RULE 30. JURY INSTRUCTIONS
(a) Instructions to jury; written or oral. Immediately after the jury is sworn, the
instruct the jury concerning its duties, its conduct, the order of proceedings, and the
elementary legal principles governing the proceeding. The court shall instruct the jury
immediately before or after the arguments of counsel. The court shall instruct the jury only
as to the law of the case. The instructions must be reduced to writing unless the parties
otherwise agree. If written instructions are given they must be signed by the judge and must
be taken by the jurors in their retirement. When oral instructions are given, they may not be
taken by the jurors in retirement unless, after they have been transcribed, it is so ordered by
the court. All instructions taken by the jurors in retirement must be returned into court with
(1) A party may, at the close of the evidence or at an earlier reasonable time that the court directs, file and furnish to every other party written requests that the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in the requests.
(2) After the close of the evidence, a party may:
(A) file requests for instructions on issues that could not reasonably have been anticipated at an earlier time for requests set under Rule 30(a)(1), and
(B) with the court's permission file untimely requests for instructions on any issue.
(3) The court may require each request to be written on a separate sheet. North Dakota pattern jury instructions may be requested by reference to the instruction number.
(b) Requested instructions. At the close of the evidence or at an earlier time during
as the court reasonably directs, any party may file proposed jury instructions. The court may
require each instruction to be written on a separate sheet, provided North Dakota pattern jury
instructions may be requested by reference to instruction number only. The court shall
inform counsel in writing of its action upon requested instructions prior to their argument
to the jury. All instructions given by the court to the jurors must be read or given to them
orally by the court without disclosing whether the instructions were requested.
(1) The court:
(A) must inform the parties of its proposed instructions and proposed action on the requests before instructing the jury and before final jury arguments;
(B) must give the parties an opportunity to object on the record and out of the jury's hearing to the proposed instructions and actions on requests before the instructions and arguments are delivered.
(2) The court may instruct the jury at any time after trial begins and before the jury is discharged.
(3) Immediately after the jury is sworn the court may give instructions concerning:
(A) jury duties and conduct;
(B) the order of proceedings; and
(C) elementary legal principles governing the proceedings.
(4) The court's instructions must be in writing unless the parties otherwise agree.
(A) If written instructions are given, they must be signed by the court and provided to the jury for use during deliberations.
(B) If oral instructions are given, they may be provided to the jury for use during deliberations only if they are transcribed and the court orders them provided.
(C) All instructions used by the jury during deliberations must be returned to the court when the verdict is submitted.
(c) Exceptions to instructions. The giving of instructions and the failure to instruct
jurors are deemed excepted to unless the court, before instructing the jurors, submits to
counsel the written instructions it proposes to give to the jurors and asks for exceptions to
be noted. Thereupon, counsel shall designate the parts or omissions counsel considers
objectionable. Thereafter, only the parts or omissions so designated are deemed excepted to
by the counsel designating the same. All proceedings connected with the taking of
exceptions must be in the absence of the jurors and a reasonably sufficient time must be
allowed counsel to take exceptions and to note them in the record of the proceedings.
(1) a party who objects to an instruction or the failure to give an instruction must do so on the record, stating distinctly the matter objected to and the grounds of the objection.
(2) An objection is timely if:
(A) a party that has been informed of an instruction or action on a request before the jury is instructed and before final jury arguments, as provided by Rule 30(b)(1), objects at the opportunity for objection required by Rule 30(b)(2); or
(B) a party that has not been informed of an instruction or action on a request before the time for objection provided under Rule 30(b)(2) objects promptly after learning that the instruction or request will be, or has been, given or refused.
(d) Preserving Objections; Plain Error
(1) A party may assign as error:
(A) an error in an instruction actually given if that party made a proper objection under Rule 30(c), or
(B) a failure to give an instruction if that party made a proper request under Rule 30 (a).
(2) A court may consider a plain error in the instructions affecting substantial rights that has not been preserved as required by Rule 30(d)(1)(A) or (B).
Rule 30 was amended, effective March 1, 1986; March 1, 1990; March 1, 1999: March 1, 2006.
This rule is
similar to based on N.D.R.Civ.P. 51.
Rule 30 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the March 1, 2005, revision of N.D.R.Civ.P. 51. 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.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 1999, to provide for preliminary jury instructions.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 27-28, 2005, pages 24-25; September 25-26, 1997, pages 16-17; April 20, 1989, page 4; December 3, 1987, page 15; November 29, 1984, page 6; June 21, 1984, page 6; April 24-26, 1973, page 12; October 17-20, 1972, pages 38-41; September 26-27, 1968, pages 14-15; Fed.R.Crim.P. 30.
SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-21-30, 29-21-31,
CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-22-04, 29-22-05, 29-22-06, 33-12-20.
CROSS REFERENCES: N.D.R.Civ.P. 51 (Instructions to Jury).
*Section 29-21-32 is superseded except as it relates to the court reporter's