M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Gerhard Raedeke
RE: Rule 31, N.D.R.App.P.; Filing and Service of Briefs
This memo outlines the proposed changes to N.D.R.App.P. 31 in response to the December 1, 1998, amendment to Fed.R.App.P. 31.
Subdivision (a) addresses the time to serve and file a brief. Unlike the federal rule, North Dakota's rule also specifies where briefs must be filed. Unlike the federal rule, the proposal does not allow late filing for good cause. The revisions are stylistic.
Subdivision (b) addresses the number of copies to be filed and served. No amendment is proposed because subdivision (b) was recently revised. The federal rule differs in the number of copies required. The federal rule also addresses an unrepresented party proceeding in forma pauperis. Finally, the federal rule also allows the court to require the filing or service of a different number.
Subdivision (c) addresses the consequence of a failure to file. The proposal provides: "An appellee who fails to file a brief will not be heard at oral argument unless the court grants permission." Under North Dakota's current rule, refusal to be heard at oral argument is just one of the potential sanctions under Rule 1.3.