(a) Preserving a Claim of Error. A party may preserve a claim of error by informing the court—when the court ruling or order is made or sought—of the action the party wishes the court to take, or the party's objection to the court's action and the grounds for that objection. If a party does not have an opportunity to object to a ruling or order, the absence of an objection does not later prejudice that party. A ruling or order that admits or excludes evidence is governed by N.D.R.Ev. 103.
(b) Exceptions Unnecessary. Exceptions to rulings or orders of the court are unnecessary.
Rule 51 was amended, effective March 1, 2006.
Subdivision (a) was added to Rule 51, effective March 1, 2006. The subdivision is based on Fed.R.Crim.P. 51(b) and reflects longstanding North Dakota practice. To preserve a point on appeal, a party must make an objection, based on proper grounds, to the evidence or other matters put before the court for consideration. An appropriate objection lets the court know the action the party desires the court to take or the party's objection to the court's action and the grounds for the objection. The purpose of making an objection to a ruling known is to enable the court to correct its error, if any, or to enable the opposing party to correct an alleged defect.
Subdivision (b) makes clear that exceptions to rulings of the court are not necessary. Under former practice in North Dakota, when a party's objection was overruled the party was required to make an exception to preserve the point on appeal.
SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 28-18-01, 29-21-32, 29-21-33, 29-23-05, 29-23-06.