RULE 25. JUDGE - DISABILITY
(a) During Jury Trial. A successor in office or any judge regularly sitting in or assigned to the court may complete a jury trial if:
(1) the judge before whom the trial began cannot proceed because of termination of office, death, sickness, or other disability; and
(2) the judge completing the trial certifies familiarity with the trial record.
(b) After Verdict or Finding of Guilt.
(1) In General. After a verdict or finding of guilt, a successor in office or any judge regularly sitting in or assigned to the court may complete the court's duties if the judge who presided at trial cannot perform those duties because of termination of office, absence, death, sickness, or other disability.
(2) The successor judge may grant a new trial if satisfied that:
(A) a judge other than the one who presided at the trial cannot perform the post-trial duties; or
(B) a new trial is necessary for some other reason.
Rule 25 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1, 2006.
Rule 25 is an adaptation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 25, but differs to the extent that it is designed to be applicable to the court system of North Dakota. Rule 25 covers those situations in which a judge may become disabled during a jury trial to the extent that the judge is precluded from completing the trial, and after trial to the extent the judge is unable to perform those duties necessary following a verdict of finding of guilt.
Rule 25 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments are technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
Rule 25 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Subdivision (a) describes the instances under which a judge may be disabled from completing a jury trial. This provision is consistent with N.D.C.C. § 27-02-05.1 (Administration by Supreme Court). It should be noted that subdivision (a) applies only to jury trials.
Subdivision (b) is applicable to both jury and court trials wherein the judge is unable to perform the judge's duties after a verdict or finding of guilt. This subdivision applies only to judicial disability after trial and not to the inability of the judge to perform after conviction on a plea of guilty. This provision is also consistent with N.D.C.C. § 27-02-05.1.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 27-28, 2005, pages 20-21; April 20, 1989, page 4; December 3, 1987, page 15; October 17-20, 1972, pages 24-28; September 26-27, 1968, pages 13-14; Fed.R.Crim.P. 25.
SUPERSEDED FOR CRIMINAL PROCESS ONLY: N.D.C.C. § 27-07-23.
CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 27-02-05.1, 27-08-34, 27-18-04.1.