ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Ms. Stephanie L. Beckman and Thomas W. Van Hon as District Court Judges in Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District. Ms. Beckman will replace the Honorable Steven E. Drange who retired earlier this year. Mr. Van Hon will replace the Honorable Paul A. Nelson who also retired earlier this year. Ms. Beckman’s seat will be chambered in Litchfield in Meeker County and Mr. Van Hon’s seat will be chambered in Montevideo in Chippewa County. Both seats are located within the Eighth Judicial District.
“As accomplished attorneys and dedicated public servants, Stephanie Beckman and Thomas Van Hon have demonstrated that they will serve the Eighth Judicial District with excellence,” said Governor Dayton. “I thank them for their willingness to serve, and wish them very best as they take on these new roles.”
Ms. Beckman serves as the Meeker County Attorney where she is responsible for the civil work and criminal prosecutions. Her work includes handling criminal sexual conduct cases, child support, employment law and governmental law. She previously served as Assistant Meeker County Attorney and worked as an Assistant Stearns County Attorney within their civil division. Ms. Beckman received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Hamline University in Saint Paul in 1999, and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul in 2003.
Ms. Beckman is a guardian and trustee for Developmentally Delayed Adult and is an executive board member of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime. She also maintains memberships with the local Library and Hospital Boards and is a mock trial judge with the Minnesota State Bar Association. Ms. Beckman resides in Litchfield with her family.
Mr. Van Hon maintains a general law practice where he assists individuals and businesses with civil matters and criminal defense. He also serves as the city attorney for Fairfax, and is an Assistant Public Defender representing indigent persons in Redwood and Brown Counties for the Minnesota Board of Public Defense. Previously, Mr. Van Hon was an associate attorney with the Rowley Law Office and was an Assistant County Attorney for Redwood County. He received a B.S. from Iowa State University in Ames in 1981, and a J.D. and M.A. from University of Iowa College of Law/University of Iowa Graduate College in Iowa City in 1984.
Mr. Van Hon has chaired the Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop School Board for 16 of his 20 years of service as a school board member, and was a member of the GFW Writer’s Guild. He also served as a board member of the Thunderbird Foundation and was involved with Fairfax Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Van Hon resides with his family in Fairfax.
Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District consists of Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine Counties.
More information on the Commission on Judicial Selection, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial-appointments/.