TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Tom Tudor
RE: Rule 29, N.D.R.App.P.; Brief of an Amicus Curiae
This memo outlines the changes to N.D.R.App.P. 29 which are proposed in response to the December 1, 1998, amendments to Fed.R.App.P. 28. 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. Language has also been changed to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. Several substantive changes are made also.
Subdivision (b). The current rule requires the motion to identify the interest of the applicant and to state the reasons why an amicus brief is desirable. The proposed change additionally requires that the motion state the relevance of the matters asserted to the disposition of the case. The notes to the federal rule state from S. Ct. R. 37.1:
An amicus curiae brief which brings relevant matter to the attention of the Court that has not already been brought to its attention by the parties is of considerable help to the Court. An amicus curiae brief which does not serve this purpose simply burdens the staff and facilities of the Court and its filing is not favored.
This additional requirement is intended to be helpful in assisting the court in its consideration of the motion.
Subdivision (c). The provisions in this subdivision are new, and are intended to clarify questions concerning contents and forms. Rule 32 must be complied with.
Subdivision (d). This is a new provision which establishes a shorter page limit for an amicus brief than for a party's brief. The rationale for this limitation is that an amicus need not address all issues or facets of a case, but only matter not adequately addressed by a party.
Subdivision (e). This is a new provision. The current rule requires that an amicus brief be filed within the time allowed the party whose position the amicus brief will support, unless all parties otherwise consent or the court, for cause shown, grants leave for a later filing.
Subdivision (f). This new subdivision prohibits the filing of a reply brief by an amicus without the permission of the court.