M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Rule X, N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R., Civil Case Management; Rule 16, N.D.R.Civ.P., Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management; Rule 40, N.D.R.Civ.P., Assignment of Cases for Trial
At its April meeting, the Committee had preliminary discussions on the Civil Case Management Rule as developed by the Council of Presiding Judges. The Supreme Court had referred the rule to the Committee for review, revision and return.
Questions were raised at the April meeting regarding the background of the rule and comments on the rule that had been submitted to the Council of Presiding Judges. Staff obtained copies of the comments and they are attached. Comments expressing general disapproval of the proposal were submitted by the State Bar Association and three district judges. Positive and/or neutral comments were submitted by Justice Maring, two district judges and a district court calendar clerk.
The Committee, and several of those who submitted comments to the Presiding Judges, including Justice Maring, expressed concerns about having a scheduling conference requirement in an administrative rule rather than in the Rules of Civil Procedure. Additional concerns about the appendix to the proposed rule were also expressed. Therefore, staff has amended the proposed administrative rule to omit any scheduling conference requirement and to eliminate the proposed appendix. The proposed rule as submitted for discussion by the Committee contains only administrative provisions regarding case tracking.
At the Committee's April meeting, Judge Geiger expressed some concerns with how the Presiding Judges' actions on the proposed rule had been characterized when the rule was sent to the Supreme Court. He has submitted a letter, which is attached, to clarify the actions taken by the Presiding Judges.
Judge Geiger also has drafted a revised version of N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 which includes a scheduling conference triggering provision. The triggering provision is based on a concept proposed by Judge Lee Christofferson in his comments to the Presiding Judges. Judge Geiger states in his letter that he does not support adopting the provisions of the proposed administrative rule that would create a case tracking system.
Proposed amendments to N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 based on Judge Geiger's revisions are attached. Also attached are proposed amendments to N.D.R.Civ.P. 40 which eliminate the Note of Issue/Certificate of Readiness requirement in cases where a scheduling order has been issued.