TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Rule 14, N.D.R.App.P., Identity Protection
Justice Sandstrom has asked the Committee to discuss adoption of a new appellate rule designed to protect the identities of certain persons in appellate proceedings.
Staff has prepared a draft of a proposed new N.D.R.App.P. 14. It is a completely new rule-underscoring of the text is omitted in the draft for easier reading. The draft rule is attached.
The proposed rule would require parties to omit from appellate material the names of respondents in mental health proceedings, respondents and family members in conservatorship/guardianship proceedings, respondents in juvenile proceedings, children and parents in termination of parental rights proceedings, minor children in family law cases, and victims in sexual offense cases.
Parties often omit these names voluntarily in appellate matters, but there is no formal rule requiring omissions.
The rule would also require these names to be omitted from opinions. In addition, the rule would allow people who fall into the protected categories to retroactively request that their names be deleted from the electronic versions of opinions that mention them. Their names, however, would remain in opinions published in official reporters.