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Effective Date: 3/1/1999

Obsolete Date: 3/1/2011

(a) Form and Admissibility. In every trial, the testimony of witnesses must be taken orally or by non-oral means in open court, unless otherwise provided by statute or these rules. Testimony must be taken orally unless a witness is unable to reasonably communicate orally. All evidence must be admitted which is admissible under the statutes of this State, the North Dakota Rules of Evidence, or other rules adopted by the North Dakota Supreme Court. The court may, upon the agreement of the parties, or for good cause shown in compelling and unexpected circumstances, and upon appropriate safeguards, permit presentation of testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location. Notice must be given to the other parties as soon as reasonably possible for testimony by contemporaneous transmission or by a witness who is unable to reasonably communicate orally.

(b) Scope of Examination and Cross-Examination. A party may interrogate any unwilling or hostile witness by leading questions. A party may call an adverse party or an officer, director, superintendent or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party, and interrogate the witness by leading questions and contradict and impeach the witness in all respects as if the witness had been called by the adverse party, and the witness thus called may be contradicted and impeached by or on behalf of the adverse party also, and may be cross-examined by the adverse party only upon the subject matter of the witness's examination in chief.

(c) [Abrogated, effective January 1, 1980].

(d) [Abrogated, effective March 1, 1999].

(e) Evidence on Motions. When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct the matter be heard wholly or partly on testimony or depositions.

Rule 43 was amended, effective 1976; January 1, 1980; March 1, 1999; March 1, 2011; March 1, 2014; March 1, 2021. The explanatory note was amended August 1, 2015.

Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 1999, to follow the 1996 federal amendment. See 1996 Advisory Committee Note, Fed.R.Civ.P. 43. The requirement for testimony to be taken orally is deleted.

Former subdivision (b) on scope of examination and cross-examination was deleted, effective March 1, 2011. These topics are covered in the Rules of Evidence. The federal rule contains a subdivision entitled "Affirmation Instead of an Oath." Affirmations and oaths are governed by N.D.R.Ct. 6.10 (Courtroom Oaths).

Subdivision (c) on interpreters was added, effective March 1, 2014. It is intended to reflect the American Bar Association Standards for Language Access in Courts. N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 50 (Court Interpreter Qualifications and Procedures) provides guidance on interpreter qualifications and requirements and detailed information on payment for interpreter services. Under Admin. Rule 50, a party in a civil case may be required to reimburse the court for interpreter costs based upon ability to pay.

Rule 43 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.

Rule 43 was amended, effective March 1, 2021, to delete the term “affidavit” and replace it with “declaration.” This amendment was made in response to N.D.C.C. ch. 31-15, which allows anyone to make an unsworn declaration that has the same effect as a sworn declaration, such as an affidavit. N.D.C.C. § 31-15-05 provides the required form for an unsworn declaration.

SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 30, 2020, page 25; January 29-30 2015, pages 8-10; September 25-26, 2014, pages 20-24; April 25-26, 2013, pages 16-18; January 31-February 1, 2013, pages 12-15; January 29-30, 2009, pages 34-35; January 29-30, 1998, pages 11-13; September 25-26, 1997, pages 10-11; November 29-30, 1979, page 16; April 26-27, 1979, pages 17-18; September 23-24, 1976, page 79; June 3-4, 1976, pages 16-18; Fed.R.Civ.P. 43.


Superseded: N.D.C.C. § 31-01-12.

CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. chs. 28-33, 31-15; § 31-01-11.

CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 11. (Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions); N.D.R.Ev. 101 (Scope), N.D.R.Ev. 103 (Rules on Evidence), N.D.R.Ev. 104 (Preliminary Questions), N.D.R.Ev. 603 (Oath or Affirmation), N.D.R.Ev. 604 (Interpreters), N.D.R.Ev. 607 (Who May Impeach), and N.D.R.Ev. 611 (Mode and Order of Interrogation and Presentation)); N.D.R.Ct. 6.10 (Courtroom Oaths); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 50 (Court Interpreter Qualifications and Procedures).

Effective Date Obsolete Date
03/01/2021 View
08/01/2015 03/01/2021 View
03/01/2014 08/01/2015 View
03/01/2011 03/01/2014 View
03/01/1999 03/01/2011 View
01/01/1980 03/01/1999 View