Obsolete Date: 3/1/1998
(a) Definition-Form. "Judgment" as used in these rules includes a decree and any order from which an appeal lies. A judgment may not contain a recital of pleadings, the report of a master, or the record of prior proceedings.
(b) Judgment Upon Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties. If more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, or if multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. In the absence of that determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all of the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.
(c) Demand for Judgment. A judgment by default may not be different in kind from or exceed the amount prayed for in the demand for judgment. Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment must grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded that relief in the pleadings.
(d) Death Before Judgment. If a party dies after a verdict or decision upon any issue of fact and before judgment, the court nevertheless may render judgment thereon. That judgment is not a lien on the real property of the deceased party, but is payable as provided in Chapter 30.1-19, NDCC.
(e) Costs; Attorneys' Fees.
(1) Costs Other than Attorneys' Fees. Costs and disbursements must be allowed as provided by statute. A party awarded costs and disbursements shall submit to the clerk a detailed, verified statement thereof. Upon receipt of the statement, the clerk shall allow those costs and disbursements and insert them in the judgment. A copy of the statement must accompany the notice of entry of judgment. Objections must be served and filed with the clerk, either within 7 days after notice of entry of judgment or within such longer time the court may fix by order made within the 7 days. Objections must specify the ground thereof. If objections are filed, the clerk shall promptly submit them to the judge who ordered the judgment. The court by ex parte order shall fix a time for hearing the objections. Unless otherwise directed by the court, the parties may waive the right to hearing and submit written argument in lieu thereof within a time specified by the court.
(2) Attorneys'' Fees. A claim for attorneys' fees and related nontaxable expenses not determined by the judgment must be made by motion. The motion must be served and filed not later than 10 days after notice of entry of judgment. The trial court may decide the motion even after an appeal is filed.
Under subdivision (b), entry of a final judgment adjudicating fewer than all of the claims of all of the parties is permitted only in the infrequent harsh case involving unusual circumstances where failure to allow an immediate appeal would create demonstrated prejudice or hardship. The party requesting entry of judgment under subdivision (b) carries the burden of establishing that unusual and compelling or out-of-the-ordinary circumstances exist and that prejudice or hardship will result if entry of judgment is denied. The district court must weigh the overall policy prohibiting piecemeal appeals against the exigencies of the case and must delineate the unusual or compelling circumstances justifying order of entry of judgment. If the district court does not enter judgment under Rule 54(b), a partial summary judgment adjudicating fewer than all of the claims of all of the parties is not a final judgment and is not immediately appealable. A party seeking to appeal must wait until the end of the case, when all claims have been resolved and final judgment has been entered, before filing an appeal.
Paragraph (e)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the time to object to costs from 7 to 14 days after notice of entry of judgment.
Paragraph (e)(3) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the time to make a claim for attorneys' fees from 15 to 21 days after notice of entry of judgment.
Rule 54 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.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 28-29, 2011, page 13; April 29-30, 2010, page 14; September 24-25, 2009, page 23; January 30, 1997, page 8; January 25-26, 1996, pages 7-10; September 28-29, 1995, page 18; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; November 29, 1984, page 18; September 30-October 1, 1982, pages 1-3; November 29-30, 1979, page 14; April 26-27, 1979, pages 19-20; Fed.R.Civ.P. 54.
CROSS REFERENCE: Rules 8 (General Rules of Pleadings), 52 (Findings By the Court), 58 (Entry of Judgment), 59 (New Trials-Amendment of Judgments) and 77 (District Courts and Clerks), N.D.R.Civ.P.; Rule 3 (Appeal as of Right-How Taken), N.D.R.App.P.. See also, Rules 20 (Permissive Joinder of Parties) and 21 (Misjoinder and Non-Joinder of Parties), N.D.R.Civ.P..