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NDCAWS has supervised and facilitated a certification process for advocates who assist in the pro se protection order process since 1993.
In 1992, the Supreme Court of North Dakota adopted Administrative Rule 34, which specifically defines the role of the advocate in these proceedings. They can basically perform three functions:
1) Sit at counsel table during court proceedings
2) Assist in preparing printed forms
3) Make written or oral statements to the court with permission
All advocates working under AR34 must be employed by a domestic violence program incorporated within the state.
Advocates certified to perform these functions must complete at least 30 hours of general training on domestic violence, and 10 hours of specific training on legal issues, which is presented by an attorney licensed to practice in North Dakota.
In 1998 an exam process was initiated to help monitor the effectiveness of the training and assure quality services. Legal Issues Training is provided twice a year. A list of advocates who have met all training requirements and passed the exam is sent to the Supreme Court in January and July for distribution to all North Dakota judges.
A NDCAWS certification committee has overseen the certification process, developed and revised policies, and reviewed applications for certification and renewals biannually. Once the initial trainings are completed, all certified advocates must complete 10 hours of continuing education annually; this training must be reviewed and approved by the CAWS Certification Committee.
For more information about the certification process, call Dana at 888-255-6240 or Email