BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's state court administrator says the number of court cases is skyrocketing, especially in the oil-producing western part of the state.
Sally Holewa told the Senate Judiciary committee on Monday that nearly 186,000 cases were filed last year. That's up more than 11 percent from 2011.
Holewa says the numbers don't include the more than 20,000 cases that are reopened each year.
Lawmakers are looking at adding three new judgeships to keep pace with increased caseloads caused by record oil development.
North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle appealed state lawmakers during his State of the Judiciary speech to add two judgeships in the epicenter of the oil boom in northwestern North Dakota, and one judgeship in Fargo. The cost to establish the judgeships is pegged at about $1.7 million.