Rule 54. Continuances.

(a) Pre trial and motion matters may be continued once upon stipulation of the parties and the guardian ad 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 matter may be continued only with the approval of the court.

(b) A second continuance may be requested by stipulation of the parties and the guardian ad litem, by motion in open court or by written motion clearly stating the grounds for the continuance. Notice of the hearing on the motion shall be served upon all counsel according to Rule 18. The motion and notice of hearing must be served at least 5 days prior to the date of the hearing, unless the court has ordered otherwise and a copy of the court's order is served upon counsel with the motion.

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

(d) In sexual abuse cases involving child victims, continuances may only be granted upon a written finding by the court, or written minute entry which shall include the reason(s) for the continuance.

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