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Dwayne Knutsen re-elected chief judge of Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District

Dwayne Knutsen was re-elected as chief judge and Stephanie Beckman as assistant chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District.

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GRANITE FALLS β€” District Court Judge Dwayne Knutsen was re-elected chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District by his fellow district court judges.

Stephanie Beckman was re-elected assistant chief judge. Each will each begin their second two-year term in their respective positions on July 1.

Knutsen was appointed to the bench in July 2010. He started in law as a private practice attorney in 1986, followed by three years as an assistant public defender. Before becoming a judge, he served as Chippewa County Attorney.

He earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985 and bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion in 1973. He is chambered in the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse in Granite Falls.

Judge Beckman was appointed to the bench in December 2012. She earned her juris doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 2003 and her bachelor's degree from Hamline University in 1999. She is chambered in the Meeker County Courthouse in Litchfield.

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A chief judge has administrative authority over the district courts, and assigns judges to serve in district locations. They are a member of Minnesota Judicial Council which is the authority on policy-making for the judicial branch. Chief and assistant chief judges are elected to two-year terms by district judges, and may only serve two consecutive terms.

There are 13 west central Minnesota counties in the Eighth Judicial District.

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