M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Gerhard Raedeke
RE: Rule 2.2, N.D.R.Ct.; Facsimile Transmission
The Committee has a request from Chad Nodland for an amendment clarifying N.D.R.Ct. 2.2. Currently, the rule is unclear as to whether the $5 fee required for facsimile filing is per document or transmission.
In the material following is a poll of the clerks of court. The poll indicates the clerks are interpreting Rule 2.2 differently. Following is a summary of the poll.
1. Whether the $5 fee is charged per transmission or document:
- Fifteen clerks indicated they are charging per transmission.
- Nine clerks indicated they are charging per document.
2. How a document is defined:
- A document is defined by whether the paper is separately titled or captioned.
- A document is a paper which receives a document number and is entered as such in the register of actions.
- A document is defined as each pleading such as a summons, brief, or complaint.
- A document is defined by the page numbering.
3. Percent or number of documents being filed by fax:
- One clerk - no documents have been filed by fax
- One clerk - documents have been filed by fax 1 or 2 times
- One clerk - documents filed by fax once or twice a year
- Six clerks - less than or equal to 1% of filings are by fax
- One clerk - less than 3% of filings are by fax
- Four clerks - up to 5% of filings are by fax
- Four clerks - 5% of filings are by fax
- One clerk - 5-10% of filings are by fax
- One clerk - 3-5 documents per month are filed by fax
- One clerk - less than 20 documents per year are filed by fax
- Two clerks - 3-4 documents per week are filed by fax
- One clerk - 4 documents per week are filed by fax
- One clerk - 2 documents per day are filed by fax.
4. Length of documents being filed by fax:
- One clerk - 1-2 pages
- One clerk - 2-3 pages
- Three clerks - 1-5 pages
- Two clerks - 2-5 pages
- One clerk - 3-4 pages
- One clerk - 3-5 pages
- One clerk - less than 6 pages
- One clerk - a few pages
- One clerk - 1-10 pages
- One clerk - 4-10 pages
- One clerk - 1-20 pages
- One clerk - 10-15 pages
- One clerk - 5-30 pages
- One clerk - 1-40 pages
- One clerk - out-of-town law firms have filed hundreds of pages by fax.
5. Method of charging:
- Three clerks indicated the fee should be per page.
- Twenty clerks indicated the charge should be a flat rate per document or transmission, and not by the number of pages
- because charging per page creates additional work and
- other filing fees are not charged by volume.
6. Amount of Fee:
- Five clerks indicated $5 is satisfactory.
- Two clerks suggested the fee should be $5 to $10.
- Three clerks indicated the fee should be $1 per page.
- Two clerks suggested the fee should be $5 per fax for the first 10 pages and 25¢ for each additional page.
- One clerk suggested the fee should be $5 per fax for the first 15 pages and 25¢ for each additional page.
- One clerk suggested the fee should be $5 per fax for the first 5 to 10 pages and $1 for each additional page.
- One clerk suggested the fee should be $10 per fax for the first 10 pages and $1 for each additional page.
- One clerk suggested if more than 10 pages are faxed, an extra fee should be charged for each additional page.
7. Comments received:
- Attorneys do not indicate whether it is there intent to file by fax or whether they are just faxing a copy for informational purposes.
- Ninety-nine percent of time, have to send the attorney a letter asking for the facsimile transmission fee.
- Rule should say that if you fax file, the original does not need to be filed.
- I do not file faxes if the attorney indicates an original is being mailed
- only file faxed documents if requested.
- Office sends a letter regarding fee. Not everyone pays and we do not have time to try and collect.
- Should give thought to e-mail filing.
- Clerks of district court should not be required to accept facsimile filings like the Supreme Court.
- Are returning the originals.
- Everyone should do it the same way.
- When attorneys call for our fax number, we encourage them to mail the originals instead of filing by facsimile transmission.
- It is unnecessary to send a document late in the afternoon by fax, if the clerk is going to receive the same document the next morning by mail.
- The original documents and filing fees should be required to be filed with the clerk within 5 days. Facsimile copies are somewhat messy and hard to read.
- Is a nuisance to have a document faxed in the afternoon and then received the next day.
- Would prefer not to accept facsimile transmissions. Documents are faxed and the originals follow in the next day's mail. The originals are returned and a request is made for the fee.
- Dislike fax filing because the clerk always has to bill the party doing the faxing - payments are very rarely made voluntarily.
- Do not see fax filing as a matter that needs addressing.
- All other filings are a flat fee. A certified copy is $10 no matter how many pages.
Based on the poll, filing by facsimile transmission seems to be working. The worst fears of this Committee when approving N.D.R.Ct. 2.2 have not materialized. Only a small portion of filings are by facsimile transmission, and most documents do not contain an excessive number of pages.
The most common complaints made by the clerks are 1) people are not paying the fee for filing by facsimile transmission, and 2) duplication occurs when people send documents by mail and facsimile transmission.