M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM:Tom Tudor/Mike Hagburg
RE:Rule 34, N.D.R.App.P.; Oral Arguments
This memo outlines the changes to N.D.R.App.P. 34 which are proposed in response to the December 1, 1998, amendments to Fed.R.App.P. 34. The changes generally track the 1998 amendments to the federal rule.
The language and organization of the rule are amended to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Substantive changes are made in Rule 34(a):
Rule 34(a)(1) provides that any party may file, or the court may require, a statement explaining why oral argument should or should not be permitted.
Rule 34(a)(2) provides that oral argument must be allowed unless the justices, based upon criteria listed in Rule 34 (a)(2), unanimously agree that oral argument is unnecessary.
The recommended revisions to Rule 34(a) give the Supreme Court a tool to conserve judicial resources and prevent dilatory and frivolous proceedings. The Supreme Court has the power to exercise such control. See Williams v. State, 405 N.W.2d 615, 624-625 (ND 1987); United Bank of Bismarck v. Young, 401 N.W.2d 517, 518 (N.D. 1987); KFGO Radio v. Rothe, 298 N.W.2d 505, 510-513 (N.D. 1980). The narrow criteria of proposed Rule 34(a)(2) and the unanimity requirement provide safeguards against overuse of the option to limit oral argument.