M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Gerhard Raedeke
RE: N.D.R.Ev. 615; Exclusion of Witnesses
Both, Fed.R.Ev. 615 and N.D.R.Ev. 615, require the court to exclude witnesses from trial when requested by a party. Rule 615, Fed.R.Ev., was amended, effective December 1, 1998. The amendment creates an exception which prohibits the court from excluding a witnesses who is authorized by statute to be present.
Without the amendment, it appears a defendant could require the court to exclude a crime victim from trial. Currently, N.D.C.C. § 12.1-34-02(11) provides: "The victim must be informed by the prosecuting attorney of the victim's right to be present throughout the trial of the defendant, except as provided by rule 615 of the North Dakota Rules of Evidence." Should N.D.R.Ev. 615 be amended to follow the federal rule?