The North Dakota Supreme Court has amended N.D. Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission) N.D.R.Ct. 3.1 (Pleadings) and 3.5 (Electronic Filing in the District Courts) to address issues related to mandatory e-filing and e-service.
A new paragraph (C)(3) was added to Rule 1 to establish a continuing obligation for lawyers to provide a current e-mail address for receiving service under Rule 3.5. Rule 3.5 already required lawyers to designate an e-mail address for electronic service.
New language was added to subdivision (b) of Rule 3.1 to require lawyers to provide an e-mail address for electonic service on documents they file. N.D.R.Civ.P. 11 already required filers to provide this information and the requirement in Rule 3.1 parallels the Rule 11 requirement.
Rule 3.5, which is the main electronic service and filing rule, contains several changes.
New language was added to paragraph (a)(1) that requires a party filing a complaint in a civil case to electronically serve notice on the other parties. This amendment complements the June 1 requirement that parties in civil, non-juvenile, cases file initiating pleadings electronically.
Paragraphs (a)(3) and (e)(1) contain new language clarifying what an attorney must show to obtain an exemption from e-filing or e-servce: there must be "exceptional circumstances in a particular case."
Paragraph (b)(2) was amended to clarify the parargraph numbering requirement: "Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits, documents prepared before the action was commenced, or in documents not prepared by the parties or court."
New language was added to paragraph (e)(1) allowing lawyers to serve their own clients with paper documents when such service is required by rule or statute.
New language was added to paragraph (e)(3) requiring lawyers to provide an e-mail address for e-service to the State Board of Law Examiners. This address will be added to the Board database and posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.
Finally, paragraph (e)(4) was amended to address what happens when a lawyer fails to provide an email address for service or fails to accept or open e-served documents. In such a case, the server's attempt at e-service constitures delivery. When service is impossible because an attorney did not provide an e-service e-mail, the server must file an affidavit or certificate of attempted service.
The Court is accepting comment on the new amendments. Comments are due May 13.
April 12, 2013