TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 7, 2008
RE: Rule 2.2, N.D.R.App.P., Termination of Parental Rights Appeals
Chief Justice VandeWalle has requested that the Committee consider a new rule on expedited appeals in termination of parental rights cases. An email from the Chief outlining his ideas on the potential new rule is attached.
Staff has prepared a draft rule based on the Chief's suggestions. It is based on N.D.R.App.P. 2.1, which governs expedited appeals in mental health cases.
Because appeals in termination of parental rights cases fall under the Uniform Juvenile Court Act, they are already subject to a short 30-day filing deadline. The proposed rule on expedited appeals would add an accelerated briefing schedule and would specify that the Supreme Court would give these cases priority.
The Committee may wish to consider whether any other measures should be incorporated into the proposed new rule in order to make expedited appeals work in termination of parental rights cases. Staff has attached expedited appeal rules from other states for the Committee's review. Some of the provisions used by other states include making oral argument optional in termination cases and imposing a definite deadline on the court's final decision.
The proposed new rule is attached.