TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Rule 4, N.D.R.App.P., Appeal -- When Taken
The Chief Justice has requested that Rule 4 be amended to include reference to the time for taking an appeal in a case under the Uniform Juvenile Court Act. Under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-56, appeals under the Act must be taken within 30 days or "within any further time the supreme court grants." Parties appear to be ignoring both the 30-day deadline and their obligation to request additional time if needed.
An amended version of Rule 4 is attached. It includes a proposed new subdivision (e) on appeals under the Uniform Juvenile Court Act (lines 94-99) and proposed new language in the explanatory note (lines 126-128).
The proposed language designates the Supreme Court as the body that will consider and grant extensions. The statute gives extension authority to the Court, and the practice has been for the Court to consider and grant extensions in juvenile appeals. This is a practice different from the other types of extensions under the rule, which are granted by the district court.
The proposal is designed to be consistent with the statute and does not represent an attempt to supersede it. Because the right of appeal in North Dakota is governed by statute, the portion of N.D.C.C. § 27-20-56 that grants a right to appeal in juvenile cases is substantive and cannot be superseded. But the time deadline in N.D.C.C. § 27-20-56 may be procedural, especially since the statute specifically allows the Court to grant additional time. The Committee may wish to discuss whether the deadline portion of the statute should be superseded.