July/August 2015

In Memoriam: Judge Dwight “Dewey” Kautzmann

The Honorable Dwight “Dewey” Kautzmann, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of North Dakota, died on July 23, 2015, at the age of 69, following complications from renal failure and heart disease. Judge Kautzmann had suffered heart disease since 1991 and underwent a heart transplant in 2003.

He was born December 30, 1945, in Bismarck, and raised in Mandan, North Dakota. A highlight of his youth was serving as bat boy for the New York Yankees during a series against the Twins, where he got to meet Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra.

He graduated from Mandan High School in 1974 and North Dakota State University in 1968. In 1971, he graduated from University of North Dakota School of Law and entered into practice as a trial attorney at Vogel Bair and Brown (later Bair, Brown & Kautzmann) in Mandan. He served as a judge in Mandan’s municipal court from 1973-1976 and as chair of the Legal Services Committee of North Dakota from 1976-1979.

In 1978 Kautzmann was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge, serving part-time in Bismarck, and in 1981 was a member of a delegation of attorneys who negotiated prisoner exchanges in London, Dublin, Moscow, and Stockholm. He became a full-time magistrate judge in 1996 and retired in 2004.

Judge Kautzmann loved driving fast cars, presiding at naturalization ceremonies, hunting, reading, and spending time with his family. Throughout his legal career he fought against poverty and injustice. He is survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren.