TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Andy Forward
DATE: July 6, 2010
RE: Rule 41, N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R., Access to Court Records
State Court Administrator Sally Holewa sent two letters to the Chair proposing amendments to Rule 41 Section 5(b). The first proposed amendment, on lines 155-156, restricts access to domestic violence protection order and disorderly conduct restraining order cases when the initial petition is dismissed on its face without further proceedings. Ms. Holewa believes allowing public access to the court's order of dismissal may cause harm to the petitioner.
The second proposed amendment, on lines 157-158, restricts access to cases brought under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-15.1, Child Relinquishment to Identified Adoptive Parents. These cases are commonly referred to as "voluntary relinquishments." Ms. Holewa believes these cases should be restricted in the same manner as adoption records are restricted.
Some form and style changes have also been proposed.
The proposed amendments to Rule 41 are attached along with a copy of Ms. Holewa's letters.