THE CONSTITUTION of the STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA
(as amended to 1973)
We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain and establish this constitution.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
. All men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation; and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have a right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require.
The state of North Dakota is an inseparable part of the American union and the constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall be forever guaranteed in this state, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness or juror on account of his opinion on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of this state.
. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require.
All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted. Witnesses shall not be unreasonably detained, nor be confined in any room where criminals are actually imprisoned.
. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate; but a jury in civil cases, in courts not of record may consist of less than twelve men, as may be prescribed by law.
Until otherwise provided by law, no person shall, for a felony, be prosecuted against criminally, otherwise than by indictment, except in cases arising in the land and nava forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger. In all other cases, offenses shall be prosecuted criminally by indictment or information. The legislative assembly may change, regulate or abolish the grand jury system.
Every man may freely write, speak and publish his opinions on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege. In all civil and criminal trials for libel the truth may be given in evidence, and shall be a sufficient defense when the matter is published with good motives and for justifiable ends; and the jury shall have the same power of giving a general verdict as in other cases; and in all indictments or informations for libels the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court as in other cases.
The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for the common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for the redress of
grievances, or for other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation.
The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be maintained by this state in time of peace, and no soldiers shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, except in the manner prescribed by law.
In criminal prosecutions in any court whatever, the party accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial; to have the process of the court to compel the attendance of
witness in his behalf; and to appear and defend in person and with counsel. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, nor be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation having first been made to, or paid into court for the owner. NO right of way shall be
appropriated to the use of any corporation until full compensation therefor be first made in money or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived, provided however, that when the state or any of its departments, agencies or political subdivisions seeks to acquire right of way, it may take possession upon making an offer to purchase and by depositing the amount of such offer with the clerk of the district court of the county wherein the right of way is located. The clerk shall immediately notify the owner of such deposit. The owner thereupon appeal to the court in the manner provided by law, and may have a jury trial, unless a jury be waived, to determine the damages
. No person shall be imprisoned for debt unless upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; or in cases of tort; or where there is strong presumption of fraud.
. No bill of attainder, expost facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be passed.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be
searched and the person and things to be seized.
Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.
No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by the legislative assembly; nor shall any citizen or class of citizens be granted privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not be granted to all citizens.
The provisions of this constitution are mandatory and prohibitory unless, by express words, they are declared to be otherwise.
. All courts shall be open, and every man for any injury done him in his lands, goods. person or reputation shall have remedy by due process of law, and right and justice
administered without sale, denial or delay. Suits may be brought against the state in such manner, in such courts, and in such cases, as the legislative assembly may, by law, direct.
. Every citizen of this state shall be free to obtain employment wherever possible, and any person, corporation, or agent thereof, maliciously interfering or hindering in any way, any citizen from obtaining or enjoying employment already obtained, from any other corporation or person, shall be deemed guilty of misdemeanor.
To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate.