RULE 614. CALLING AND INTERROGATION OF WITNESSES BY COURT
(a) Calling by Court. The court, on its own motion or at the suggestion of a party, may call witnesses, and all parties are entitled to cross-examine witnesses thus called.
(b) Interrogation by Court. The court may interrogate witnesses, whether called by itself or by a party.
(c) Objections. Objections to the calling of witnesses by the court or to interrogation by it or to specific questions by it may be made at the time or at the next available opportunity when the jury is not present.
This rule is an adoption of Rule 614 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The calling by the court of a witness, who may then be cross-examined by both sides, is established in Rule 28, NDRCrimP(as to experts and interpreters), and is approved by the North Dakota Supreme Court.See State v. Hilling, 219 N.W.2d 164, 172 (N.D. 1974).
Rule 614 provides that objections to interrogation by the court or to the calling of a witness by the court may be made out of the jury's presence so as to avoid any possible prejudice to the objecting party.
SOURCES: Minutes of Joint Procedure Committee: June 3, 1976, page 5; October 1, 1975, page 6.Rule 614, Federal Rules of Evidence; Rule 614, SBAND proposal.