RULE 52. CONTEMPORANEOUS TRANSMISSION BY RELIABLE ELECTRONIC MEANS
1 Section 1. Purpose and Definition. This rule provides a framework for the
2 use of contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission by reliable electronic
3 means in North Dakota's district and municipal courts. This rule is intended to
4 enhance the current level of judicial services available within the North Dakota
5 court system through the use reliable electronic means and not in any way to
6 reduce the current level of judicial services.
7 Section 2. In General.
8 (A) Subject to the limitations in Sections 3, 4 and 5, a district or municipal
9 court may conduct a proceeding by reliable electronic means on its own motion or
10 on a party's motion.
11 (B) A party wishing to use reliable electronic means must obtain prior
12 approval from the court after providing notice to other parties.
13 (C) Parties must coordinate approved reliable electronic means proceedings
14 with the court to facilitate scheduling and ensure equipment compatibility.
15 (D) Each site where reliable electronic means are used in a court proceeding
16 must provide a facility for a confidential attorney-client conference.
17 (E) A method for electronic transmission of documents must be available at
18 each site where reliable electronic means are used in a court proceeding for use in
19 conjunction with the proceeding.
20 Section 3. Civil Action. In a civil action, a district or municipal court may
21 conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding, or take testimony, by reliable
22 electronic means.
23 Section 4. Criminal Action.
24 (A) In a criminal action, a district or municipal court may conduct a
25 hearing, conference, or other proceeding by reliable electronic means, except as
26 otherwise provided in Section 4 (B).
27 (B) Exceptions.
28 (1) A defendant may not plead guilty nor be sentenced by reliable electronic
29 means unless the parties consent.
30 (2) A witness may not testify by reliable electronic means unless the
31 defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to have the witness testify in
32 person except when the use of reliable electronic means testimony is necessary to
33 further an important public policy and when the reliability of the testimony is
34 otherwise assured.
35 (3) An attorney for a defendant must be present at the site where the
36 defendant is located unless the attorney's participation by reliable electronic means
37 from another location is approved by the court with the consent of the defendant.
38 In a guilty plea proceeding, the court may not allow the defendant's attorney to
39 participate from a site separate from the defendant unless:
40 (a) the court makes a finding on the record that the attorney's participation
41 from the separate site is necessary;
42 (b) the court confirms on the record that the defendant has knowingly and
43 voluntarily consented to the attorney's participation from a separate site; and
44 (c) the court allows confidential attorney-client communication, if
46 Section 5. Mental Health Proceeding.
47 (A) In a mental health proceeding, a district court may conduct a proceeding
48 by reliable electronic means, and allow the following persons to appear or present
50 (1) the respondent or patient;
51 (2) a witness;
52 (3) legal counsel for a party.
53 (B) Notice, Objection, and Waiver.
54 (1) Notice. Before holding any mental health proceeding by reliable
55 electronic means, the court must give notice to the petitioner and the respondent.
56 The notice must:
57 (a) advise the parties of their right to object to the use of reliable electronic
59 (b) inform the respondent that the proceedings may be recorded on video
60 and that, if there is an appeal, the video recording may be made part of the
61 appendix on appeal and is part of the record on appeal.
62 (2) Objection.
63 (a) Reliable electronic means may not be used in a mental health proceeding
64 if any party objects. The respondent must be given the opportunity to consult with
65 an attorney about the right to object to the use of reliable electronic means.
66 (b) If the respondent fails to make an objection or fails to make a timely
67 objection to the use of reliable electronic means, the court may nevertheless
68 continue the proceeding for good cause.
69 (c) If the proceeding is continued, the respondent will continue to be held at
70 the facility where the respondent was receiving treatment or, at the choice of the
71 treatment provider in a less restrictive setting, until a face-to-face hearing can be
73 (d) A face-to-face hearing must be scheduled to occur within four days,
74 exclusive of weekends and holidays, of the date the objection was made, unless
75 good cause is shown for holding it at a later time.
76 (3) Waiver. Upon mutual consent of the parties, and with the approval of
77 the court, notice requirements in a mental health proceeding may be waived to
78 allow for the conduct of proceedings without prior notice or with notice that does
79 not conform to Section 5 (B) (1).
80 Section 6. Effective Date. This rule is effective June 1, 2005, and remains in
81 effect until further order of the supreme court. This rule was amended to extend to
82 proceedings conducted by contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission
83 using reliable electronic means effective March 1, 2015. Section 4(B) of the rule
84 was amended, effective__________.