In Bizarre Letter Supreme Court Candidate Accuses Judges of Criminal and Ethical Violations


Over the past 24 hours or so my inbox has been filling up with forwards from attorneys across the state wanting me to see a missive sent out by state Supreme Court candidate Robert Bolinske.

You can read the document below which Bolinske claims to have sent every licensed attorney, every newspaper, and every radio/television station in the state (sadly he seems to have forgotten we lowly bloggers). In it Bolinske alleges ethical and criminal violations by District Court Judge Gail Hagerty and her husband state Supreme Court Justice Dale Sandstrom.

Bolinske’s beef is related to a 2000 personal injury case in which Bolinske represented the plaintiff before Judge Hagerty who handled the case not to Bolinske’s liking. Though, according to Bolinske, his problems with Hagerty started long before that:


Bolinske goes on to object to Hagerty’s handling of the 2000 personal injury case:


Bolinske went on to file an action against Hagerty, which he ultimately withdrew because he concluded that it would be too expensive to pursue, but he then accuses the North Dakota court system of removing from their website¬†documents from the case critical of Hagerty. He claims that Justice Sandstrom, who he describes as the “webmaster” for the state courts website, was the one who hid it. Bolinske quotes Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle as telling him the documents were misfiled under a different case accidentally and that the matter was resolved.

This was in 2008.

Anyway, you can read the whole, surreal thing below.

I reached out to Justice Sandstrom this morning for a reaction to the accusations. He called the document “bizarre and rather sad.”

“Although I’ve been aware of his mental health problems for years, I don’t recall ever having seen anything in his email before,” Sandstrom told me via email. “Official court records are maintained by the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Copies of Supreme Court opinions, briefs in cases scheduled for argument, and docket entries are posted to our website as a public service. No documents on petitions for writs of supervision are placed on our website unless scheduled for oral argument. If a clerk makes an error in a docket entry, it will automatically appear on our website. When it has been corrected, the correction will also automatically appear,” he continued.

Judge Hagerty did not respond to a phone message I left for her.

Judge Jerod Tufte, Bolinske’s opponent this election cycle, declined to comment.

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