Section 1. Statement of Authority and Intent.
Under N.D. Const. art. VI, § 3, the supreme court has the authority to adopt rules of procedure to be followed by all courts of the state, and to establish the powers, duties, and qualifications of court officials. The supreme court has administrative responsibility over all courts of the state and may establish rules to exercise that administrative authority as it deems necessary or desirable (N.D.C.C. § 27-02-05.1).
It is the intent of the North Dakota judicial system to establish a mechanism for the development of administrative policies and procedures which will define the mission of juvenile court services consistent with the Juvenile Court Act, N.D.C.C. chs. 27-20.2, 27- 20.3, and 27-20.4, and ch. 27-20.1 on guardianship of a child; to provide the administrative mechanism and authority to ensure the implementation of the policies; and to ensure the full involvement of judges and personnel of the North Dakota judicial system in the development of such policies and procedures.
Section 2. Effect of Policies.
The administrative policies adopted by the supreme court under this rule govern the actions of the juvenile courts and personnel of the juvenile courts in North Dakota.
Section 3. Membership.
The juvenile policy board will consist of three district judges appointed by the North Dakota judges' association, one district judge and one judicial referee appointed by the administrative council, one district judge or supreme court justice appointed by the chief justice, one juvenile court officer appointed by the chief justice, and one juvenile director appointed by the chief justice. Terms of the members will be for a three-year period and will be staggered in such a manner to ensure that at least two members shall be up for election or appointment annually. A member may not serve more than three consecutive terms. A former member who served three consecutive terms is eligible for reappointment after a six-year break in service. The chief justice may appoint members to fill vacancies which occur for an unexpired term. The membership will reflect the geographic and population diversities of the state and no more than two judges may be from any one judicial district.
Section 4. Development of Long Term Planning for Delivery of Juvenile Court Services.
Prior to the end of the first fiscal year of each biennium, the juvenile policy board will forward to the supreme court recommendations to update a continuing five-year plan for the delivery of juvenile court services. The plan will establish priority for the delivery of services, identify program needs, recommend cooperative agreements with other state, local or private agencies, and may recommend specific budget items to be included in the judicial system budget request.
Section 5. Establishment or Amendment of Juvenile Court Policies and Procedures.
(a) The juvenile policy board may recommend to the supreme court policies relating to the operation of the juvenile court:
(1) The policies must be consistent with state law and court rules.
(2) The operation of the juvenile court is defined to include:(A) intake;(B) diversion;(C) probation;(D) placement;(E) workload standards;(F) training standards;(G) child welfare.
(3) Any matter relating to pleadings, practice, or procedure including Appellate Procedure, Rules of Evidence, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Civil Procedure, or special rules of Procedure for the conduct of formal juvenile court hearings will be forwarded to the joint procedure committee, for its consideration, approval and recommendation to the supreme court.
(b) Operating Procedures.
The juvenile policy board may issue operating procedures and guidelines to be followed by the juvenile courts in implementing state law or administrative policies which have been approved by the supreme court.
Before forwarding a recommended policy or adopting a procedure, the juvenile policy board will solicit comments by notifying all district court judges and appropriate district court personnel of the proposed policy or procedure. The notice shall be at least 45 days prior:
(1) to forwarding the recommendation to the supreme court or the joint procedure committee, or
(2) to adopting a procedure to implement state law or approved policy.
If it is determined that immediate action is required, the time frame for comment may be suspended and the recommended policy may be forwarded to the supreme court along with the justification of expedited recommendation, or the procedure may be adopted by the juvenile policy board on an interim basis pending comment.
Section 6. Administration.
(a) It is the intent of this rule to leave the direct supervision of juvenile court employees at the district court level.
It is also the intent to assure the consistent delivery of programs and services through the policy board and the state juvenile services coordinator (or such other person within the state court administrator's office assigned the juvenile portfolio regardless of title).
(b) The state juvenile services coordinator will have the responsibility and authority to assure implementation of policies as approved by the supreme court and procedures approved by the board. The coordinator will work with the juvenile courts on a statewide basis and on an individual basis to assure implementation. The oordinator will make recommendations and reports to the judges of the district, the policy board, or the supreme court in matters relating to budget, staffing, personnel, programs, performance and other related matters.
Rule 35 was adopted as an emergency rule effective June 24, 1992; amended and readopted July 27, 1992; amended and readopted effective January 1, 1995; amended effective April 1, 2006 (Supreme Court No. 20060059); August 15, 2007, March 6, 2013; April 24, 2019; August 11, 2021.
SOURCE: N.D.Const., Art. VI, § 3; N.D.C.C. chs. 27-20.1, 27-20.2, 27-20.3, 27-20.4, and § 27-02-05.1