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Effective Date: 10/1/2016

(a) In General. Unless the defendant has waived presence under Rule 43, arraignment must be conducted in open court and consists of:

(1) ensuring the defendant has a copy of the indictment, information, or complaint;

(2) reading the indictment, information, or complaint to the defendant or stating to the defendant the substance of the charge; and then

(3) asking the defendant to plead to the indictment, information or complaint.

If the defendant appears at the arraignment without counsel, the defendant must be informed of the right to counsel as provided in Rule 44.

(b) Reliable Electronic Means. Contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission by reliable electronic means may be used to arraign a defendant as permitted by N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R 52.

Rule 10 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1, 2004; March 1, 2006; March 1, 2016, October 1, 2016.

Rule 10 follows Fed.R.Crim.P. 10 in substance and controls with respect to all arraignments which arise within the state.

Rule 10 is designed both to safeguard important rights of the defendant as well as to protect proper administration of criminal law. The arraignment is an appearance before the court, intended to inform the accused of the charge against the accused and to obtain an answer from the accused. It is an important step in the criminal case, since it formulates the issue to be tried.

Failure to comply with the requirements of a proper arraignment is an irregularity that does not warrant a reversal of a conviction if not raised before trial. Under the rule, no specific time for the arraignment is set and no precise ceremonial or verbal formality need be followed.

Rule 10 was amended, effective March 1, 2004. The existing text of the rule was divided into subdivisions to improve clarity.

Subdivision (a) was amended, effective October 1, 2016, to reference Rule 43, which contains provisions allowing waiver of presence under specified circumstances.

Subdivision (b) was added effective March 1, 2004, to permit the use of interactive television to conduct the arraignment. Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 2006, to reference N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 52, which governs proceedings conducted by remote means. Subdivision (b) was further amended, March 1, 2016, to allow the use of contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission by reliable electronic means to conduct the arraignment.

Rule 10 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal 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 January 28-29, 2016, page 7; September 24-25, 2015, pages 23-24; April 23-24, 2015, pages 13-14; April 29-30, 2004, pages 26-28;September 26-27, 2002, page 13; April 20, 1989, page 4; December 3, 1987, page 15; March 23-25, 1972, pages 20-23; May 3-4, 1968, pages 8-9; Fed.R.Crim.P. 10.


SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-11-56, 29-12-01, 29-13-01, 29-13-03, 29-13-04, 29-13-05, 29-13-06, 29-13-07, 29-13-08, 29-13-09, 33-12-15.

CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Crim.P. 5 (Initial Appearance Before the Magistrate); N.D.R.Crim.P. 43 (Defendant's Presence); N.D.R.Crim.P. 44 (Right to and Appointment of Counsel); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 52 (Contemporaneous Transmission by Reliable Electronic Means).

Effective Date Obsolete Date
10/01/2016 View
03/01/2016 10/01/2016 View
03/01/2006 03/01/2016 View
03/01/2004 03/01/2006 View
03/01/1990 03/01/2004 View