EXPERT WITNESSES AND INTERPRETERS
(a) Expert witnesses. The court may order the defendant or the prosecution or both
cause why expert witnesses should not be appointed, and may request the parties to submit
nominations. The court may appoint any expert witnesses agreed upon by the parties, and
may appoint witnesses of its own selection. An expert witness shall not be appointed by the
court unless he consents to act. A witness so appointed shall be informed of his duties by the
court in writing, a copy of which shall be filed with the clerk, or at a conference in which the
parties shall have opportunity to participate. A witness so appointed shall advise the parties
of his findings, if any, and may thereafter be called to testify by the court or by any party.
He shall be subject to cross-examination by each party. The court may determine the
reasonable compensation of such a witness and direct its payment out of such funds as may
be provided by law. The parties also may call expert witnesses of their own selection.
(b) Interpreters. The court may select, appoint, and set the
reasonable compensation for an
interpreter of its own selection and may fix the reasonable compensation of such
The court may direct that such compensation must be paid out
of such from funds as may
be provided by law or as the court directs.
Rule 28 was amended, effective March 1, 2006.
Rule 28 is an adaptation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 28. It differs from the
Federal Rule only
Subdivision (b), which provides federal rule by providing that compensation
will may be paid out of such funds as provided by
State state law or as the court directs.
Subdivision Former subdivision (a) provides that the
court may exercise its power in
provided for the appointment of expert witnesses. This provision is
intended to permit the
appointment of persons having special knowledge in technical matters to aid the court or jury
in an accurate determination of the facts. Subdivision (a) permits the court to inform the
witness, in writing, of his duties to preclude the unnecessary inconvenience and expense of
requiring the witness to appear in court specifically for that purpose was deleted,
March 1, 2006, because N.D.R.Ev. 706 covers the topic of court-appointed expert witnesses
Subdivision (b) was added to the Federal Rule in 1966. This provision
Rule 28 is consistent
with existing State state law, N.D.C.C. § 31-01-11, which
authorizes the court to
appoint and provide for the compensation of interpreters. To achieve this objective
the Rule 28 , general language is used to permit
permits the court to appoint interpreters in
all appropriate circumstances. The purpose of Subdivision (b) of the
rule is to assist non-English-speaking defendants in understanding the proceedings or in
Rule 28 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 27-28, 2005, pages 22-23;
October 17-20, 1972, pages 32-33; February 20-21, 1969, pages 4-5;
Fed.R.Crim.P. 28 , page 528; Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal, §
451-456 (1969); 8 Moore's Federal Practice, Chapter 28 (Cipes, 2d Ed. 1970).
SUPERSEDED FOR CRIMINAL PROCESS ONLY: N.D.C.C. § 31-01-12
CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 28-26-06, 31-01-11, ch. 29-20.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Ev. 706 (Court Appointed Experts); N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 50 (Court Interpreter Qualifications and Procedures).