TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Rule 15, N.D.R.Crim.P., Depositions
Rule 15 is not based on Fed.R.Crim.P. 15 but on Rule 431 of the Uniform Rules of Criminal Procedure. The main difference between the federal rule and Rule 15 is that Rule 15 allows depositions to be taken routinely in criminal cases, while the federal rule allows depositions to be taken on motion under "exceptional circumstances" or by agreement, if the court consents.
Probably because Rule 15 starts from the principle that depositions in criminal cases will be part of the standard procedure, it contains more details regarding procedure for taking and noticing depositions than the federal rule. It also contains more details relevant to the issue of the defendant's presence at depositions.
The Committee may wish to discuss whether Rule 15 should be retained in its current form or whether a rule based on the federal model should be considered. There is a dearth of case law on N.D.R.Crim.P. 15 -- it does not seem to be controversial.
A copy of Fed.R.Crim.P. 15 as revised in 2002 and Uniform Rule 431, with commentary, are attached. If the Committee decides North Dakota should consider adopting a rule based on Fed.R.Crim.P. 15, staff can prepare a draft proposal.