Mueske replaces outgoing Seventh and Eighth Judicial District Administrator Timothy Ostby, who recently announced his June 29 retirement after more than 37 years of service to the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

“Tim Ostby has been front and center during 30 years of transformation in the state court system. His distinguished service with the Judicial Branch is marked by his commitment and dedication to continuously improving court services to provide greater access to justice for Minnesotans,” State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba said in the release.

Ostby began his career with the Judicial Branch as Traverse County clerk of courts in 1984, and then became the Nobles County court administrator in 1985. He served as deputy district administrator in the Seventh Judicial District from 1990 to 1992, Eighth Judicial District administrator from 1992 to 2005, and then became the state’s first and only multidistrict administrator when he started serving as district administrator for both the 7th and 8th districts in 2005.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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