February 6, 2017
Honorable Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice
North Dakota Supreme Court
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0530
Re: Administrative Council Request for Amendments to North Dakota Court Rules
Dear Chief Justice:
In a letter dated December 27, 2016, the Administrative Council requested that the Joint Procedure Committee consider whether amendments to the rules may be needed in response to the Marsy's Law constitutional amendment, N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25. The committee discussed the council's request at its January 26-27 meeting and developed several proposed amendments to the rules, which are explained below. Copies of the proposed amended rules are attached.
N.D.R.Crim.P. 15, Depositions: A new paragraph (a)(5) is proposed to provide that a victim may refuse to participate in a deposition requested by the defendant or the defendant's attorney. The right to refuse a deposition is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(f).
N.D.R.Crim.P. 16, Discovery and Inspection: An amendment to subdivision (f) is proposed to bar a prosecutor from disclosing contact information of a victim if the victim has requested nondisclosure of this information under N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(e). It is also proposed that the explanatory note be reorganized and flawed internal references in the rule text be corrected.
N.D.R.Crim.P. 32, Sentencing and Judgment: An amendment to subparagraph (c)(4)(B) is proposed to allow the prosecutor to disclose to the victim, on request, any material from the presentence report disclosed to the defendant and the defendant's counsel. The right to this material is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(l).
N.D.R.Juv.P. 4, Interested Persons: A new paragraph (3) is proposed to allow a victim, on request, to take part in a delinquency case. The right to participate in a delinquency case is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(g) among other provisions.
N.D.R.Juv.P. 12.1, Depositions: Amendments are proposed to paragraph (e)(1) to provide that a victim may refuse to participate in a deposition requested by a respondent or a respondent's attorney. The right to refuse a deposition is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(f).
N.D.R.Ct. 3.4. Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court: Amendments are proposed to subdivision (a) to require, upon request of the victim, the redaction of all victim contact information from documents before they may be filed with the court in a criminal or delinquency case. This right is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(e).
N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 41, Access to Court Records: A new paragraph 6(a)(6) is proposed to require, upon request of the victim, redaction of all victim contact information in a criminal court record. This right is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(e). The Supreme Court's March 1, 2017, amendments are incorporated into the attached Rule 41 proposal.
The committee appreciates the Court's consideration of these proposals. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Lisa Fair McEvers
Chair, Joint Procedure Committee