RULE 30. JURY INSTRUCTIONS

Effective Date: 3/1/2006

(a) Requests.

(1) A party may, at the close of the evidence or at an earlier reasonable time that the court directs, file and furnish to every other party written requests that the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in the requests.

(2) After the close of the evidence, a party may:

(A) file requests for instructions on issues that could not reasonably have been anticipated at an earlier time for requests set under Rule 30(a)(1), and

(B) with the court's permission file untimely requests for instructions on any issue.

(3) The court may require each request to be written on a separate sheet. North Dakota pattern jury instructions may be requested by reference to the instruction number.

(b) Instructions.

(1) The court:

(A) must inform the parties of its proposed instructions and proposed action on the requests before instructing the jury and before final jury arguments;

(B) must give the parties an opportunity to object on the record and out of the jury's hearing to the proposed instructions and actions on requests before the instructions and arguments are delivered.

(2) The court may instruct the jury at any time after trial begins and before the jury is discharged.

(3) Immediately after the jury is sworn the court may give instructions concerning:

(A) jury duties and conduct;

(B) the order of proceedings; and

(C) elementary legal principles governing the proceedings.

(4) The court's instructions must be in writing unless the parties otherwise agree.

(A) If written instructions are given, they must be signed by the court and provided to the jury for use during deliberations.

(B) If oral instructions are given, they may be provided to the jury for use during deliberations only if they are transcribed and the court orders them provided.

(C) All instructions used by the jury during deliberations must be returned to the court when the verdict is submitted.

(c) Objections.

(1) a party who objects to an instruction or the failure to give an instruction must do so on the record, stating distinctly the matter objected to and the grounds of the objection.

(2) An objection is timely if:

(A) a party that has been informed of an instruction or action on a request before the jury is instructed and before final jury arguments, as provided by Rule 30(b)(1), objects at the opportunity for objection required by Rule 30(b)(2); or

(B) a party that has not been informed of an instruction or action on a request before the time for objection provided under Rule 30(b)(2) objects promptly after learning that the instruction or request will be, or has been, given or refused.

(d) Preserving Objections; Plain Error.

(1) A party may assign as error:

(A) an error in an instruction actually given if that party made a proper objection under Rule 30(c), or

(B) a failure to give an instruction if that party made a proper request under Rule 30(a).

(2) A court may consider a plain error in the instructions affecting substantial rights that has not been preserved as required by Rule 30(d)(1)(A) or (B).

Rule 30 was amended, effective March 1, 1986; March 1, 1990; March 1, 1999; March 1, 2006.

This rule is based on N.D.R.Civ.P. 51.

Rule 30 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the March 1, 2005, revision of N.D.R.Civ.P. 51. 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, 1999, to provide for preliminary jury instructions.

SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 27-28, 2005, pages 24-25; September 25-26, 1997, pages 16-17; April 20, 1989, page 4; December 3, 1987, page 15; November 29, 1984, page 6; June 21, 1984, page 6; April 24-26, 1973, page 12; October 17-20, 1972, pages 38-41; September 26-27, 1968, pages 14-15; Fed.R.Crim.P. 30.

STATUTES AFFECTED:

SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-21-30, 29-21-31, 29-21-33, 33-07-17.

CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-22-04, 29-22-05, 29-22-06, 33-12-20.

CROSS REFERENCES: N.D.R.Civ.P. 51 (Instructions to Jury).

Effective Date Obsolete Date
03/01/2006 View
03/01/1999 03/01/2006 View
04/20/1989 03/01/1999 View