RULE 3.1 PLEADINGS
1 (a) Legibility and Numbering. All pleadings and other documents must be
2 typewritten, printed, or reproduced and easily readable. Each sheet must be
3 separately numbered. Pleadings and other documents filed with the court, except as
4 otherwise permitted by the court, must be prepared on 8 1/2 x 11 inch white paper.
5 (b) Signature. All pleadings and other documents of a party represented by
6 an attorney must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's
7 individual name and contain the attorney's address, telephone number, e-mail
8 address for electronic service, and State Board of Law Examiners identification
9 number. All pleadings and other documents of a party who is not represented by an
10 attorney must be signed by the party and contain the party's address and telephone
12 (c) Spacing and Names. Writing must appear on one side of the sheet only
13 and must be double-spaced, except for quoted material. Names must be typed or
14 printed beneath all signatures.
15 (d) Binding. All pleadings and other documents in an action or proceeding
16 must be filed by the clerk flat and unfolded and each set of papers firmly fastened
18 (e) Filing of Documents. A party seeking to file a pleading or other
19 document must submit it to the clerk. The first submitted version of a pleading or
20 document will be treated as the original unless otherwise ordered by the court. A
21 party need only file a single copy of any pleading or document.
22 (f) Lost Papers. If any original document is lost or withheld by any person,
23 the court may authorize a copy to be filed.
24 (g) File Numbers. The clerk, at the time of the filing of a case and at the
25 time of the filing of any responsive pleading, must assign a file number to the case
26 and immediately notify the attorney of record of the assigned file number.
27 Thereafter, all documents and pleadings to be filed must bear the assigned file
28 number on the front or title page in the upper righthand portion of the document to
29 be filed.
30 (h) Filing After Service. After the complaint is filed, all documents required
31 to be served on a party, together with certificate of service, must be filed with the
32 court within a reasonable time after service. Discovery documents may only be
33 filed as allowed by N.D.R.Civ.P. 5(d)(3).
34 (i) Privacy Protection. Parties must follow privacy protection instructions in
35 N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 when making filings with the court. Court personnel have no duty to
36 review documents for compliance with N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
37 (j) Non-Conforming Documents.
38 (1) Documents and pleadings that do not conform to this rule may not be
40 (2) If a non-conforming document is filed by mistake, the court on motion
41 or on its own may order the pleading or other document reformed. If the order is
42 not obeyed, the court may order the document stricken
and its service to
be of no
44 (3) If a document is stricken, the time for filing is tolled from the time of
45 submission to the time the order striking the document is filed. The document will
46 be considered timely filed if resubmitted in corrected form within three days after
47 the order striking the document is filed.
48 EXPLANATORY NOTE
49 Rule 3.1 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1996; March 1,
50 1999; August 1, 2001; March 1, 2005; March 1, 2007; March 1, 2009; May 1,
51 2012; March 1, 2013; April 15, 2013; March 1,
52 2014; March 1, 2018.
53 Rule 3.1 was reorganized, effective May 1, 2012, to make it clear that all
54 documents presented for filing must conform to all applicable requirements of the
56 A new subdivision (b) was added, effective March 1, 1996, which contains
57 signature requirements. The letter designation of each existing subdivision was
58 amended accordingly.
59 Subdivision (b) was amended, effective April 15, 2013, to require the
60 e-mail address for electronic service under Rule 3.5 to be provided in filed
62 A new subdivision (e) was added, effective March 1, 2005, to clarify that
63 documents must be filed with the clerk. Submitting a document to a judge or to
64 court personnel other than the clerk does not constitute filing. The first version of a
65 given document submitted to the clerk, regardless of what form it is in, will be
66 filed and treated as the original. A party seeking to correct the original or have
67 another document treated as the original must obtain an order from the court.
68 Subdivision (e) was amended, effective March 1, 2014, to clarify that only a
69 single copy of any pleading or document need be filed with the court. This
70 provision supersedes the requirement in N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21 that a demand for
71 change of judge be filed in triplicate and the requirements in N.D.C.C. §§
72 14-12.2-36 and 14-14.1-25 for the filing of two copies of an order. This provision
73 should be interpreted as superseding any statutory requirement that multiple copies
74 of a document be filed with the court.
75 Subdivision (h) was amended, effective March 1, 2014, to require, once the
76 complaint has been filed, filing of all documents that must be served, along with a
77 certificate of service, within a reasonable time after service. This provision is
78 modeled after Minn. R. Civ. P. 5.04.
79 Subdivision (i) was amended, effective March 1, 2007, to specify that court
80 personnel have no duty to review documents for compliance with privacy
81 protection rules.
82 Subdivision (i) was amended, effective March 1, 2009, to reflect the
83 addition of document privacy protection requirements to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
84 Subdivision (j) was amended, effective March 1, 2018 to provide
85 that the time of filing is tolled pending resubmission of a stricken document.
86 SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 29-30, 2016,
87 page 29; September 26, 2013, pages 7-11; April 25-26, 2013, pages 13-15;
88 September 27, 2012, page 14; January 26-27, 2012, pages 16-17; January 24, 2008,
89 pages 9-12; October 11-12, 2007, pages 28-30; April 26-27, 2007, page 31;
90 September 22-23, 2005, pages 16-17; September 23-24, 2004, pages 3-5; April
91 29-30, 2004, pages 6-13, 17-25; January 29-30, 2004, pages 3-8; September 16-17,
92 2003, pages 2-11; April 24-25, 2003, pages 6-12; January 29-30, 1998, page 22;
93 September 29-30, 1994, pages 6-7.
94 STATUTES AFFECTED:
95 Superseded: N.D.C.C. §§ 14-12.2-36 (in part), 14-14.1-25 (in part), and
96 29-15-21 (in part).
97 CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings
98 and Other Papers); N.D.R.Civ.P. 11 (Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other
99 Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions); N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection
100 for Filings Made with the Court); N.D.R.Ct. 3.5 (Electronic Filing in the District
101 Courts); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41 (Access to Judicial Records).