Gov. Walz appoints Leah duCharme and Heidi Schultz to fill 7th Judicial District vacancies


March 22, 2022

Contact: Claire Lancaster




Governor Walz Appoints Leah duCharme and Heidi Schultz to Fill Seventh Judicial District Vacancies

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointments of Leah duCharme and Heidi Schultz as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. The seats will be chambered in Moorhead in Clay County and in St. Cloud in Stearns County.

Ms. duCharme will be replacing the Honorable Amber B. Gustafson in Clay County.

“Ms. duCharme will be an excellent addition to the Seventh Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “Her unique background and perspective, as well as her experience in family law, will be a tremendous asset to Clay County.”

“Ms. duCharme’s legal knowledge, experience, and tenacity will allow her to lead immediately,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Her successful legal career has prepared her well for the bench.”

Ms. Schultz will be replacing the Honorable Kris H. Davick-Halfen in Stearns County.

“I am also excited to appoint Ms. Schultz,” said Governor Walz. “She is not only an experienced litigator, but a devoted public servant with a deep commitment to ensuring that our justice system is responsive to everyone who comes before it.”

“Ms. Schultz will be a welcome addition to the Stearns County bench,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Her outstanding experience, compassion, and deep commitment to ensuring equitable outcomes for all will make her a great judge.”

Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District encompasses Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena.

About Leah duCharme

Ms. duCharme is a senior shareholder at Gjesdahl Law, where she practices primarily family law, including marriage dissolutions, child custody, paternity, child and spousal support, domestic violence, protective orders, adoption, and guardianships. Her community involvement includes serving on the YWCA of Cass/Clay Board of Directors, the YWCA Racial Justice Committee, the YWCA Women of the Year Committee, the Moorhead City Charter Commission, the State Bar Association of North Dakota (SBAND) Ethics Committee, the SBAND Volunteer Lawyer & Lawyer Referral Committee, and the North Dakota Child Support Guidelines Quadrennial Review Committee. Ms. duCharme earned her B.A. from Moorhead State University and J.D. from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

About Heidi Schultz

Ms. Schultz is an Assistant Todd County Attorney, where she prosecutes adult criminal cases of all levels. She was previously a partner at Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz Cass. Ms. Schultz also served as an assistant county attorney in Douglas, Olmsted, and St. Louis Counties. Earlier in her career, she clerked for the Honorable Mark A. Munger in the Sixth Judicial District. Ms. Schultz’s community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Alexandria Dollars for Scholars foundation and the Alexandria Figure Skating Club. Ms. Schultz also served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure. Ms. Schultz earned her B.A. and J.D. from Valparaiso University.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage.