TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: September 8, 2015
RE: Amendments to Rules and Forms Related to Electronic Filing
Recent improvements to the Odyssey system have effectively eliminated the need to apply a physical "filed" stamp to most court documents. Consistent with this change, the court administrator's office has requested that the committee consider eliminating sealing requirements that still exist in a few of the rules and forms.
Proposed amendments to N.D.R.Civ.P. 45 (Subpoena), N.D.R.Crim.P Form 10 (Search Warrant) and 12 (Bench Warrant), and N.D.R.Ct. 8.4 (Divorce Summons) are attached. The proposed amendments to these rules and forms would eliminate requirements for the court to seal these specific documents. The proposed amendment to Rule 45 would also make it more consistent with the federal rule, which has no sealing requirement.
Statutory sealing requirements still exist for some court issued documents: N.D.C.C. 28-21-06, for example, requires an execution on a judgment to be "sealed with the seal of the court." As far as the proposed amendments are concerned, the service of process and civil procedure provisions in the Code were superseded by the Rules of Civil Procedure and neither N.D.C.C. ch. 29-05 (Arrest Warrant) nor ch. 29-29 (Search Warrant) contain requirements for the sealing of these documents.