North Dakota rules of civil procedure lays down the rules that should be followed by district courts in civil actions. The rules are promulgated for smooth and efficient functioning of courts. In North Dakota a civil action commences by the service of a summons. Party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant. According to Rule 4 a copy of complaint should be served with a Summons.
A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage. Different types of pleadings allowed according to Rule 7 are: Complaint, Answer to Complaint, Counter claim, Reply to counterclaim, Cross claim, Answer to cross claim, Third party complaint and Third party answer. Under Rule 17, a complaint should be filed by a real party in interest. If the real party in interest is an infant or incompetent person, the person’s general guardian should file the complaint. If the infant or incompetent person does not have a guardian, s/he may file the action through next friend or a guardian ad litem. Courts may appoint a guardian ad litem if necessary to represent the infant or incompetent person.
Under Rule 26 parties my obtain discovery by:
- oral examination or written questions;
- written interrogatories;
- requests for admission;
- request for production of documents or other information;
- request for permission to enter into land or other property for inspection or other purpose; and/or
- physical and mental examinations.
Jury trial can be demanded as of right. The party should specify the issues to be tried by jury. Issues involved in a case not tried by jury will be tried by court without jury. A judgment is passed after trial. A judgment may include a decree and any order from which appeal is permissible.