Christina Klinger Appointed as Presiding Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit
For Immediate Release-
Contact: Greg Sattizahn
Chief Justice Steven R. Jensen announced today the appointment of the Honorable Christina Klinger as Presiding Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Judge Klinger will succeed Judge Bobbi J. Rank, who has decided to step down effective September 24, 2023. Judge Rank will remain a circuit court judge within the Sixth Circuit and will remain stationed in Winner.
Having led the Sixth Circuit for the last four years from Winner, Judge Rank decided it was time for the presiding judgeship to return to Pierre, where most administrative responsibilities of the presiding judge reside, along with the other three circuit judges, Christina Klinger, M. Bridget Mayer, and Margo Northrup. Previous Chief Justice David Gilbertson appointed Rank to lead the Sixth Circuit in April of 2019, when the other three circuit judges, John Brown, Mark Barnett, and Patricia DeVaney, moved on through retirement or promotion. Current Chief Justice Steven R. Jensen reappointed Rank as presiding judge in January of 2021.
Chief Justice Jensen thanked Judge Rank for her service as Presiding Judge for the Sixth Circuit, stating that “Judge Rank has been an incredible leader for the Circuit the last several years as she led the Circuit through significant change and the challenges of the pandemic. She has been a steady hand for the court system in this part of the State throughout this time.”
Judge Klinger is a 2003 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law. Judge Klinger has been a circuit court judge since 2019. Prior to her appointment to the bench Judge Klinger was engaged in the private practice of law in Pierre.
Pursuant to Article V, Section 11 of the South Dakota Constitution, Presiding Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice and serve at his pleasure. The Presiding Judges are administrative heads of their respective circuits. The Sixth Judicial Circuit consists of Bennett, Gregory, Haakon, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Todd, and Tripp counties.
The Chief Justice expressed his appreciation for Judge Klinger’s willingness to serve the Unified Judicial System and people of South Dakota in this manner. “I am confident that Judge Klinger will be an excellent Presiding Judge and will continue the fine tradition of leadership in the Sixth Circuit.”