Two local judges will be trading duties in 2011. As of Jan. 2, Judge Sean O’Brien will preside over all felony criminal cases in Davison County. Those cases are currently handled by Judge Tim Bjorkman. Bjorkman will switch to handling civil cases. O’Brien will continue to handle juvenile and abuse and neglect cases, as well as all protection orders and drug and alcohol committals. Bjorkman will handle other civil filings and domestic relations actions. The switch will only affect Davison County.
A jury has found that Aurora County is not entitled to coverage by its liability insurer for damages from a pending lawsuit that could cost the county millions of dollars.
The liability insurer, the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Aurora County in July 2009 saying the county didn’t alert the Alliance soon enough to a lawsuit against the county from Thompson Farms. The Alliance claimed the county failed to honor a contract provision that requires the county to report any incident that could result in a claim.
Area criminal-justice officials approve of having cameras in circuit courtrooms, but some have concerns with how the system would work.
They support the idea of showing the public how the court system works.
“People would have a better understanding of what is happening in the courtroom rather than relying on TV shows,” said Pat Smith, Davison County state’s attorney.
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