TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 7, 2008
RE: Rule 2.2, N.D.R.Ct., Facsimile Transmission; Order 16, N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order, Electronic Filing Pilot Project for the District Courts
Two court officials have raised issues relating to Rule 2.2 and Order 16.
State Court Administrator Sally Holewa has submitted a memo passing along concerns about the increased use of fax filing in some parts of the state. The Supreme Court in 2002 eliminated fax filing fees, but the Court allows a fee to be charged when a document filed electronically exceeds 20 pages. Ms. Holewa suggests that the fee treatment of fax filings and other electronic filings be uniform. Ms. Holewa's memo is attached.
A document filed by fax is filed electronically. Indeed, current technology allows most users in North Dakota's court system to receive documents sent by fax in the same manner as other documents sent electronically: as a .pdf document attached to an e-mail. Therefore, the Committee may wish to discuss whether it makes sense to continue to treat fax filings and other electronic filings differently.
For the Committee's consideration, staff has prepared proposed revisions to Rule 2.2 and Order 16 that would eliminate the Rule 2.2 provision on filing by fax and integrate fax filing guidelines into Order 16.
Chief Deputy Clerk of Court Colette Bruggman has communicated with staff about an issue related to the time documents submitted electronically to the district courts are considered filed. Under Rule 2.2 and Order 16, documents submitted electronically must be received by close of business in order to be considered filed on a given day. Documents received electronically after business hours or on a weekend or holiday are not considered filed until the next business day.
Ms. Bruggman is concerned that a party could miss an appeal deadline if they electronically file a document after business hours but on the deadline day. She points out that N.D.R.Civ.P. 77 and N.D.R.Crim.P. 56 provide that the court is always open for filing. She suggests that N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 16 should be amended to conform to the Supreme Court's electronic filing order, which considers a document received by the Court on a given day to be filed on that day.
Staff has prepared proposed amendments to N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 16 that conform to the filing time provision in N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 14.
The proposed amendments to N.D.R.Ct. 2.2 and N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 16 are attached.