Gov. Walz appoints Jeremy Clinefelter to fill 3rd Judicial District vacancy


November 23, 2022

Contact: Claire Lancaster




Governor Walz Appoints Jeremy Clinefelter to Fill Third Judicial District Vacancy

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced the appointment of Jeremy Clinefelter as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District. Clinefelter will replace the Honorable Matthew J. Opat and will be chambered in Preston in Fillmore County.

“I am excited to appoint Jeremy Clinefelter to the Fillmore County bench,” said Governor Walz. “He is a proven leader with an extensive legal background working as a public defender, county attorney, and private attorney. He will be a tremendous asset to the Third Judicial District.”

Minnesota’s Third Judicial District encompasses Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona counties. 

Jeremy Clinefelter is the managing attorney of the Third Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Owatonna. In this role, he supervises attorneys and support staff serving indigent clients in Rice, Waseca, Steele, Freeborn, and Mower Counties. Clinefelter previously worked in private practice at the Donnelly Law Office, where he represented clients in criminal, child protection, civil commitment, guardianship, and conservatorship matters. He also served as an assistant county attorney and a conciliation court referee in Mower County, and he is the chair of the Tenth District Ethics Committee. Clinefelter serves on the boards of KSMQ Public Television, Cedar Valley Services, and the Austin Youth Soccer Association. He was also a member of the Michael H. Seibel Family Visitation and Exchange Center Consortium. He earned his B.A. from Graceland College and J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.

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