TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Rule 8.2, N.D.R.Ct., Interim Orders in Domestic Relations Cases
Mr. Michael McIntee has pointed out a problem with Rule 8.2. The rule requires parties to submit itemized financial statements and affidavits. The rule also sets out a time frame within which these items must be submitted. The rule, however, does not state the consequences if a party fails to abide by the requirement to submit a financial statement and affidavits, or if a party fails to submit these documents in a timely manner.
The district courts clearly have inherent power to sanction parties who fail to obey court rules or the court's instructions. See Dethloff v. Dethloff, 1998 ND 45, 574 N.W.2d 867. Mr. McIntee's complaint seems to be that courts do not impose adequate sanctions on parties who fail to comply with Rule 8.2's financial statement and affidavit requirement.
Mr. McIntee's solution essentially would be to require courts to ignore evidence and argument presented by a party who failed to comply with the financial statement and affidavit requirements and deadlines.
Staff has prepared proposed amendments to Rule 8.2. Under the proposed amendments, which are attached, it would be stated that a court has the option of declining to consider evidence submitted by a party who failed to comply with the rule's affidavit and financial statement requirements.