TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 10, 2014
RE: Rule 707, N.D.R.Ev., Analytical Report Admission; Confrontation
The committee sent proposed amendments to Rule 707 to the Supreme Court, requesting the rule be changed to require service of the analytical report on the defendant 30 days after the defendant's arraignment. The purpose of the amendment was to encourage resolution of issues related to the report earlier in the case. The Court agreed with this purpose, but the decided make its own extended deadlines run backward from the date set for trial, rather than forward from the arraignment.
A copy of the committee's proposed amendments and of the Court's final rule is attached. No further amendments are proposed the material is for the committee's information and possible discussion.
Bismarck attorney Pamela Nesvig sent comments on the Court's amendments to South Central Judicial District Presiding Judge Gail Hagerty. Nesvig said that the Court's 60 day deadline is better than the even earlier deadline proposed by the committee, but that it will be difficult to meet and will cause problems especially in drug cases. Her comments are attached.
The committee's proposal that report disclosure deadlines run from the arraignment was prompted by a suggestion from Judge Gary Lee, who criticized the former time lines in the rule, suggesting that they caused defendants to always wait until 14 days before trial to object to admission of an analytical report. Judge Lee said this caused trial delay and a waste of judicial resources.