TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 12, 2013
RE: Rule 504, N.D.R.Ev., Husband-Wife Privilege
Proposed amendments to Rule 504 based on the 1999 amendments to the Uniform Rules of Evidence are attached. The amendments seem primarily intended to simplify the language of the rule and to improve its organization.
A substantive change, which is incorporated throughout the proposed amendments to the rule, is that the privilege would be extended to civil cases. The original Uniform Rule 504 limited the privilege to criminal cases, and this is the approach the committee followed in drafting our Rule 504. The previous rule in North Dakota, however, was that marital privilege extended to both civil and criminal cases.