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 81/2 x 11 inch
Until July 1, 1982, either legal or letter size papers may be filed.
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.
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 to be 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 original 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 and documents submitted to the clerk for filing.
Personal Information Privacy Protection for Filings Made with
(1) "Personal information" means a person's social security number, any credit,
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
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
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.
Parties must follow privacy protection instructions in N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 when making
with the court. The responsibility for
redacting personal information and marking
containing non-redacted personal information making a redacted and unredacted
solely with counsel and the parties. Court personnel have no duty to review documents for
compliance with this rule N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
Rule 3.1 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1996; March 1, 1999; August 1, 2001; March 1, 2005; March 1, 2007; March 1, 2009.
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.
Paragraph Subdivision (j) (4) was amended,
effective March 1, 2007, to specify that court
personnel have no duty to review documents for compliance with Rule 3.1
Subdivision (j) was amended, effective March 1, 2009, to reflect the addition of document privacy protection requirements to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 24, 2008, pages 9-12; October 11-12, 2007, pages 28-30; April 26-27-, 2007, page 31; September 22-23, 2005, pages 16-17; 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.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41 (Access to Judicial Records).