Judge Joel Medd, Chair
Judge Laurie Fontaine
Chair Medd called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and drew attention to Attachment B (October 19, 2004) - draft legislation amending statutes in NDCC Ch. 29-17 regarding selection of juror names from a box.
Staff briefly reviewed the draft legislation and noted those statutes that were identified for possible repeal. He said the basic premise of the legislation, set out in amendments to Section 29-17-03, is that the clerk would select juror names from a randomized list established in accordance with NDCC Ch. 27-09.1 and Supreme Court rule (Administrative Rule 9). He said most statutes regarding selecting juror names from a box would be repealed
Judge Holte drew attention to NDCC Section 29-17-09, which is not included in the draft and which directs the sheriff to summon additional persons if twenty four of the summoned jurors do not appear. Staff noted that the statute is not included in the draft because it does not relate to selecting juror names from a box, but there is a question concerning the continuing need for the provision. Judge Medd suggested the statute should be repealed or at least amended as it likely no longer serves a useful purpose.
In response to a question from Judge Holte concerning the use of the randomized list, Ted Gladden explained that clerks of court are currently supplied with a random listing of prospective jurors that is derived from matching drivers' license names and voter names. He said if a prospective juror is excused from service, the clerk would then select another name from the random list.
Judge Medd asked whether use of the randomized list approach would have any impact on clerks in smaller counties or clerks who are not using the computerized juror program. Ted Gladden said the random list is provided on paper as well as through the juror program.
After further discussion, it was moved by Judge Holte, seconded by Deb Simenson, and carried unanimously that a repealer for Section 29-17-09 be added to the draft legislation.
Judge Holte asked whether the draft legislation, if ultimately enacted, would have any impact on providing juror names to attorneys. Ted Gladden observed that there is no standard time within which juror names are provided to attorneys. He said when and if the names are provided would likely depend on the profile of the case and workload in the clerk's office. Deb Simonsen said her office normally supplies copies of the juror qualification forms to attorneys in the case and will also provide a copy of the randomized list.
Judge Holte observed that if the legislation is enacted it should assist in speeding up the juror selection process.
It was moved by Judge Rustad, seconded by Judge Ketterling, and carried unanimously that the draft legislation, as modified, be approved for submission to the Judicial Conference.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Jim Ganje, Staff