RULE 20. TRANSFER FROM THE COUNTY FOR PLEA AND SENTENCE
1 (a) Consent to Transfer. A prosecution may be transferred from the county
2 where the indictment, information, or complaint is pending to the county where the
3 defendant is arrested, held or present if:
4 (1) the defendant states in writing an intention to plead guilty and to waive
5 trial in the county where the indictment, information, or complaint is pending,
6 consents in writing to the court's disposing of the case in the transferee county and
7 files the statement in the transferee county; and
8 (2) the prosecuting attorneys for each county approve the transfer in
10 (b) Clerk's Duties. After receiving the defendant's statement and the
11 required approvals, the clerk of court where the indictment, information, or
12 complaint is pending
shall send the file, or a certified copy,
13 transfer the file within the Odyssey® system to the clerk of court in the transferee
15 (c) Effect of Not Guilty Plea. If the defendant pleads not guilty after the
16 case has been transferred under Rule 20(a), the clerk of court
documents must electronically transfer the file within the
Odyssey® system to the
18 court where the prosecution began, and the court must restore the proceeding to its
19 docket. The defendant's statement of intention to plead guilty is not, in any civil or
20 criminal proceeding, admissible against the defendant.
21 EXPLANATORY NOTE
22 Rule 20 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1,
23 2006; March 1, 2016.
24 Rule 20 is an adaptation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 20. It permits a defendant,
25 arrested, held, or present in a county other than that in which the indictment,
26 information, or complaint is pending against the defendant, to state in writing that
27 the defendant wishes to plead guilty, to waive trial in the county in which charges
28 against the defendant are pending and to consent to disposition of the case in the
29 county in which the defendant was arrested, is held, or is present, subject to the
30 approval of the prosecuting attorney for each county. This procedure may be used
31 between counties in the state and is not limited to those counties in the same
32 judicial district. The rule benefits the defendant in that it permits a speedy
33 disposition of the defendant's case, if the defendant desires to plead guilty, without
34 the hardship which may be involved in transferring the defendant back to the
35 county in which the defendant was charged. This may be desirable for a defendant
36 who is arrested or surrenders at or near the defendant's residence for a crime
37 committed elsewhere in the state. The benefit to the state is the savings in
38 transportation expenses. The requirement that the prosecuting attorneys of both
39 counties must consent to this action by the defendant provides the necessary
40 safeguards for the state.
41 Rule 20 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments are
42 technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
43 Rule 20 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the
44 December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The
45 language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily
46 understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
47 Subdivision (c) provides that a defendant is not obligated by a request for a
48 transfer under Rule 20(a). If the defendant decides not to plead guilty, the
shall must be tried in the county where the
information was originally
50 filed. However, the written statement may not be used against the defendant.
51 Subdivisions (b) and (c) were amended, effective March 1, 2016, to
52 require electronic transfer of case files.
53 SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 29-30, 2015, 54 pages 22-23; January 27-28, 2005, pages 16-17; April 20, 1989, page 4; December
55 3, 1987, page 15; December 7-8, 1978, pages 14-15; October 12-13, 1978, pages
56 8-9; October 17-20, 1972, pages 4-5; September 26-27, 1968, pages 8-9;
57 Fed.R.Crim.P. 20.
58 STATUTES AFFECTED: 59 CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 33-12-12, 33-12-13.
60 CROSS REFERENCES: N.D.R.Crim.P. 32 (Sentencing and Judgment).