Dayton appoints newest judge for southeastern Minnesota

Published 7:58am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Matthew J. Opat as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District on Friday.

Opat will replace the Honorable Robert R. Benson, who retired earlier this year. The judgeship will be chambered at Preston in Fillmore County.

Mr. Opat maintains his own private law practice in Chatfield, Matthew J. Opat, P.A., practicing in areas of real estate, probate, general business, civil, and criminal law. He also serves as the prosecutor for the city of Chatfield in petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor violations. Previously, Opat served as the Fillmore County Attorney, where his duties included oversight of the County Attorney’s Office and providing legal advice to the county board and staff. He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and his J.D. from the Hamline University School of Law.

Opat is a member of numerous community organizations, including the Chatfield Center for the Arts Advisory Committee, Chatfield Lions, Chatfield Commercial Club, and is a retired member of the Chatfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Opat lives with his family in Chatfield.

Minnesota’s Third Judicial District includes Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona Counties.

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