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Associated Press, Published January 28 2009

West Fargo lawmaker wants $5 million for Cass County courthouse space

BISMARCK (AP) - North Dakota's Supreme Court wants to put another district judge in Fargo, and a legislator is trying to encourage Cass County to build some space.

West Fargo Rep. Alon Wieland is sponsoring a bill to provide $5 million for a local county courthouse building project. Wieland says it's aimed at helping Cass County to finance an expansion.

Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle says the state court system needs another judge in Fargo, but there's no spare courtroom in the Cass County courthhouse, and no place to put a new judge.

Wieland says because providing trial courts is a state responsibility, North Dakota should help pay for an expansion of the Cass County building.

His bill is getting a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee. The bill is HB1446.

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