TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 12, 2017
RE: Rule 8.3, N.D.R.Ct., Case Management (Divorce Cases)
An amendment is proposed to Rule 8.3 to add language informing parties and attorneys that the property and debt listing is confidential and must be redacted. The Rule 8.3 proposal is attached. If the committee approves this change, it may wish to send it to the Supreme Court immediately so it can be considered before the new confidentiality law takes effect August 1.
An amendment is proposed to the Rule 8.3 informational statement form that would add a checkbox on whether any party received state services. A party who checks yes is reminded that the state then needs to be added as a party. The Rule 8.3 informational statement form proposal is attached. A similar amendment was proposed for the Rule 8.3.1 information statement form.
These amendments were proposed by Jim Fleming, who explains his rationale in the attached email. Basically, he states there is a problem with the parties not adding the state as a party when required. He suggests that the root of the problem is the passive language structure in N.D.R.Civ.P. 10. A copy of this rule is attached for the committee's review.
Rewriting the Rule 10 language in active voice would be relatively easy if only parties who had received assistance from the child support program needed to add the state as a party, but the need to add the state as a party may also arise in other circumstances. The committee may wish to discuss whether there is any way to rewrite the Rule 10 language in a way that would make it clearer who had the duty to add the state as a party.