(a) Amendments Before Trial.
(1) Amending as a Matter of Course. A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course:(A) before being served with a responsive pleading; or, (B) within 21 days after serving the pleading if a responsive pleading is not allowed and the action is not yet on the trial calendar.(2) Other Amendments. Except as allowed by Rule 15(a)(1), a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. Leave shall be freely given when justice so requires. (3) Time to Respond. Unless the court orders otherwise, any required response to an amended pleading must be made within the time remaining to respond to the original pleading or within 14 days after service of the amended pleading, whichever is later.
(b) Amendments During and After Trial.
(1) During Trial. If, at trial, a party objects that evidence is not within the issues raised in the pleadings, the court may permit the pleadings to be amended. The court should freely permit an amendment when doing so will aid in presenting the merits and the objecting party fails to satisfy the court that the evidence would prejudice that party's action or defense on the merits. The court may grant a continuance to enable the objecting party to meet the evidence. (2) After Trial. When an issue not raised by the pleadings is tried by the parties' express or implied consent, it must be treated in all respects as if raised in the pleadings. A party may move—at any time, even after judgment—to amend the pleadings to conform them to the evidence and to raise an unpleaded issue. Failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of that issue.
(c) Relation Back of Amendments.
(1) When an Amendment May Relate Back. An amendment to a pleading relates back to the date of the original pleading when:(A) the law that provides the applicable statute of limitations allows relation back; (B) the amendment asserts a claim or defense that arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set out—or attempted to be set out—in the original pleading; or (C) the amendment changes the party or the naming of the party against whom a claim is asserted, if Rule 15 (c)(1)(B) is satisfied and if, within the period provided by law for commencing the action against the party to be brought in by the amendment, the party:(2) Notice to the State. When the State of North Dakota or a state officer or agency is added as a defendant by amendment, the notice requirements of Rule 15 (c)(1)(C)(i) and (ii) are satisfied if, during the stated period, process was delivered or mailed to the Attorney General of North Dakota or to the officer or agency.(i) received such notice of the action that it will not be prejudiced in defending on the merits; and
(ii) knew or should have known that the action would have been brought against it, but for a mistake concerning the proper party's identity.
(d) Supplemental Pleadings. On motion and reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth any transaction, occurrence or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented. The court may permit supplementation even though the original pleading is defective in stating a claim or defense. The court may order that the opposing party plead to the supplemental pleading within a specified time.
Rule 15 was amended, effective March 1, 1986; March 1, 1990; March 1, 2011.
Rule 15 is based on Fed.R.Civ.P. 15.
Rule 15 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Subdivision (a) was amended effective March 1, 1986, by adding the phrase "pleading is one to which no responsive pleading is permitted and the" to conform to the federal rule.
Subparagraph (a)(1)(B) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the time to amend a pleading from 20 to 21 days.
Paragraph (a)(3) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the time to respond to an amended pleading from 10 to 14 days.
Subdivisions (c) and (d) were amended in 1971 to conform to amendments in the federal rule in 1963 and 1966.
Subdivision (d) was amended to clarify that a supplemental pleading could be allowed even though the original pleading was defective in its statement of a claim or defense. Subdivision (c) was amended to clarify that an amendment changing the party against whom a claim is asserted relates back to the date of the original pleading.
Rule 15 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments are technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 29-30, 2010, pages 11-12; January 24, 2008, page 20; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; November 29, 1984, pages 7-8; June 21, 1984, page 3; September 20-21, 1979, pages 10-11; Fed.R.Civ.P. 15.