Devils Lake attorney appointed Judge in the Northeast Judicial District

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE  – In a big moment for the Devils Lake area, Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Devils Lake’s own Kari Agotness to a judgeship in the Northeast Judicial District, effective the Feb 1.

Agotness was appointed Ramsey County State’s Attorney in 2017 and elected to the position in 2018, overseeing criminal prosecutions, juvenile court, child support enforcement and civil actions, among other duties. Previous to the Agotness had served as the Ramsey County Clerk of District Court for nine years and worked as a domestic violence advocate, a police officer and a special assistant attorney general for regional child support in Jamestown.

Former District Attorney Kari Agotness has been picked to become a district judge effective at the beginning of next month.

A native of Park River, Agotness earned her peace officer’s certificate from Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, her undergraduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and her law degree from the UND School of Law. She also served as a fellow at the National Center for State Courts’ Institute for Court Management in Williamsburg, Va.

Agotness has served as president of the Lake Region Bar Association and as a member of the Human Trafficking Protocol Team for Ramsey County. She will fill the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laurie Fontaine.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  Follow him on Twitter, @KWBOYER_DLJ.