RULE 3.5. ELECTRONIC FILING IN DISTRICT COURTS
(a) Electronic filing.
(1) Documents filed electronically in the district courts must be submitted through the Odyssey® electronic filing system.
(2) 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 electronically serve notice of filing on the other parties or their attorneys.
(3) On a showing of exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone 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, or in documents not prepared by the parties or court.
(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) 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 exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to serve paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service. Attorneys who are required by rule or statute to serve documents on their own clients may serve paper documents.
(2) Except as provided in N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(e)(4), electronic service of a document is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that the document did not reach the person to be served.
(3) All attorneys must provide at least one e-mail address to the State Board of Law Examiners for accepting electronic service. Designated email service addresses will be posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.
(4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically served must be treated as if it were mailed on the date of transmission. If an attorney who is not exempt from electronic service fails to provide an e-mail address for service or fails to accept or open electronically served e-mail, the server's attempt at electronic service constitutes delivery. Service made impossible due to an attorney's failure to provide an e-mail address must be shown by an affidavit or certificate of attempted service.
(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; amended effective April 15, 2013; June 1, 2013; June 1, 2015.
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.
Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey® system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as proposed findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be e-mailed to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in Odyssey in an approved format.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 25-26, 2013, pages 3-16; January 31-February 1, 2013, pages 2-5, 15-18; 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); N.D. Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission).