TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 5, 2012
RE: Rule 609, N.D.R.Ev., Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction
Form and style amendments to Rule 609 consistent with the 2011 federal amendments are proposed. The amendments are not intended to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
The federal rule contains a subdivision (e) indicating that a conviction that is pending on appeal can still be used to impeach. The North Dakota drafters decided not to include this provision because it was already the law in N.D. that such a conviction could be used to impeach. The proposal includes the federal language because it seems to make sense to provide practitioners with information on this issue in the rule rather than requiring further research into other sources.
Another difference between the N.D. and federal rules is that the federal rule allows a court, under certain conditions, to extend the ten-year deadline for allowing admission of a conviction for impeachment. The N.D. drafters decided that the ten-year deadline should be absolute. The federal language is contained in the proposal for discussion by the Committee.