N.D.R.Ct.

RULE 3.5. ELECTRONIC FILING IN DISTRICT COURTS

1 (a) Electronic Filing.

2 (1) Documents filed electronically in the district courts must be submitted

3 through the Odyssey electronic filing system.

4 (2) All documents filed after the initiating pleadings in criminal and

5 juvenile cases must be filed electronically. All documents in civil, non-juvenile,

6 cases must be filed electronically. A party who files a complaint in a civil case

7 must electronically serve notice of filing on the other parties or their attorneys.

8 (3) Self-represented litigants and prisoners are exempt from the electronic

9 filing requirement and may file paper documents in person, by mail, or by third

10 party commercial carrier. Self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file

11 documents by electronic means must use the Odyssey system.

12 (4) On a showing of exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone

13 may be granted leave of court to file paper documents. Original wills, codicils and

14 other documents of independent legal significance may be filed as paper

15 documents. Colored or shaded documents may be filed as paper documents if

16 necessary to ensure legibility.

17 (5) A document filed electronically has the same legal effect as a paper

18 document.

19 (6) Any signature on a document filed electronically is considered that of

20 the officer of the court or party it purports to be for all purposes. If it is established

21 that the documents were transmitted without authority, the court must strike the

22 filing.

23 (7) A party who electronically files a proposed order must identify the filing

24 party in the Odyssey filing description field.

25 (b) Filing Formats.

26 (1) Approved formats for documents filed electronically are WordPerfect

27 (.wpd), Tagged Image File (.tif), Portable Document File (.pdf) and ASCII (.txt).

28 (2) All paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals in documents

29 filed electronically. Reference to material in such documents must be to paragraph

30 number, not page number. Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits,

31 documents prepared before the action was commenced, or in documents not

32 prepared by the parties or court.

33 (3) A document submitted for electronic filing must comply with published

34 guidelines (N.D.R.Ct. Appendix K Rule 3.5 Electronic Filing Requirements).

35 (c) Time of Filing.

36 (1) A document in compliance with the rules and submitted electronically to

37 the district court clerk by 11:59 p.m. local time is considered filed on the date

38 submitted. A document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when

39 the e-signature is affixed.

40 (2) After reviewing an electronically filed document, the district court clerk

41 must inform the filer, through an e-mail generated by the Odyssey system, whether

42 the document has been accepted or rejected. A notice of rejection must state all

43 provisions of Appendix K or other statute, rule or case relied upon.

44 (3) If a document is rejected, the time for filing is tolled from the time of

45 submission to the time the e-mail generated by the Odyssey system notifying the

46 filer of rejection is sent. The document will be considered timely filed if

47 resubmitted within three days after the notice of rejection. A party seeking to take

48 advantage of this tolling provision must file and serve a separate document

49 providing notice that the rejected document is being resubmitted under N.D.R.Ct.

50 3.5(c)(3).

51 (4) Any required filing fee must be paid by credit card or debit card at the

52 time the document is filed.

53 (d) Confidentiality. In documents prepared for filing with the court,

54 information that would otherwise be included in the document but required by

55 N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 to be redacted in court documents must be separately filed in a

56 reference sheet (confidential information form, see appendix) and may be included

57 in those documents only by reference. Any document not complying with this

58 order is subject to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(g).

59 (e) Electronic Service.

60 (1) All documents filed electronically after the initiating pleadings must be

61 served electronically through the Odyssey system except for documents served on

62 or by self-represented litigants and prisoners. On a showing of exceptional

63 circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to serve

64 paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service. Attorneys who

65 are required by rule or statute to serve documents on their own clients may serve

66 paper documents.

67 (2) Except as provided in N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(e)(4), electronic service of a

68 document is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that

69 the document did not reach the person to be served.

70 (3) All attorneys must provide at least one e-mail address to the State Board

71 of Law Examiners for accepting electronic service. Designated e-mail service

72 addresses will be posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.

73 (4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically

74 served must be treated as if it were mailed delivered on the date of transmission. If

75 an attorney who is not exempt from electronic service fails to provide an e-mail

76 address for service or fails to accept or open electronically served e-mail, the

77 server's attempt at electronic service constitutes delivery. Service made impossible

78 due to an attorney's failure to provide an e-mail address must be shown by an

79 affidavit or certificate of attempted service.

80 (5) Counsel are required to use the Attorney Subscription Management

81 System for notice of filing by the court in the Odyssey system.

82 (f) Technical Issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may

83 grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed

84 due to technical problems.

85 (g) Filed Electronic Documents. An electronic document filed, accepted and

86 docketed in the Odyssey electronic filing system is a court record. No further proof

87 that the document is a court record is required when the record is distributed

88 between courts or files using the Odyssey system.

89 EXPLANATORY NOTE

90 Adopted effective January 15, 2013; amended effective April 15, 2013;

91 June 1, 2013; June 1, 2015; March 1, 2016; March 1, 2017; March 1, 2018.

92 Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1,

93 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009;

94 August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; July 1, 2012.

95 Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions

96 of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey Electronic

97 Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties Using the

98 Odyssey Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and Order 18 were

99 repealed, effective July 1, 2012.

100 In an appeal from an agency determination under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42, the

101 notice of appeal must be served on all the entities listed in the statute, some of

102 whom may not be subject to electronic service through the Odyssey system.

103 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that

104 self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents electronically

105 must use the Odyssey system and to require a party filing a proposed order to

106 identify the party in the Odyssey filing description field.

107 Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word

108 documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey

109 system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as proposed

110 findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be e-mailed

111 to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in Odyssey in an

112 approved format.

113 Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to specify that

114 paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals.

115 Paragraph (b)(3) was added, effective March 1, 2018, to add a reference to

116 Appendix K, which contains document guidelines.

117 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that a document

118 electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the e-signature is affixed.

119 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to require a notice of

120 document rejection to state all provisions of Appendix K or other statute, rule or

121 case relied upon for the rejection and to delete the requirement to file a notice of

122 resubmission.

123 Paragraph (e)(4) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to provide that

124 documents served electronically are treated as delivered on the day of

125 transmission.

126 Paragraph (e)(5) was added, effective March 1, 2018, to require counsel to

127 use the Attorney Subscription Management System for notice of filing by the

128 court.

129 Subdivision (g) was added, effective March 1, 2017, to explain that once a

130 document is accepted into the Odyssey system, the document is a court record and

131 no further proof that the document is a court record is needed when the record is

132 distributed between courts or files using the Odyssey system.

133 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 28, 2017, pages

134 2-10; April 27, 2017, pages 14-19; January 26-27, 2017, page 30; May 12-13,

135 2016, pages 15-22; January 28-29, 2016, pages 8-11; April 23-24, 2015, pages 2-3;

136 January 29-30, 2015, pages 13-14; April 25-26, 2013, pages 3-16; January

137 31-February 1, 2013, pages 2-5, 15-18; September 27, 2012, pages 14-21; April

138 29-30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008, pages 12-16; October 11-12, 2007, pages

139 3-5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18; January 25, 2007, pages 15-16; September

140 23-24, 2004, pages 18-27.

141 Statutes Affected:

142 Considered: N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42.

143 Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with

144 the Court); N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 (Persons Subject to Jurisdiction; Process; Service);

145 N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Documents); N.D.

146 Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission).