N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 15. INTERACTIVE TELEVISION PROJECT SOUTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
This Order authorizes the Southeast Judicial District to implement an interactive television (ITV) pilot project with ITV sites at the Stutsman County Courthouse and at the North Dakota State Hospital. This ITV pilot project is intended for mental health proceedings and is designed to avoid the time, expense, and inconvenience imposed on mental health patients and participants in proceedings covered by this project. It is intended to fathom the feasibility of conducting mental health proceedings in venues outside the Southeast Judicial District. It is intended to enhance the quality of judicial services provided for mental health proceedings; not in any way to reduce the level of judicial services for such proceedings.
A. Procedural Exception. The ITV pilot project is excepted from any procedural statute or rule to the extent the procedure provided in this Order is in conflict with the procedural statute or rule including the following: N.D.R.App.P. 2.1, N.D.R.Civ.P. 43, N.D.C.C. §§ 25-03.1-15, 25-03.1-17, 25-03.1-19, and 31-04-04.
1. This Order authorizes hearings for mental health proceedings under N.D.C.C. Ch. 25-03.1.
2. This Order authorizes the following person(s) to present testimony or appear via ITV in a mental health proceeding:
a. The respondent or patient;
b. A witness;
c. Legal counsel for a party.
C. Notice, Objection, and Consent.
1. Notice. Before holding any mental health proceeding by ITV, the Court shall cause notice of the plan to hold the proceeding using ITV to be provided to the petitioner and the respondent. The notice must advise a party of the right to object to the use of ITV and inform the respondent that the proceedings may be taped on video and that, if there is an appeal, the video tape may be made part of the appendix on appeal or as the record on appeal.
2. Objection. ITV may not be used if any party objects. Failure of the respondent to make a timely objection to use of ITV may constitute good cause for continuance of the proceeding. If the proceeding is continued due to the respondent's failure to make a timely objection, the respondent will continue to be held at the facility where the respondent was receiving treatment before the respondent failed to timely object, or at the choice of the treatment provider in a less restrictive setting, until a face to face hearing can be completed. The face to face hearing shall be scheduled to occur within seven days of the untimely objection unless good cause is shown for holding it at a later time. No fees will be charged to the respondent or the petitioner for faxing notice of consent or objection to proceeding by ITV to the Court.
3. Consent. Upon mutual consent of the parties, and with the approval of the court, notice requirements may be waived to allow for the conduct of proceedings without prior notice or with notice that does not conform to section C 1.
1. A sheriff, sheriff's deputy, treatment facility staff member, or other security official must be present at an ITV site at such times as the court directs.
2. Before any ITV proceeding may occur, a respondent in a mental health proceeding must consent to the use of ITV. The respondent's untimely withdrawal of consent to proceed by ITV may constitute good cause for continuance.
3. A transcript prepared from an ITV recording may serve as the record of the proceedings for purposes of appeal.
4. The ITV recording or a tape recording of the ITV proceedings may substitute for the transcript for purposes of expedited appeal under N.D.R.App.P. 2.1(d).
5. The ITV recording or a tape recording of the ITV proceedings may be made part of the appendix on appeal.
6. Attorneys representing respondents in mental health proceedings shall be located with their clients.
7. Each ITV site must provide a facility for a private attorney-client conference apart from, but located near, the ITV site.
8. A telephone and a facsimile machine must be available at each ITV site for use in conjunction with an ITV proceeding.
9. To the extent public access is not restricted by state law or court order, the public must be permitted to see and hear any ITV proceeding.
10. Arrangements for the use and operation of the ITV equipment must be made with the clerk of court for the county where the ITV equipment will be used.
11. The clerk of court for the county where the ITV equipment will be used shall ensure the ITV equipment is functional and that qualified personnel are present to operate the ITV equipment and instruct the participants on its proper use.
12. The clerk of court for the county in which the judge sits to conduct the proceeding shall designate a person who shall take custody of any recording and then deliver it to this clerk of court who shall save the tape for at least a year from the date of the proceeding.
13. In the event of equipment failure, such failure is "good cause" for purposes of a continuance, and the proceeding must be continued until reset by the clerk of court or district court administrator.
E. Effective Date. This Order is effective March 1, 2003, and remains in effect until further order of this Court. The ITV Protocol Subcommittee shall meet 12 months after the Order is entered to review the protocol ordered and recommend revision of the protocol or discontinuance of the mental health ITV program.