TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: January 12, 2017
RE: Rule 8.3.1, N.D.R.Ct., Case Management (Non-Divorce Cases)
At the September meeting, the committee considered Judge Reich's proposal for adoption of a new Rule 8.3.1 dealing with case management in family law matters other than divorce cases. The committee considered Judge Reich's proposal and after making amendments, it approved new Rule 8.3.1 subject to comment and additional discussion at this meeting. The Rule 8.3.1 draft is attached.
Also attached is a proposed new form to accompany the rule, the Rule 8.3.1 Information Statement, and a separate order form, both of which include language suggested by Judge Reich. The committee may wish to discuss whether the structure of the forms needs adjustment to be usable by the court and parties.
Comments from members of SBAND's family law section are attached.
Attorneys Alisha Ankers, Betsy Elsberry and Michael Mulloy in general support the proposal.
Attorney Vanessa Berge does not think the proposed rule should apply to residential responsibility or child support modification proceedings.
Attorney Kara Brinster thinks the word "primary" in the first sentence is too limiting and should be deleted so that the rule would also apply to joint/equal residential responsibility cases. She also thinks that the language of the rule should be modified to make it clear that mediation is still mandatory in these cases under Rule 8.1.
Attorney Cynthia Schaar supports the rule but she proposes that it should require a mandatory meeting and provide for sanctions against an attorney who does not cooperate or appear.