RULE 8.3. CASE MANAGEMENT (DIVORCE CASES)
(a) Compulsory meeting.
Within 30 days after service of the complaint, the parties and their attorneys shall meet in person or by electronic means to prepare a joint informational statement (in the form shown in appendix C) and a preliminary property and debt listing. The
complaint and joint informational statement must be filed no later than 5 days after the compulsory meeting. The parties shall exchange information and documentary evidence relating to the existence and valuation of assets and liabilities. At a minimum, the parties shall be prepared to exchange current paystubs, employment and income information, tax returns, preliminary pension information, and asset, debt and expense documentation. The parties shall determine at the meeting what additional information is necessary in order to complete the case. The parties shall decide at the meeting whether alternative dispute resolution methods are appropriate.
(b) Scheduling order.
Within 30 days after the informational statement is filed, the court shall issue its scheduling order. The court may issue the order after either a telephone or in-court scheduling conference, or without a conference or hearing if none is needed. The scheduling order may establish any of the following deadlines:
(1) Specific dates for the completion of discovery and other pretrial preparations;
(2) Specific dates for serving, filing, or hearing motions;
(3) Specific dates for completion of mediation/alternative dispute resolution;
(4) A specific date for the parties to complete parent/divorce education;
(5) A specific date for filing the property and debt listing;
(6) Specific dates for completion of custody/visitation evaluation;
(7) A specific date by which the parties will be prepared for the pretrial conference;
(8) A specific date by which the parties will be prepared for the trial, which once set will make the filing of a certificate of readiness and note of issue unnecessary; and
(9) A specific date for identification of witnesses and documents.
(c) Pretrial conferences.
(1) Each party shall complete a pretrial conference statement substantially in the form set forth in appendix D which must be served upon all parties and filed with the court at least 10 days prior to the date of the pretrial conference.
(2) Unless excused by the court for good cause, the parties and attorneys who will try the proceedings shall attend the pretrial conference, prepared to discuss settlement. If a stipulation is reduced to writing prior to the pretrial conference, the case may be heard as a default at the time scheduled for the conference. In that event, only one party need appear. If a party fails to appear at a pretrial conference, the court may dispose of the proceedings without further notice to that party.
(3) If the parties are unable to resolve the case, in whole or in part, at the pretrial conference, the court shall issue an order concerning any remaining discovery and motions, and identifying the contested issues for trial.
(4) Unless otherwise ordered, at least 10 days before trial, the parties shall file a joint property and debt substantially in the form set forth in appendix E. Each asset or liability must be numbered separately.
Rule 8.3 was amended, effective March 1, 1986; August 1, 1996; ________________.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective _____________, in conjunction with a general revision of the Rules of Civil Procedure to establish a system of commencement by filing in North Dakota.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of _____________; January 25-26, 1996, pages 3-6; September 28-29, 1995, pages 3-11; June 22, 1984, page 10.