RULE 3.1. PLEADINGS
(a) Legibility and Numbering. All pleadings and other documents must be typewritten, printed, or reproduced and easily readable. Each sheet must be separately numbered. Pleadings and other documents filed with the court, except as otherwise permitted by the court, must be prepared on 8 /2 x 11 inch white paper.
(b) Signature. All pleadings and other documents of a party represented by an attorney must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name and contain the attorney's address, telephone number, and State Board of Law Examiners identification number. All pleadings and other documents of a party who is not represented by an attorney must be signed by the party and contain the party's address and telephone number.
(c) Spacing and Names. Writing must appear on one side of the sheet only and must be double-spaced, except for quoted material. Names must be typed or printed beneath all signatures.
(d) Binding. All pleadings or other documents in an action or proceeding must be filed by the clerk flat and unfolded and each set of papers firmly fastened together.
(e) Filing of Documents. A party seeking to file a pleading or other document must submit it to the clerk. The first submitted version of a pleading or document will be treated as the original unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(f) Non-conforming Documents -- Sanctions. If a party fails to comply with this rule, the court on motion of a party or its own motion, may order the pleading or other document reformed. If the order is not obeyed, the court may order the document stricken and its service to be of no effect.
(g) Copy of Lost Papers. If any document is lost or withheld by any person, the court may authorize a copy to be filed.
(h) File Numbers. The clerk, at the time of the filing of a case and at the time of the filing of any responsive pleading, shall assign a file number to the case and immediately notify the attorney of record of the file number assigned to the proceedings. Thereafter, all documents and pleadings to be filed must bear the assigned file number on the front or title page in the upper righthand portion of the instrument to be filed. Documents and pleadings that do not conform to this rule will not be filed by the clerk until they are in compliance with this rule.
(i) Proof of Service Attached. Proof of service must be securely attached to pleadings or documents submitted to the clerk for filing.
(j) Personal Information.
(1) "Personal information" means a person's social security number, any credit, debit, or electronic fund transfer card numbers, and any other financial account numbers.
(2) Restrictions on Personal Information in Filings. Parties should refrain from including personal information in filings submitted to the court, except when required by law. When personal information is included in a filing or attachment, only the last four digits of the number may be used.
(3) Non-Redacted Filings. If a party is required to include non-redacted personal information in a document that is filed, the document must be marked clearly to reflect that it contains confidential information. The clerk must then retain the document in a restricted part of the case file. The party shall file a redacted copy of the document for public access.
(4) Responsibility for Redaction. The responsibility for redacting personal information and marking documents containing non-redacted personal information rests solely with counsel and the parties.
Court personnel will not review documents for compliance with this rule.
Rule 3.1 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1996; March 1, 1999; March 1, 2005.
A new subdivision (b) was added, effective March 1, 1996, which contains signature requirements. The letter designation of each existing subdivision was amended accordingly.
A new subdivision (e) was added, effective March 1, 2005, to clarify that documents must be filed with the clerk. Submitting a document to a judge or to court personnel other than the clerk does not constitute filing. The first version of a given document submitted to the clerk, regardless of what form it is in, will be filed and treated as the original. A party seeking to correct the original or have another document treated as the original must obtain an order from the court.
Subdivision (h) was amended, effective March 1, 1999, to allow notification by means other than mail.
Subdivision (j) was added, effective March 1, 2005, to protect personal information submitted with pleadings or other documents filed with the court. Parties must limit the amount of personal information they include in court filings and redact personal information when its inclusion in a filing cannot be avoided. Filings containing non-redacted personal information should be filed only when a party is required by statute, policy or rule to include personal information in a filing.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 23-24, 2004, pages 3-5; April 29-30, 2004, pages 6-13, 17-25; January 29-30, 2004, pages 3-8; September 16-17, 2003, pages 2-11; April 24-25, 2003, pages 6-12; January 29-30, 1998, page 22; September 29-30, 1994, pages 6-7.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41 (Access to Judicial Records).