RULE 3.5. ELECTRONIC FILING IN THE DISTRICT COURTS
(a) Electronic Filing.
(1) Documents filed electronically in the district courts must be submitted through the Odyssey® electronic filing system.
(2) After April 1, 2013, all documents filed after the initiating pleadings must be filed electronically except for documents filed by self-represented litigants and prisoners. After June 1, 2013, initiating pleadings must be filed electronically in civil, non-juvenile, cases. A party who files a complaint in a civil case must give notice of filing to the other parties.
(3) On a showing of good cause, an attorney may be granted leave of court to file paper documents. Original wills, codicils and other documents of independent legal significance may be filed as paper documents. Colored or shaded documents may be filed as paper documents if necessary to ensure legibility.
(4) A document filed electronically has the same legal effect as a paper document.
(5) Any signature on a document filed electronically is considered that of the officer of the court or party it purports to be for all purposes. If it is established that the documents were transmitted without authority, the court must strike the filing.
(b) Filing Formats.
(1) Approved formats for documents filed electronically are WordPerfect (.wpd), Word (.doc or.docx), Tagged Image File (.tif), Portable Document File (.pdf) and ASCII (.txt).
(2) All paragraphs must be numbered in documents filed electronically. Reference to material in such documents must be to paragraph number, not page number. Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits, documents prepared before the action was commenced, and in documents not prepared by the parties.
(c) Time of Filing.
(1) A document in compliance with the rules and submitted electronically to the district court clerk by 11:59 p.m. local time is considered filed on the date submitted.
(2) After reviewing an electronically filed document, the district court clerk must inform the filer, through an e-mail generated by the Odyssey® system, whether the document has been accepted or rejected.
(3) If a document submitted for electronic filing is rejected, the time for filing is tolled from the time of submission to the time the e-mail generated by the Odyssey® system notifying the filer of rejection is sent. The document will be considered timely filed if resubmitted within three days after the notice of rejection. A party seeking to take advantage of this tolling provision must file and serve a separate document providing notice that the rejected document is being resubmitted under N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(c)(3).
(4) Any required filing fee must be paid by credit card or debit card at the time the document is filed.
(d) Confidentiality. In documents prepared for filing with the court, information that would otherwise be included in the document but required by N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 to be redacted in court documents must be separately filed in a reference sheet (confidential information form, see appendix) and may be included in those documents only by reference. Any document not complying with this order is subject to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(g).
(e) Electronic Service.
(1) A party who files a document electronically must serve the document by electronic means if the recipient consents to accept documents served electronically. After April 1, 2013, all documents filed electronically after the initiating pleadings must be served electronically through the Odyssey® system except for documents served on or by self-represented litigants and prisoners. On a showing of good cause, an attorney may be granted leave of court to serve paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service.
(2) Electronic service is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that the attempted service did not reach the person to be served.
(3) After April 1, 2013, any party not exempt from electronic filing must designate an e-mail address for accepting electronic service.
(4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically served must be treated as if it were mailed on the date of transmission.
(f) Technical Issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed due to technical problems.
Adopted effective January 15, 2013.
Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1, 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009; August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; and July 1, 2012.
Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey® Electronic Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties Using the Odyssey® Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and Order 18 were repealed, effective July 1, 2012.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of _____________________; September 27, 2012, pages 14-21; April 29-30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008, pages 12-16; October 11-12, 2007, pages 3-5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18; January 25, 2007, pages 15-16; Sept 23-24, 2004, pages 18-27.
Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court).