Duluth Judge Sally Tarnowski Dies While On Vacation In Florida

Sally Tarnowski

DULUTH, Minn. — Duluth Judge Sally Tarnowski died Monday while on vacation in Florida, according to the State Court Administrator’s Office.

Judge Tarnowski served as the Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District from 2016 to 2020. She most recently served as a St. Louis County Judge in Duluth.

Details around the cause of death were not immediately clear.

The following was released from the State Court Administrator’s Office Monday evening:

“All of us within the Minnesota courts community are devastated by the loss of Judge Tarnowski,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. “Beyond her exemplary service to Minnesota, Judge Tarnowski was a vibrant person whose commitment to justice shined through in everything she did.”

Among her many accomplishments, Judge Tarnowski championed mental health treatment court, which offers offenders a pathway out of the justice system by completing a treatment program to stop the behavior that led them to court. She also supported early neutral evaluation in family court, which facilitates prompt dispute resolution for custody, parenting time, and financial matters.

“Judge Tarnowski approached her work with tenacity and dedication,” said Sixth District Chief Judge Leslie Beiers. “Her loss will be deeply felt by all of us in the Sixth District, and by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

Services are pending.

FOX 21 former anchor Diane Alexander got a rare look into the life of Judge Tarnowski in a 2014 interview.  You can watch that report below.



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