As amended through July 22, 2021
Rule 48.1 - Procedure for Change of Judge by Peremptory Challenge1. In any civil action pending in a district court, which has not been appealed from a lower court, each side is entitled, as a matter of right, to one change of judge by peremptory challenge. Each action or proceeding, whether single or consolidated, shall be treated as having only two sides. A party wishing to exercise the right to change of judge shall file a pleading entitled "Peremptory Challenge of Judge." The notice may be signed by a party or by an attorney, it shall state the name of the judge to be changed, and it shall neither specify grounds, nor be accompanied by an affidavit. If one of two or more parties on one side of an action files a peremptory challenge, no other party on that side may file a separate challenge.2. A notice of peremptory challenge of judge shall be filed in writing with the clerk of the court in which the case is pending and a copy served on the opposing party. The filing shall be accompanied by a fee of $450, which the clerk shall transmit to the clerk of the supreme court. The fee shall be collected by the clerk of the supreme court and deposited in the state treasury for the support of the travel and reasonable and necessary expenses of district judges, senior justices and judges, and former justices and judges incurred in the performance of judicial duties, and, thereafter for other expenditures deemed reasonable and necessary by the supreme court. Within 2 days of the notice of peremptory challenge having been filed, the clerk of the district court shall: (a) In a judicial district in which there are more than two departments, randomly reassign the case to another judge within the district; (b) In a judicial district in which there are two or less departments, assign the case to the remaining judge. Alternatively, the presiding judge in the district may request the chief justice to assign the case to a judge of another district. 3. Except as provided in subsection 4, the peremptory challenge shall be filed: (a) Within 10 days after notification to the parties of a trial or hearing date; or(b) Not less than 3 days before the date set for the hearing of any contested pretrial matter, whichever occurs first. 4. If a case is not assigned to a judge before the time required for filing the peremptory challenge, the challenge shall be filed: (a) Within 3 days after the party or his attorney is notified that the case has been assigned to a judge; or (b) Before the jury is sworn, evidence taken, or any ruling made in the trial or hearing, whichever occurs first.5. A notice of peremptory challenge may not be filed against any judge who has made any ruling on a contested matter or commenced hearing any contested matter in the action. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 8, a peremptory challenge may not be filed against any judge who is assigned to or accepts a case from the overflow calendar or against a senior or pro tempore judge assigned by the supreme court to hear any civil matter. 6. The judge against whom a peremptory challenge is filed shall not contact any party or the attorney representing any party, nor shall the judge direct any communication to the clerk of the district court with respect to reassignment of the case in which the peremptory challenge was filed. 7. The filing of an affidavit of bias or prejudice without specifying the facts upon which the disqualification is sought, which results in a transfer of the action to another district judge is a waiver of the parties' rights under this rule. A peremptory challenge under this rule is a waiver of the parties' rights to transfer the matter to another judge by filing an affidavit of bias or prejudice without specifying the facts upon which the disqualification is sought. 8. When a senior judge is appointed to hear a trial or dispositive motion more than 30 days prior to the trial or hearing, a party may follow the procedures in this rule to exercise a peremptory challenge to change the senior judge assigned to the trial or hearing. If a senior judge is assigned to such matter less than 30 days before the matter is to be decided, the parties may not exercise a peremptory challenge. A party may exercise one peremptory challenge against a senior judge in addition to the one peremptory challenge against a judge allowed by subsection 1 of this Rule. 9. Notwithstanding the prior exercise of a peremptory challenge, in the event that the action is reassigned for any reason other than the exercise of a peremptory challenge, each side shall be entitled, as a matter of right, to an additional peremptory challenge. Added; effective July 20, 1979; amended; effective December 10, 2009; amended effective January 12, 2011.