M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Jim Harris
RE: Change in Location or Venue of a Civil Action
At the September 1999 meeting, the Committee directed staff to draft a rule governing a change in location of a proceeding or trial and superseding all statutes addressing a change in location. At the January 2000 meeting, the Committee considered a proposed N.D.R.Civ.P. 37.1 governing a change in location or venue of a civil proceeding. Proposed N.D.R.Civ.P. 37.1 incorporated and superseded statutory provisions regarding venue. During the meeting, the Committee made a number of changes to proposed N.D.R.Civ.P. 37.1, and the Committee referred the proposal back to staff to prepare a clean copy and alternatives.
In the materials are three alternative drafts of N.D.R.Civ.P. 37.1 prepared by Gary Raedeke. The first alternative contains the changes made by the Committee at the January meeting. The second and third alternatives contain the substance of the changes but in a different format and with additional instruction as to the effect of a change in location or venue. Unlike the first two alternatives, the third alternative combines into a single subdivision the provisions governing a change in location of a hearing or proceeding with the provisions governing a change in location of trial. The materials include a proposed N.D.R.Civ.P. 77 prepared by Gary.
The materials also include a memorandum prepared by Gary Raedeke entitled "Venue -- Procedural or Substantive," excerpts from four cases which essentially state venue is procedural matter, a memorandum from Gary Raedeke entitled "Change in Location of Civil Proceeding," copies of selected statutory provisions, and an excerpt from Thompson v. Peterson, 546 N.W.2d 856 (N.D. 1996).
In considering changes in venue in a civil action, the Committee also should be aware N.D.R.Civ.P. 82, says "[t]hese rules shall not be construed to extend or limit the jurisdiction of the district court of North Dakota or the venue of actions therein" and the corresponding explanatory note says, in part, "[j]urisdiction of the courts and venue of actions are governed by the North Dakota Century Code, not by these rules." Depending on the course of action by the Committee, an amendment to that rule and the explanatory note may also be necessary.
Additionally, these meeting materials, in item A of New Business, include a request from Dan Traynor regarding a related topic about the time for objection to improper venue and a proposed amendment to N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(b).