RULE 3. THE COMPLAINT
(a) General. The complaint is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged and is the initial charging document for all criminal offenses. The complaint must be sworn to and subscribed before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths within this state and be presented to a magistrate.
(b) Magistrate Review. The magistrate may examine on oath the complainant and
as well as receive any affidavit filed with the complaint.
If the magistrate
examines the complainant or other witnesses on oath, the magistrate shall cause their
statements to be reduced to writing and to be subscribed by the persons making
them or to
be recorded by a court reporter or recording equipment.
(b) Amendment. The magistrate may permit a complaint to be
amended at any time
before a finding or verdict if no additional or different offense is charged and if substantial
rights of the defendant are not prejudiced.
Rule 3 was amended, effective January 1, 1995; March 1, 1996; March 1, 2006.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective January 1, 1995, to allow a complaint to be subscribed and sworn to outside the presence of a magistrate. An effect of this amendment is to allow facsimile transmission of the complaint. For a listing of officers authorized to administer oaths, see N.D.C.C. § 44-05-01. The amendment does not preclude a magistrate from examining a complainant or other witnesses under oath when making the probable cause determination.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 1996, to clarify that the complaint is the initial document for charging a person with a misdemeanor or felony.
(b) (c) is almost identical
similar to Rule 7(e).
Rule 3 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 24-25, 2003, pages 25-26; January 26-27, 1995, pages 3-5; April 28-29, 1994, pages 20-22; January 27-29, 1972, pages 4-7; September 27-28, 1968, pages 1-2; November 17-18, 1967, page 2.
SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-01-13(1), 29-05-02 to the extent that it requires a complaint to be subscribed and sworn to before a magistrate, 29-05-03, 33-12-03, 33-12-04, 33-12-05, 33-12-16, 33-12-25.
CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 12-01-04(12), 29-01-14, 29-02-06, 29-02-07, 29-05-01, 29-05-05.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 7 (The Indictment and the Information).