Section 1. Purpose and Definition.
This rule provides a framework for the use of contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission by reliable electronic means in North Dakota's district and municipal courts. This rule is intended to enhance the current level of judicial services available within the North Dakota court system through the use of reliable electronic means and not in any way to reduce the current level of judicial services.
Section 2. In General.
(A) Subject to the limitations in Sections 3, 4 and 5, a district or municipal court may conduct a proceeding by reliable electronic means on its own motion or on a party's motion. (B) A party wishing to use reliable electronic means must obtain prior approval from the court after providing notice to other parties. (C) Parties must coordinate approved reliable electronic means proceedings with the court to facilitate scheduling and ensure equipment compatibility. (D) Each site where reliable electronic means are used in a court proceeding must provide equipment or facilities for confidential attorney-client communication. (E) A method for electronic transmission of documents must be available at each site where reliable electronic means are used in a court proceeding for use in conjunction with the proceeding.
Section 3. Civil Action.
In a civil action, a district or municipal court may conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding, or take testimony, by reliable electronic means.
Section 4. Criminal Action.
(A) In a criminal action, a district or municipal court may conduct a hearing, conference, or other proceeding by reliable electronic means, except as otherwise provided in Section 4 (B). (B) Exceptions.(1) A defendant may not plead guilty nor be sentenced by reliable electronic means unless the parties consent. (2) A witness may not testify by reliable electronic means unless the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to have the witness testify in person. (3) An attorney for a defendant must be present at the site where the defendant is located unless the attorney's participation by reliable electronic means from another location is approved by the court with the consent of the defendant. In a guilty plea proceeding, the court may not allow the defendant's attorney to participate from a site separate from the defendant unless:(a) the court makes a finding on the record that the attorney's participation from the separate site is necessary; (b) the court confirms on the record that the defendant has knowingly and voluntarily consented to the attorney's participation from a separate site; and (c) the court allows confidential attorney-client communication, if requested.
Section 5. Revocation of Probation Proceedings for Out of State Offenders.
(A) When a petition for revocation of probation has been issued for a probationer who is in another state and who has been sentenced by a court having jurisdiction in the other state to a period of incarceration, a North Dakota district court may conduct the revocation of probation hearing by reliable electronic means. Before a district court may conduct a revocation of probation hearing by reliable electronic means for a probationer serving a sentence of incarceration in another state, the district court shall:
(1) confirm on the record that the probationer has knowingly and voluntarily consented to a revocation of probation hearing by reliable electronic means; and
(2) confirm on the record that the probationer has knowingly and voluntarily consented to the probationer's attorney's representation from a site separate from the probationer; and
(3) allow the probationer opportunity for confidential attorney-client representation.
(B) If the district court orders probation be revoked, the district court shall state on the record whether the period of incarceration imposed by the other state fully or partially satisfies the sentence imposed by the district court.
Section 6. Mental Health Proceeding.
(A) In a mental health proceeding, a district court may conduct a proceeding by reliable electronic means and allow the following persons to appear or present testimony:(1) the respondent or patient; (2) a witness; (3) legal counsel for a party.(B) Notice, Objection, and Waiver.(1) Notice. Before holding any mental health proceeding by reliable electronic means, the court must give notice to the petitioner and the respondent. The notice must:(a) advise the parties of their right to object to the use of reliable electronic means; (b) inform the respondent that the proceedings may be recorded on video and that, if there is an appeal, the video recording may be made part of the appendix on appeal and is part of the record on appeal.(2) Objection.(a) Reliable electronic means may not be used in a mental health proceeding if any party objects. The respondent must be given the opportunity to consult with an attorney about the right to object to the use of reliable electronic means. (b) If the respondent fails to make an objection or fails to make a timely objection to the use of reliable electronic means, the court may nevertheless continue the proceeding for good cause. (c) If the proceeding is continued, the respondent will continue to be held at the facility where the respondent was receiving treatment or, at the choice of the treatment provider in a less restrictive setting, until a face-to-face hearing can be completed. (d) A face-to-face hearing must be scheduled to occur within four days, exclusive of weekends and holidays, of the date the objection was made, unless good cause is shown for holding it at a later time.(3) Waiver. Upon mutual consent of the parties, and with the approval of the court, notice requirements in a mental health proceeding may be waived to allow for the conduct of proceedings without prior notice or with notice that does not conform to Section 5 (B) (1).
This rule was adopted effective May 1, 2005. Amended effective June 1, 2005; March 1, 2015; March 1, 2019.
This rule was amended, effective March 1, 2015, to extend the application of the rule to proceedings conducted by contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission using reliable electronic means.
A new Section 5 was added, effective March 1, 2019, to establish a procedure for the use of contemporaneous audio or audiovisual transmission using reliable electronic means in proceedings to revoke probation for probationers who are in another state.
SOURCES Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 25, 2018, pages 15-16; April 24-25, 2014, pages 15-16; April 27-28, 2006, pages 22-24; April 28-29, 2005, pages 21-22; April 24-25, 2003, pages 20-23; September 26-27, 2002, pages 4-12.