Face coverings required in court facilities.
The response to COVID-19 has impacted access to courthouses and may change the way cases are handled.
Learn more »
Senior Judge Sally Ireland Robertson
Senior Judge Sally Ireland Robertson


  • Regular Continuing Legal and Judicial Education since 1979
  • Law degree from the University of New Mexico, 1979  
  • Master’s Degree in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, 1972 
  • Bachelor’s Degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, 1970

Judicial Experience:

  • Initially appointed to the Seventh Judicial District bench on Mar. 29, 1996, by Governor Arne Carlson through the non-partisan Judicial Merit Selection Process
  • Elected without opposition in 1998, re-elected without opposition in 2004, 2010, and 2016.  Retired on April 5, 2018. Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021. 
  • Home chambers located in Wadena County (Wadena)
  • Currently serves Wadena and Todd (Long Prairie) counties
  • Previous rotations to Morrison (Little Falls) and Douglas (Alexandria) counties

Prior Legal Experience:

  • Practiced law for 15 years with the law firm of KENNEDY & NERVIG in Wadena, primarily in the areas of civil and family law
  • Served on the Minnesota Lawyers’ Board of Professional Responsibility 
  • Member of the 7th District Ethics Committee for six years 
  • President of the 7th District Bar Association, 1995-1996  
  • Past member of Minnesota Women Lawyers 
  • Past service for many years on the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota 
  • Practiced law for two years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota 
  • Licensed attorney for 30 years

Judicial Activities:

  • Lead Judge for the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Children’s Justice Initiative (CJI) since 2002.  (The goal of this initiative is to speed up the process of placing abused or neglected children in safe and permanent homes.)  Chairs the Wadena County CJI Team (which meets monthly) and has also worked actively with a small workgroup to develop a Benchbook and forms for CJI. 
  • Co-chair, Criminal Law Session, Minnesota Supreme Court’s Judicial College (which provides mandatory continuing legal education to every judge in Minnesota), for the last three sessions of the college. 
  • Member, Executive and Advisory Committees of Todd Wadena Community Corrections since 1996. 
  • Member and alternate member of Board of Directors, Minnesota Judges Association, serving on its Program and Education Committee for several years.
  • Participant, Institute for Faculty Excellence in Judicial Education, sponsored by the University of Memphis, 2006.
  • Group facilitator for the National Judicial College General Jurisdiction course, 2006.
  • Panel Member on Rural Courts, Continuing Legal Education session at the Minnesota State Bar Convention in Duluth, June 2004. 
  • Guest speaker at schools and career days whenever possible.


  • Born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio
  • Lived in Minnesota since 1981
  • Married for more than 38 years
  • Parent of two adult children 
  • Lives on a small farm
  • Involved in many community activities and organizations

Additional Information:

Judge Sally Ireland Robertson served the Seventh Judicial District, which is made up of 10 counties that cross central Minnesota like a banner from Mille Lacs County (Milaca) on the east, to Clay County on the west (Moorhead).  Judges in the Seventh District are assigned to one home county and may rotate to other counties on a regular or occasional basis.  Judge Robertson was previously chambered in Todd County (1996-2006); in August 2006 her chambers moved to Wadena County (Wadena).

The District Courts in the Seventh Judicial District are courts of General Jurisdiction, which means that all the judges hear all types of cases and do not “specialize."  Judge Robertson presided in all types of criminal, traffic, civil, juvenile, family, conciliation, and probate court cases.  She also performs weddings.  Like every judge in Minnesota, Judge Robertson handled more than four thousand cases every year.