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Order Promulgating Amendments To Rules of CTVDL Procedure

Supreme Court of Minnesota

March 13, 2018

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF CTVDL PROCEDURE

         Two petitions to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure were filed in 2016: by the Minnesota State Bar Association, to substantially conform certain rules to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to amend Rule 23 to require that at least 50 percent of unclaimed, undistributed, funds in state class action lawsuits be donated to the Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation Fund; and by the Board on Judicial Standards, to amend Rule 63 to clarify and update the judicial-disqualification standard. We referred both petitions to the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, which considered the amendments proposed in those petitions and other updates to the Rules of Civil Procedure over the course of several meetings in 2017.

         The committee filed its report and recommendations on August 1, 2017. We opened a public-comment period and on December 19, 2017, held a public hearing. The court has carefully considered the petitions, the recommended amendments, and the oral and written comments regarding those recommendations. Based on that review, we have decided that the petition of the Minnesota State Bar Association should be granted in part, the petition of the Board on Judicial Standards should be granted, and the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure should be adopted in part. Based on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

         1. The Committee's recommendation to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure to adopt timing deadlines based generally on a 7-, 14-, 21-, and 28-day system, as shown in Attachment 1 to the Committee's report, is referred to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the General Rules of Practice, the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure. Those committees are directed to consider the recommended amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure that are identified in Attachment 1 to the Committee's August 1 report, and determine whether similar or other changes to the time deadlines in the rules monitored by those committees should be recommended for amendment. The reports and recommendations of those committees shall be filed on or before October 1, 2018.

         2. The petition of the Minnesota State Bar Association is granted in part with respect to the request to amend Rules 3-4, 23, 30, 34, 37, and 56 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

         3. The petition of the Board on Judicial Standards, to amend Rule 63 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, is granted.

         4. The attached amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure and to Rule 115.01 of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts, are prescribed and promulgated to be effective as of July 1, 2018. The rules as amended shall apply to all cases pending on, or filed on or after, the effective date, with the exception of the amendments to Rules 26, 34, 37, and 63, which apply only to actions commenced on or after the effective date. A district court may, however, direct the parties in any case pending on the effective date of these rules to follow Rules 26, 34, and 37.

         5. The Advisory Committee comments are included for convenience and do not reflect court approval of the comments.

          Lorie S. Gildea Chief Justice

          MEMORANDUM

          PERCURIAM

         Two petitions to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure were filed in 2016. First, the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) filed a petition that asks the court to adopt the system used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to calculate rule-imposed deadlines, to otherwise amend certain rules to conform Minnesota's rules to changes made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure over the last several years, and to amend Minn. R. Civ. P. 23 to require that at least SO percent of unclaimed undistributed funds in state class action lawsuits ("cy pres funds") be donated to the Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation Fund. Second, the Board on Judicial Standards petitioned to amend Rule 63 to clarify and update the judicial-disqualification standard. We referred the petitions to the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, which considered both petitions and other proposed rule amendments over a series of meetings in 2017.

         The committee filed its report and recommendations on August 1, 2017. We opened a public-comment period and held a public hearing on December 19, 2017. Ten comments were filed, and representatives of the MSBA, Committee chair Judge Eric Hylden, and Committee reporter David Herr spoke at the public hearing. After careful consideration of the petitions, the Committee's recommendations, the written comments, and the remarks at the public hearing, we have decided to grant in part and deny in part the MSBA's petition, grant the petition of the Board on Judicial Standards, and adopt the recommendations of the Advisory Committee with respect to most other recommended rule amendments, for the reasons explained below.

         I.

         The MSBA's petition asks us to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure to conform "to the time-period structure" in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Committee also recommends amendments to several rules to adopt deadlines based "on a 7-, 14-, 21-, and 28-day system, " in place of the existing 5-, 10-, and 20-day deadlines. These proposed rule changes embrace similar changes made in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In 2009, deadlines in the federal rules were amended to require the counting of all days-"including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays" when calculating a rule-imposed deadline. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6, advisory comm. note-2009 Amendments. With this change to the federal rules, all days are treated the same (except when the last day of the event falls on Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which case counting continues forward to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday), and complicated or counterintuitive counting outcomes are eliminated. See id. (explaining that under the former counting rules, a 10-day period "not infrequently ended later than [a] 14-day period" that started at the same time).

         The MSBA and the Advisory Committee agree that the change adopted by the federal courts to calculate rule-imposed deadlines is sound. But with respect to this particular change, the Committee recommends that input from the Advisory Committees for the General Rules of Practice, the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure be obtained before a final ...


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