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The Honorable Dwayne N. Knutsen Re-Elected as Eighth Judicial District Chief Judge

Posted: Monday, June 22, 2020

The Honorable Stephanie L. Beckman Re-Elected as Assistant Chief Judge

The Honorable Dwayne N. Knutsen has been re-elected as chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District by his fellow district court judges. The Honorable Stephanie L. Beckman was also re-elected to serve as assistant chief judge for the District. On July 1, 2020, both will begin their second consecutive two-year terms serving in their respective positions.

Chief Judge Knutsen joined the bench in the Eighth Judicial District in July 2010. His career in law began as a private practice attorney in 1986, and he later served for three years as a part-time assistant public defender in the Eighth Judicial District. Before his appointment, Chief Judge Knutsen served as Chippewa County Attorney. Chief Judge Knutsen earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985, and his bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion in 1973. He is chambered in the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse in Granite Falls, Minnesota.

“It is a privilege for me to serve another term as chief judge in the Eighth District. In these fast-changing times the work of the Judicial Branch is more important than ever. My colleagues and I are determined to maintain the highest standards of justice for the people of our district and of our state.” said Chief Judge Knutsen.

Assistant Chief Judge Stephanie L. Beckman was appointed to the bench in December 2012. She earned her juris doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 2003. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University in 1999. She is chambered in the Meeker County Courthouse in Litchfield, Minnesota.

A 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 according to Minnesota state statute. The chief judge of each judicial district serves as a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch. Chief judges and assistant chief judges are elected to two-year terms by the judges within the district. No judge may serve as chief judge or assistant chief judge for more than two consecutive two-year terms. New two-year terms begin on July 1.