TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: May 1, 2009
RE: Rule 47, N.D.R.Civ.P., Jurors
Staff has prepared amendments to Rule 47 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.
Rule 47 and the federal rule have very little in common. Therefore, the amendments to Rule 47 are based on general form and style principles and on N.D.R.Crim.P. 24, which this Committee revised in 2005.
The explanatory note says the procedure in subdivision (a) is discretionary. Staff has deleted this language from the explanatory note because the rule's language must speak for itself. Given the "may" language used in the subdivision, the Committee may wish to discuss whether it is appropriate that the procedure be discretionary or whether mandatory language should added.
Because the rule allows each side 4 peremptory challenges regardless of how many jurors are to be impaneled or how many parties are on a side, the proposal condenses the existing language to state this.
Staff has highlighted text in paragraph (b)(2). The Committee may wish to discuss the meaning of this text and whether it should be rewritten.
The proposed amendments to Rule 47 are attached along with N.D.R.Crim.P. 24 and a copy
of the amendments to the federal rule.