ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 13
INTERACTIVE TELEVISION PILOT PROJECT
EAST CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICT
This Order authorizes the East Central Judicial District to implement an interactive television (ITV) pilot project with ITV sites in the East Central Judicial District.
The ITV pilot project is intended for proceedings that would otherwise be delayed to avoid the time and expense of travel and for the convenience of the participants. It is the intent of the The pilot project is intended to enhance the current level of judicial services available in the East Central Judicial District and not in any way to reduce the current level of judicial services.
A. Procedural Exception. The ITV pilot project is excepted from any procedural statute or rule to the extent the procedure provided in this Order is in conflict with the procedural statute or rule including the following: N.D.R.Civ.P. 43; N.D.R.Crim.P. 5, 10, 11, 15, 17.1, 26, 32, and 43; and N.D.C.C. §§ 25-03.1-15, 25-03.1-17, 25-03.1-19 and 31-04-04.
1. Civil Action. In a civil action, the court may conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding and permit the taking of testimony by ITV
unless a party objects upon good cause. Parties wishing to use ITV must obtain prior approval of the court to use video conferencing equipment. Parties must coordinate approved video conferences with the court to facilitate scheduling and ensure equipment compatibility.
2. Criminal Action. In a criminal action, the court may conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding, and permit the taking of testimony by ITV except as otherwise provided in this Order.
a. A defendant may not plead guilty to nor be sentenced for a felony by ITV.
b. A defendant convicted of a misdemeanor may not be sentenced by ITV unless the parties consent.
c. A witness may not testify by ITV unless the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives his or her right to have the witness testify in person.
d. Parties must coordinate approved video conferences with the court to facilitate scheduling and ensure equipment compatibility.
e. An attorney for a defendant must be present at the ITV site from which the defendant will participate unless participation from another ITV site is approved by the court with consent of the defendant.
f. Each ITV site must provide a facility for a confidential attorney-client conference.
g. A method for electronic transmission of documents must be available at each ITV site for use in conjunction with an ITV proceeding.
3. Special Proceeding. In a special proceeding, the court may conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding and permit the taking of testimony by ITV unless a party objects. 4. Mental Health Proceeding. The court may allow testimony to be taken by ITV if the respondent knowingly and voluntarily waives his or her right to be present and to have witnesses testify in person. C. Notice, Objection, and Consent. 1. Notice. In any civil action or special proceeding, except Mental Health matters, if the court intends to conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding by ITV, the clerk of court for the county of venue must serve the parties with advance written notice. A party desiring to take testimony by ITV must serve written notice on all other parties at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. In a civil action or special proceeding, the notice must advise a party of the right to object to the use of ITV. 2. Objection. In a civil action or special proceeding, a party may object to the use of ITV by serving and filing an objection no later than 5 days after the ITV notice is served. 3. Consent. Upon mutual consent of the parties to an action, and with the approval of the court, the notice requirements may be waived to allow for the conducting of proceedings upon short notice. D. Protocol. 1. A sheriff, sheriff's deputy, or other licensed police officer must be present at an ITV site at such times as the court directs. 2. A transcript prepared from an ITV recording may serve as the record of the proceedings for purposes of appeal. 3. An attorney for a party must be present at the ITV site from which the party will participate. Upon the mutual consent of the parties, and with the approval of the court, an attorney for a party may be present and participate at an ITV site other than the one from which the party will participate. 4. Each ITV site must provide a facility for a private attorney-client conference apart from, but located near, the ITV site. 5. A facsimile machine must be available at each ITV site for use in conjunction with an ITV proceeding. 6. The public must be permitted to see and hear any ITV proceeding from the courtroom unless the hearing is restricted by state law or court order. 7. Arrangements for the use and operation of the ITV equipment must be made with the clerk of court for each county where the ITV equipment will be used. 8. The clerk of court shall ensure the ITV equipment is functional and that qualified personnel are present to operate the ITV equipment and instruct the participants on its proper use. 9. In the event of equipment failure, such failure is "good cause" for purposes of a continuance, and the proceeding must be continued until reset by the clerk of court or district court administrator. EC. Report. A report must be submitted to the Court no later than 18 months after the start of the pilot project. FD. Effective Date. This Order is effective October 1, 2002, and remains in effect until further order of the Court.