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Rule 54. Continuances.

(a) Pre trial and motionmatters may be continued once upon stipulation of the parties and the guardianad litem and notice to the clerk of the judge to whom the case is assigned.After the first continuance or once a matter has been set for trial, the mattermay be continued only with the approval of the court.

(b) A second continuance may berequested by stipulation of the parties and the guardian ad litem, by motion inopen court or by written motion clearly stating the grounds for thecontinuance. Notice of the hearing on the motion shall be served upon allcounsel according to Rule 18. The motion and notice of hearing must be servedat least 5 days prior to the date of the hearing, unless the court has orderedotherwise and a copy of the court's order is served upon counsel with themotion.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs(a) and (b), absent unavoidable circumstances, no continuance shall be grantedin any child protection case except upon a showing by the moving party that thecontinuance will not adversely affect the interest of the child or cause ahearing to be held later than child welfare timelines established by statute.

(d) In sexual abuse casesinvolving child victims, continuances may only be granted upon a written findingby the court, or written minute entry which shall include the reason(s) for thecontinuance.

(e) If the hearing is an"important criminal justice hearing" or an "important juvenilejustice hearing" as defined by Section 77-38-2 of which the victim has requestednotification, the court should consider the impact of the continuance upon thevictim.