Courts Failure to Provide a Hearing
It is impossible to determine what effect oral argument may have had on the trial court's exercise of its discretion in allowing costs, allowing reconsideration, or allowing amendment of the complaint.
In this regard, we specifically note the Supreme Court's prior admonitions that, because determinations on the merits are generally preferred to dismissal on the pleadings under N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court's scrutiny of the complaint must be highly deferential to the pleader and the complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no facts which would entitle him to relief.
See, e.g., Rose v. United Equitable Ins. Co., 2001 ND 154, P10, 632 N.W.2d 429; Towne v. Dinius, 1997 ND 125, P7, 565 N.W.2d 762; Rolin Mfg., Inc. v. Mosbrucker, 544 N.W.2d 132, 135 (N.D. 1996).
When it appears that a plaintiff may have some claim, although the pleadings are inartfully drafted, leave to amend the complaint rather than dismissal under N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) is usually a more appropriate course of action. Burke v. North Dakota Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., 2000 ND 85, P4, 609 N.W.2d 729; Towne, at P7 n.2; Kouba v. Febco, Inc., 543 N.W.2d 245, 248 (N.D. 1996).
When a trial court has erroneously failed to provide a required hearing, the appropriate remedy is a remand for a hearing. See J.S.P.L., 532 N.W.2d at 657.