News Item
The Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy Elected as Seventh Judicial District Chief Judge

Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Honorable Michael D. Fritz Elected to Serve as Assistant Chief Judge

The Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy was elected to serve a two-year term as chief judge of Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District by her fellow judges. The Honorable Michael D. Fritz was also elected to serve as assistant chief judge of the Seventh District. Their terms began on July 1, 2021.
Chief Judge Hennesy was appointed to the bench in March 2012. She previously served as Assistant Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial District, as well as a staff attorney for St. Cloud Area Legal Services from 2006 to 2012. She earned her juris doctorate degree from Drake Law School in Des Moines, IA, and her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Central College in Pella, IA. Her chambers are located in the Stearns County Courthouse in St. Cloud.
“I am honored that my colleagues have entrusted me with this position,” said Chief Judge Hennesy. “During my time as Chief, the Seventh Judicial District will continue to focus on improving access to justice for everyone who uses our system, working to promote public trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch, and ensuring the effective administration of justice as we move through and transition out of this pandemic.”
Assistant Chief Judge Fritz was appointed to the bench in February 2014. He previously served as Becker County Attorney and Assistant Becker County Attorney, and was a partner at Hummel, Sinclair, Evans, Hunt, Heisler and Fritz, P.A. He earned his juris doctorate degree from University of North Dakota School of Law, and his B.S. from St. John’s University. His chambers are located in Becker County, but he also serves Wadena County District Court on a part-time basis.
By 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 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.