from the District Court of Morton County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Cynthia Feland, Judge.
M. Knoll, Bismarck, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
Theresa L. Kellington, Bismarck, ND, for defendant and
appellant, on brief.
Matthew Jevne appeals an order denying his motion for an
order to show cause against Samantha Hoffman. We affirm,
concluding the court did not abuse its discretion in denying
Jevne's motion without a hearing.
Jevne and Hoffman have one child together. Jevne and Hoffman
divorced in Texas in 2017, and Hoffman was awarded primary
residential responsibility of the child. Hoffman moved to
North Dakota in 2018 and registered the Texas judgment in
Morton County under N.D.C.C. § 14-14.1-25 as a foreign
child custody determination.
In August 2018, Jevne moved for an order to show cause,
arguing Hoffman willfully violated the terms of the judgment.
He argued Hoffman denied him access to information concerning
the health, education and welfare of their child, denied him
communication with the child and failed to reimburse him for
debts he paid related to their house. Jevne requested Hoffman
be found in contempt of court. Hoffman submitted a brief and
affidavit disputing Jevne's allegations and denying she
violated the terms of the judgment. Jevne did not request a
The district court denied Jevne's motion without a
hearing, finding Jevne failed to submit evidence showing
Hoffman willfully violated the judgment:
"Defendant has not met his burden of proof for issuance
of an order to show cause against the plaintiff because
Defendant has failed to submit evidence which satisfactorily
demonstrates that any alleged noncompliance with the
Final Decree of Divorce by the plaintiff was willful
and inexcusable noncompliance which constitutes contempt. The
Court further finds that the defendant's acts and
omissions pertaining to the plaintiff's alleged
contemptuous conduct concerning the parenting provisions in
the Final Decree of Divorce, including but not limited to the
defendant's failure to utilize the 'Our Family
Wizard' platform for communication about parenting
matters as required in the Final Decree of Divorce
and apparent unwillingness to contact the parties'
11-year-old child directly for scheduled electronic
communications with the child, contributed to the creation of
issues for which Defendant has moved for an Order to Show
Cause against the plaintiff."
Jevne argues the district court erred in denying his motion
for an order to show cause without an evidentiary hearing.
Jevne's notice of motion states he brought his motion
under N.D.R.Ct. 3.2. A party bringing a N.D.R.Ct. 3.2 motion
may have the motion decided on the briefs or request oral
argument under N.D.R.Ct. 3.2(a)(3), which provides "[i]f
any party who has timely served and filed a brief requests
oral argument, the request must be granted." A district
court also may require oral argument under N.D.R.Ct. 3.2(b),
which provides "[a]fter reviewing the parties'
submissions, the court may require oral argument and may
allow or require evidence on a motion." Thus, unless
requested by a party, oral argument on a motion under
N.D.R.Ct. 3.2 is not required. See Schwalk v.
Schwalk, 2014 ND 13, ¶ 12, 841 N.W.2d 767
("Rule 3.2, N.D.R.Ct., provides procedural rules for
motions and does not require a hearing be held on every
Jevne's brief in support of his motion for an order to
show cause also states he brought his motion under N.D.C.C.
ch. 27-10, relating to contempt. Contempt of court means
"[i]ntentional disobedience, resistance, or obstruction
of the authority, process, or order of a court."
N.D.C.C. § 27-10-01.1(1)(c). "[W]hen an act
punishable as contempt is not committed in the immediate view
and presence of the court, the court, upon being satisfied of
the commission of the offense, may . . . [o]rder the accused
to show ...