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News Item
The Honorable Kathryn Davis Messerich re-elected to second term as First Judicial District Chief Judge

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Honorable David L. Knutson re-elected to serve as Assistant Chief Judge

The Honorable Kathryn Davis Messerich has been re-elected to a second, consecutive two-year term as chief judge of Minnesota’s First Judicial District. The position is filled by an election conducted by district judges who serve in the First Judicial District. Her new term as chief judge will begin on July 1, 2019.
 
Chief Judge Messerich was appointed to serve on the First Judicial District bench in April 2004. Her first term as chief judge began on July 1, 2017. Before serving as a judge, she spent 17 years in private practice as a civil trial lawyer. She graduated with her juris doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law, earned a Master of Science degree in maternal child nursing from the University of Minnesota, and has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Northern Michigan University. Chief Judge Messerich’s chambers are located in the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. 
 
“I am pleased to have the support of my colleagues to continue serving as chief judge,” said Chief Judge Messerich. “It has been an honor to work with my fellow judges, staff, and judicial partners within the District over the past two years. I look forward to continuing the work, modernization, and advancements we have undertaken to better serve the people of the First Judicial District.”
 
The Honorable David L. Knutson was also re-elected to serve his second, consecutive two-year term as assistant chief judge in the First Judicial District. His new term as assistant chief judge will begin on July 1, 2019. Assistant Chief Judge Knutson joined the bench in ­­­­­­­­June 2004. ­­­­Prior to joining the bench he spent 18 years in private practice. He also served in the Minnesota State Senate for 12 years where he represented the communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville, and Rosemount. Seven of his years as a Senator he served as an assistant minority leader for his legislative caucus. Assistant Chief Judge Knutson is chambered in the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.
 
According to state statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. The chief judge of each judicial district also serves as a member the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the Minnesota Judicial Council. No judge may serve as chief judge or assistant chief judge for more than two consecutive two-year terms.