To identify thetypes of cases and matters commissioners are authorized to hear, to identifythe types of relief commissioners may recommend and to identify the types offinal orders commissioners may issue.
This rule shallgovern all domestic relations court commissioners serving in the districtcourts.
Statement ofthe Rule:
(1) Types ofcases and matters. All domestic relations matters filed in the district courtin counties where court commissioners are appointed and serving, including alldivorce, annulment, paternity, cohabitant abuse and child protective ordermatters, dating violence protective orders, orders to show cause, schedulingand settlement conferences, petitions to modify divorce decrees, schedulingconferences, and all other applications for relief, shall be referred to thecommissioner upon filing with the clerk of the court unless otherwise orderedby the presiding judge.
(2) Authorityof court commissioner. Court commissioners shall have the following authority:
(2)(A) Uponnotice, require the personal appearance of parties and their counsel;
(2)(B) Requirethe filing of financial disclosure statements and proposed settlement forms bythe parties;
(2)(C) Obtainchild custody evaluations from the Division of Family Services or through theprivate sector;
(2)(D) Makerecommendations to the court regarding any issue, including a recommendationfor entry of final judgment;
(2)(E) Requirecounsel to file with the initial or responsive pleading, a certificate basedupon the facts available at that time, stating whether there is a legal actionpending or previously adjudicated in a district or juvenile court of any stateregarding the minor child(ren) in the current case;
(2)(F) Imposesanctions against any party who fails to comply with the commissioner'srequirements of attendance or production of discovery;
(2)(G) Imposesanctions for contempt of court;
(2)(H) Issuetemporary or ex parte orders;
(2)(I) Conductsettlement conferences with the parties and their counsel. Issues that cannotbe settled shall be certified to the district court for trial; and
(2)(J) Conductpretrial conferences with the parties and their counsel. The commissioner shallmake recommendations on all issues under consideration at the pretrial andsubmit those recommendations to the district court.
(3) Duties ofcourt commissioner. Under the general supervision of the presiding judge, thecourt commissioner has the following duties prior to any domestic matter beingheard by the district court:
(3)(A) Reviewall pleadings in each case;
(3)(B) Certifythose cases directly to the district court that appear to require a hearingbefore the district court judge;
(3)(C) At thecommissioner's discretion and after notice to all parties or their counsel,conduct hearings with parties and their counsel for the purpose of takingtestimony or proffers of testimony, except in cases previously certified to thedistrict court;
(3)(D)Coordinate information with the juvenile court regarding previous or pendingproceedings involving children of the parties; and
(3)(E) Referappropriate cases to mediation programs if available.
(4)(A)Commissioners shall not make final adjudications.
(4)(B)Commissioners shall not serve as pro tempore judges in any matter, except asprovided by Rule of the Supreme Court.