Crime Caseload Rising in Southwest North Dakota Oil Patch

May 15, 2012

Attorneys and judges in the southwest North Dakota oil patch are struggling to keep up with a climbing caseload.

The Dickinson Press reports that cases in Southwest District Court increased more than 9 percent from 2010 to 2011. Some counties such as Billings saw even more dramatic jumps.

One area that has seen a big increase is traffic violations. Judge William Herauf says the district is on pace to have about 13,700 violations this year. He says that would be an increase of more than 50 percent from 2008.

Herauf says civil cases have risen 7 percent since 2008 and criminal cases are up 10 percent. He says the three courtrooms in Dickinson are constantly busy.

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