Amendments to procedural rules now in effect Friday, March 1, 2019

Amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Court and the Administrative Rules took effect March 1.  Here is a synopsis of the amendments.

North Dakota Rules of Appellate Procedure

Rule 2.1. Mental Health Appeals under Chapter 25-03.1, North Dakota Century Code

Subdivision (a) was amended to clarify that extensions of time to file a notice of appeal are not permitted.

Rule 3. Appeal as of Right – How Taken

Subdivision (c) was amended to require a concise statement of preliminary issues to be filed for all appeals.

Rule 14. Identity Protection

Subdivision (a) was amended to require all references to a child or members of a child's family in appellate material to be by the individual child's initials in termination of parental rights proceedings.

Rule 24. Supplemental Statement of Indigent Defendant

The rule was amended to allow a supplemental statement by an indigent petitioner in a criminal or post-conviction case.

Rule 25 - Filing and Service

Subdivision (a) was amended to require electronic filing by all parties other than self-represented litigants and prisoners; to eliminate most fees that applied specifically to electronic filing; and to add requirements for documents filed electronically.

Rule 28. Briefs

Subdivision (e) was amended to require that if oral argument was requested, the cover of a brief indicate “Oral Argument Requested” and the brief contain a short statement explaining why oral argument would be helpful to the court.

Rule 31. Filing and Service of Briefs

Subdivision (b) was amended to provide that briefs be filed in electronic format, presumably pdf; to eliminate the need for a word processing version to be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and to clarify requirements for service on self-represented parties or prisoners.

Rule 32. Form of Briefs, Appendices, and other Documents

Subdivision (a) was amended to change maximum page counts for briefs. Subdivision (e) was amended to require a certificate of compliance.

Rule 34. Oral Argument

Subdivision (a) was amended to provide details on when oral argument will or will not be scheduled.

Rule 35.1 - Summary Disposition

Subdivision (a) was amended to allow the Supreme Court to affirm the judgment of the district court based on findings of fact that meet the required standard of proof.

Rule 40. Petition for Rehearing

Subdivision (b) was amended to eliminate word count limits in petitions for rehearing in favor of a page count limit.

North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure

Rule 56 - Summary Judgment

Subdivision (c) was amended to establish a deadline for serving a motion, a deadline for a reply brief and length limits for principal, answer, and reply briefs.

North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure

Rule 11 - Pleas

Subdivision (b) was amended to reference Rule 43(b)(2), which allows misdemeanor defendants to be absent from a plea proceeding.

Rule 24 - Trial Jurors

Subdivision (b) was amended to allow a challenge for cause to be made only prior to a juror being sworn.

Subdivision (c) was amended to allow retention of alternate jurors after the jury retires to deliberate.

Rule 32 - Sentence and Judgment

A new subdivision (d) was adopted to provide guidance for the sentencing of violent offenders.

Rule 32.1 - Deferred Imposition of Sentence

Rule 32.1 was amended to delete language making the rule applicable only in misdemeanor and infraction cases making the rule applicable in all cases in which an order deferring imposition of sentence is entered.

Rule 32.2 - Pretrial Diversion

Subdivision (a) was amended to specify that fees or costs allowed under the law are to be paid to the court and to allow the parties to agree that the defendant pay additional amounts to others as a condition of a pretrial diversion agreement.

Rule 35 - Correcting or Reducing a Sentence

Subdivision (a) was amended to clarify that a court has jurisdiction to correct an illegal sentence at any time.

North Dakota Rules of Evidence

Rule 803 - Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay

Paragraph (16) was amended allowing application of the ancient document exception only to documents prepared before January 1, 1998.

Rule 902 - Evidence that was Self-Authenticating

New paragraphs (13) and (14) were adopted to provide a means for self-authentication of designated electronic material.

North Dakota Rules of Court

Rule 3.1 - Pleadings

A new subdivision (i) was adopted to consolidate the rule's requirements related to the preparation and filing of paper documents in a single place.

Rule 3.5 - Electronic Filing in District Courts

Subdivision (b) was amended to exclude documents that consist of a single paragraph from the paragraph numbering requirement.

Appendix K. Rule 3.5 Electronic Filing Requirements

Subdivision (c) was amended to exclude documents that consist of a single paragraph from the paragraph numbering requirement.

North Dakota Supreme Court Administrative Rules

Rule 50 - Court Interpreter Qualifications and Procedures

Section 2 was amended to allow interpreters to be provided at no cost to parties and witnesses in sexual assault restraining order cases.

Rule 52 - Contemporaneous Transmission by Reliable Electronic Means

A new Section 5 was adopted to provide a procedure for hearings by reliable electronic means in revocation of probation proceedings involving out of state offenders.