TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: January 9, 2009
RE: Rule 48, N.D.R.Civ.P., Juries of Less Than Nine Majority Verdict
Staff has prepared amendments to Rule 48 based on the federal form and style amendments. The amendments are intended make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. The amendments also aim to modernize the rule, removing references to obsolete authority and practices.
The rule currently has two subdivisions. The proposal has one short paragraph based on the content of the current rule but using the federal revision as a model for trimming.
Art. I, Section 13 of the North Dakota Constitution requires unanimous jury verdicts and N.D.C.C. § 28-14-03.1 provides for a minimum jury size of six in civil cases. The rule allows parties to stipulate to a smaller jury and to a majority verdict.
The proposed amendments to Rule 48 are attached along with the constitutional provision
on juries and a copy of the amendments to the federal rule.