IN THE SUPREME COURT
STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA
Robert O. Wefald, ) RECOMMENDATION OF THE
District Court Judge ) JOINT PROCEDURE COMMITTEE
) Supreme Court
Petitioner, ) No. 990337
In the Matter of the Petition to Adopt New Rule of Court on Collections:
On November 8, 1999, Judge Robert O. Wefald petitioned the Court to adopt a proposed set of rules governing collections in a new Article XII of the North Dakota Rules of Court. Subsequently, the Court referred the petition to the Joint Procedure Committee for a recommendation. The Committee recommends that Judge Wefald's proposed rules not be adopted.
Proposed N.D.R.Ct. 12.1 limits the application of the proposed article to collection agencies and attorneys who file collection actions. The Committee thinks it inappropriate to single out and impose higher standards upon collection attorneys than other attorneys regarding document formatting, default judgments, or post-judgment discovery. The Committee believes special rules are not needed for collection actions, and the substance of the proposals are addressed in, and contrary to, Mid-Dakota Clinic v. Kolsrud, 1999 ND 244, 603 N.W.2d 475.
Proposed N.D.R.Ct. 12.2 contains stylistic and format requirements for pleadings. The Committee feels it is unnecessary to single out pleadings for special requirements. Rule 3.1, N.D.R.Ct., already addresses the subject. That rule authorizes the court to order a non-conforming instrument to be reformed if it is not easily readable, and if the order is not obeyed, the court may order the instrument to be regarded as stricken.
Proposed N.D.R.Ct. 12.3 contains procedures for obtaining a default judgment. The Committee believes the rule is unnecessary, because the current procedures for obtaining a default judgment are adequate.
Proposed N.D.R.Ct. 12.4 contains procedures for post-judgment collection actions. The Committee believes the proposed rule is contrary to N.D.R.Civ.P. 69, statutory law, and Mid-Dakota Clinic v. Kolsrud, 1999 ND 244, 603 N.W.2d 475.