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Judges elect Austad as assistant chief judge

Judge Tamara L. Yon was elected to serve as chief judge of Minnesota's Ninth Judicial District by her fellow judges in the district and Judge Jana M. Austad was elected as the assistant chief judge.

Judge Tamara L. Yon was elected to serve as chief judge of Minnesota's Ninth Judicial District by her fellow judges in the district and Judge Jana M. Austad was elected as the assistant chief judge.

Yon is currently serving in her second, consecutive term as assistant chief judge for the district. Her first term as chief judge will begin July 1 when current Ninth Judicial District Chief Judge Paul T. Benshoof, completes his second term.

Yon was appointed to the bench in April 2006. She earned her juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota Law School and her bachelor of arts from Concordia College. Before joining the bench she worked in private practice for 12 years, and during that time served as a Chapter 7 trustee for the U.S. Department of Justice. Yon also is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota-Crookston since 1999 and is involved in many community organizations. Her chambers are located in the Polk County Justice Center in Crookston.

"I am grateful for the support from my fellow judges," Yon stated in a news release. "The judges and staff in the Ninth Judicial District provide exemplary services, and I look forward to supporting their work in this new role. Chief Judge Benshoof has given us diligent and measured leadership in the Ninth Judicial District over the last four years and we thank him for his service."

Austad was appointed to the bench in June 2013. She earned her juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law and her bachelor of arts from Augsburg College. Austad previously worked as a managing attorney in the Brainerd Regional Office of the Minnesota Board of Public Defense and in private practice. She is chambered in the Cass County Courthouse in Walker.

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Minnesota state statute authorizes the chief judge of a judicial district to exercise general administrative authority over the courts within a district. This includes assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. A chief judge 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.

Minnesota's Ninth Judicial District serves the counties of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau. The District is served by 24 judges. In 2018, more than 61,000 cases were filed in Ninth Judicial District courts.

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