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NECJD dedicates courtroom to retired Judge Jahnke


On Dec. 5, the Northeast Central Judicial District dedicated its new Courtroom 109 to retired District Judge Lawrence Jahnke.

Family, friends, and staff gathered at the noon ceremony overseen by NECJD Presiding Judge Don Hager.


Jahnke served as a judge in Grand Forks County for 26 years before retiring in 2015. He was the victim of a courtroom shooting in 1992, and the bench he sat on that day and during his years at the courthouse is now in Courtroom 109.

Jahnke earned his law degree at the University of North Dakota School of Law and then served on active duty as a judge advocate in the United States Air Force from 1966-86. He was in private practice from 1986-89 and was then appointed district judge in May 1989 by Governor George A. Sinner. He was elected District Judge in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014.

A plaque states that Courtroom 109 is dedicated to Jahnke: "For the honor, dignity, and courage displayed during his judicial service, above and beyond the call of duty."

Photos by Kelly Hutton