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Emergency Order and Pandemic Response

Statement by Chief Justice Jensen on the Court System’s Continued Response to the Pandemic

The North Dakota Court System continues to closely monitor federal, state and local responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that the pandemic continues to pose a threat to individuals and to present challenges to the administration of the justice system. The health and safety of litigants, judicial officers, court staff, and all who participate in or observe court proceedings continues to be our priority.

As the Judicial Branch moves toward normal operations, the need to manage the North Dakota judicial system through statewide emergency orders has been significantly reduced. Several of the Supreme Court’s Emergency Orders have therefore been repealed or modified to reflect our current circumstances.

Each individual judicial officer has the discretion to conduct court proceedings as he or she determines to be appropriate. Local conditions will dictate whether or not resolution of pending cases should be conducted through written submissions and electronic or telephone appearances in lieu of requiring litigants and others to be personally present at hearings. Similarly, participants in mediation and mediators will individually determine whether to continue using reliable electronic means to conduct mediation sessions. Committee chairs, after considering the input of other committee members and the availability of appropriate facilities, have the discretion to schedule in-person meetings or continue to conduct their meetings through the use of reliable electronic means.


Status of Emergency Orders Issued by the North Dakota Supreme Court and Emergency Orders issued by the Presiding Judges of the District Court

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 33 – Face Coverings

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 26, as amended – Emergency Bail and Plea Procedure

STANDING ORDER FOR REM PROCEEDINGS IN THE SCJD

SCJD MASK AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDER

COVID-19 COURTHOUSE PROTOCOL - NECJD PROCEDURAL ORDER

 

The following emergency orders were repealed as of July 1, 2021:

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 28 – Emergency Procedure in Interim Order

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 29 – Emergency Procedure in Guardianship Proceedings

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 30 – Emergency Permanency Hearing Procedure

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 31- Emergency Traffic Hearing Procedure

 

The following emergency orders were repealed as of April 1, 2021:

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 25  – Coronavirus Pandemic

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 27  – Emergency Suspension of Eviction Proceedings

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 32 – Emergency Extension of Continuing Legal Education and Reports of Compliance Deadlines

 

Emergency Orders that have Expired:

All emergency orders issued by a presiding judge of judicial district prior to April 8, 2021 have expired.

 

Special Conditions related to the Repeal of Emergency Orders 25 and 27

Administrative Order 25 – Corona Virus Pandemic: Any guardianship review hearing that was suspended under Administrative Order 25 must be completed within 120 days from the date the Order was repealed. The 120th day is Wednesday, July 28, 2021).

Administrative Order 27 – Emergency Suspension of Eviction Proceedings: Although the order has been repealed effective April 1, 2021, the suspension of eviction proceedings for cases filed prior to April 15, 2021 will continue to apply until May 15, 2021.

Jurors: If you are summoned for jury service and are experiencing any signs of illness, please do not report for jury service.  Instead, contact the clerk of court to discuss rescheduling your jury service.  Clerk of Court phone numbers can be found by typing the county name in the Search bar on any page on the court’s website or by clicking on this link: https://www.ndcourts.gov/court-locations and selecting the county where you have been summoned for jury service.

CRIMINAL CASE HEARINGS – If you are scheduled to appear in court for a misdemeanor or felony matter and are experiencing any acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), flu-like symptoms, have a fever, or are coughing or sneezing, please do not come to court.

  • Defendants who have an attorney should contact their attorney for assistance.
  • Defendants who do not have an attorney should contact the appropriate clerk of court office to discuss the possibility of appearing through the use of technology or rescheduling your hearing.  Clerk of Court phone numbers can be found here: https://www.ndcourts.gov/court-locations.
  • Witnesses - If you are a witness in a case and are experiencing a health issue or circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus have made it difficult for you to appear in court, you should contact the person or agency that requested your participation to discuss your options.
  • Victims - If you are a witness in a case and are experiencing a health issue or circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus have made it difficult for you to appear in court, please contact the victim-witness advocate within the state’s attorney’s office to discuss your options.

CIVIL/FAMILY/PROBATE - If you are scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on a civil, family or probate case and are experiencing any acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), flu-like symptoms, have a fever, or are coughing or sneezing, please do not come to court.

  • Litigants who have an attorney should contact their attorney for assistance.
  • Litigants who do not have an attorney should contact the appropriate clerk of court office to discuss the possibility of appearing at the hearing by telephone or other electronic means or having the hearing rescheduled.  Clerk of Court phone numbers can be found here: https://www.ndcourts.gov/court-locations.
  • Witnesses –If you are a witness in a case and are experiencing a health issue or circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus have made it difficult for you to appear in court, you should contact the person or agency that requested your participation to discuss your options.

JUVENILE – If you are a participant in a juvenile case and you are scheduled for a hearing and are experiencing any acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), flu-like symptoms, have a fever, or are coughing or sneezing, please do not come to court. Instead, contact the juvenile court that is handling the case to discuss whether you can appear in an alternative manner or have the hearing rescheduled.  Contact information for the juvenile courts can be found here:  https://www.ndcourts.gov/other-courts/juvenile-court#services

  • Participants who have an attorney should contact their attorney for assistance.
  • Witnesses –If you are a witness in a case and are experiencing a health issue or circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus have made it difficult for you to appear in court, you should contact the person or agency that requested your participation to discuss your options.
  • To the extent possible and at the discretion of the juvenile court officer, personal visits with you and your family will be conducted by telephone or other means of communication.
  • All in-person classes taught by juvenile court officers have been discontinued until further notice. At the discretion of the juvenile court director, classes may be taught using alternative electronic methods.
  • If you have been court ordered to attend an educational or group session offered by a private provider, contact your assigned juvenile court officer for direction on postponing that requirement or fulfilling it in an alternative manner.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO COURT PROCEEDINGS

To attend a hearing, please contact the clerk of court in the county where the case is filed. Contact information for the clerk of court can be found by typing the county name in the Search box on our website, or you can find a complete list in the Court Locations section of our website: https://www.ndcourts.gov/court-locations.

TO REQUEST CASE DOCUMENTS

To obtain a copy of a case document, please contact the clerk of court in the county where the case is filed, and provide the clerk with the case name, case number, the document name, and the document number. This information can be found by using the District Court Case Search function on our website: www.ndcourts.gov. During the pandemic, all copying fees will be waived. Documents will be emailed to the requestor as time permits. To ensure they have sufficient time to complete other duties, and to balance the needs of all constituents, staff may limit requestors to no more than 10 documents per day and may deny repeated requests from an individual for the same document.

ACCESS TO COURT CALENDARS AND CASE SUMMARIES

Court calendars and case summaries are available through our website at www.ndcourts.gov.

COURT-ORDERED MEDIATION

Scheduled mediations will be held by telephone or other electronic means unless the mediator or parties agree to meet in-person. Please contact your assigned mediator directly to discuss available options.

EXPEDITED PARENTING TIME MEDIATION

Scheduled mediations will be held within 7 days of the request for mediation by telephone or other electronic means.  In the event you are unable to participate in the mediation due to illness or an unexpected event, please contact your assigned mediator directly to discuss available options.

SELP-HELP CENTER and LAW LIBRARY 

The self-help center and law library are closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. Telephone assistance at (701) 328-1852 will continue to be available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by email at: ndselfhelp@ndcourts.gov and through the Court’s website at: https://www.ndcourts.gov/legal-self-help.