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
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
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
advantage of this tolling provision must file and serve a separate
providing notice that the rejected document is being resubmitted under
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
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
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
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).