(a) Compulsory Meeting.
(1) Within 30 days after service of the complaint, the parties and their attorneys must meet in person or by electronic means to prepare a joint informational statement (in the form shown in appendix C) and a preliminary property and debt listing. The complaint and joint informational statement must be filed no later than seven days after the compulsory meeting.
(2) The parties must exchange information and documentary evidence relating to the existence and valuation of assets and liabilities. At a minimum, the parties must be prepared to exchange current paystubs, employment and income information, tax returns, preliminary pension information, and asset, debt and expense documentation.
(3) The parties must determine at the meeting what additional information is necessary in order to complete the case. The parties must decide at the meeting whether alternative dispute resolution methods are appropriate.
(b) Scheduling Order. Within 30 days after the informational statement is filed, the court must issue its scheduling order. The court may issue the order after either a telephone or in-court scheduling conference, or without a conference or hearing if none is needed. The scheduling order may establish any of the following deadlines:
(1) specific dates for the completion of discovery and other pretrial preparations;
(2) specific dates for serving, filing, or hearing motions;
(3) specific dates for completion of mediation/alternative dispute resolution;
(4) a specific date for the parties to complete parent/divorce education;
(5) a specific date for filing the property and debt listing;
(6) specific dates for completion of parenting evaluation;
(7) a specific date by which the parties will be prepared for the pretrial conference;
(8) a specific date by which the parties will be prepared for the trial;
(9) a specific date for identification of witnesses and documents; and
(10) a specific date by which the parties will submit the parenting plans.
(c) Pretrial Conferences.
(1) Each party must complete a pretrial conference statement substantially in the form set forth in appendix D which must be served upon all parties and filed with the court at least 14 days prior to the date of the pretrial conference.
(2) Unless excused by the court for good cause, the parties and attorneys who will try the proceedings must attend the pretrial conference, prepared to discuss settlement. If a stipulation is reduced to writing prior to the pretrial conference, the case may be heard as a default at the time scheduled for the conference. In that event, only one party need appear. If a party fails to appear at a pretrial conference, the court may dispose of the proceedings without further notice to that party.
(3) If the parties are unable to resolve the case, in whole or in part, at the pretrial conference, the court must issue an order concerning any remaining discovery and motions, and identifying the contested issues for trial.
(4) Unless otherwise ordered, at least 14 days before trial, the parties must file a joint property and debt listing substantially in the form set forth in appendix E. Each asset or liability must be numbered separately. The joint property and debt listing is confidential.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the time to file the complaint and joint informational statement from five to seven days after the compulsory meeting.
Paragraph (b)(8) was amended, March 1, 2008, to delete a reference to the note of issue and certificate of readiness.
Paragraph (c)(1) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to change the time to serve a pretrial conference statement from 10 to 14 days before the date of the pretrial conference.
Paragraph (c)(4) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to change the time to file a joint property and debt listing from 10 to 14 days before trial.
Paragraph (c)(4) was amended, effective August 1, 2017, to state that the joint property and debt listing is confidential.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 27, 2017, page 12; April 29-30, 2010, page 21; May 21-22, 2009, pages 44-45; April 26-27, 2007, pages 14-15; January 25-26, 1996, pages 3-6; September 28-29, 1995, pages 3-11; June 22, 1984, page 10.
Considered: N.D.C.C. § 14-05-24.3.