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® comments 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 in documents filed electronically.
29 Reference to material in such documents must be to paragraph number, not page
30 number. Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits, documents prepared
31 before the action was commenced, or in documents not prepared by the parties or
33 (c) Time of Filing.
34 (1) A document in compliance with the rules and submitted electronically to
35 the district court clerk by 11:59 p.m. local time is considered filed on the date
36 submitted. A document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when
37 the e-signature is affixed.
38 (2) After reviewing an electronically filed document, the district court clerk
39 must inform the filer, through an e-mail generated by the Odyssey® system,
40 whether the document has been accepted or rejected.
41 (3) If a document submitted for electronic filing is rejected, the time for
42 filing is tolled from the time of submission to the time the e-mail generated by the
43 Odyssey® system notifying the filer of rejection is sent. The document will be
44 considered timely filed if resubmitted within three days after the notice of
45 rejection. A party seeking to take advantage of this tolling provision must file and
46 serve a separate document providing notice that the rejected document is being
47 resubmitted under N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(c)(3).
48 (4) Any required filing fee must be paid by credit card or debit card at the
49 time the document is filed.
50 (d) Confidentiality. In documents prepared for filing with the court,
51 information that would otherwise be included in the document but required by
52 N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 to be redacted in court documents must be separately filed in a
53 reference sheet (confidential information form, see appendix) and may be included
54 in those documents only by reference. Any document not complying with this
55 order is subject to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(g).
56 (e) Electronic Service.
57 (1) All documents filed electronically after the initiating pleadings must be
58 served electronically through the Odyssey® system except for documents served
59 on or by self-represented litigants and prisoners. On a showing of exceptional
60 circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to serve
61 paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service. Attorneys who
62 are required by rule or statute to serve documents on their own clients may serve
63 paper documents.
64 (2) Except as provided in N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(e)(4), electronic service of a
65 document is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that
66 the document did not reach the person to be served.
67 (3) All attorneys must provide at least one e-mail address to the State Board
68 of Law Examiners for accepting electronic service. Designated e-mail service
69 addresses will be posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.
70 (4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically
71 served must be treated as if it were mailed on the date of transmission. If an
72 attorney who is not exempt from electronic service fails to provide an e-mail
73 address for service or fails to accept or open electronically served e-mail, the
74 server's attempt at electronic service constitutes delivery. Service made impossible
75 due to an attorney's failure to provide an e-mail address must be shown by an
76 affidavit or certificate of attempted service.
77 (f) Technical Issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may
78 grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed
79 due to technical problems.
80 (g) Authenticity of Filed Electronic Documents. An electronic document
81 that has been filed, accepted and docketed in the Odyssey® electronic filing
82 system is considered authentic. The presence of the document in the Odyssey®
83 system's electronic index is confirmation of its authenticity. No further proof of
84 authenticity, such as a physical stamp or seal, is required to be applied to a
85 document to confirm its authenticity when the document is distributed using the
86 Odyssey® system or when it is output from the system.
87 EXPLANATORY NOTE
88 Adopted effective January 15, 2013; amended effective April 15, 2013;
89 June 1, 2013; June 1, 2015; March 1, 2016;____________.
90 Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1,
91 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009;
92 August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; July 1, 2012.
93 Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions
94 of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey®
95 Electronic Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties
96 Using the Odyssey® Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and
97 Order 18 were repealed, effective July 1, 2012.
98 In an appeal from an agency determination under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42, the
99 notice of appeal must be served on all the entities listed in the statute, some of
100 whom may not be subject to electronic service through the Odyssey® system.
101 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that
102 self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents electronically
103 must use the Odyssey® system and to require a party filing a proposed order to
104 identify the party in the Odyssey® comments field.
105 Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word
106 documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey®
107 system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as proposed
108 findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be e-mailed
109 to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in Odyssey in an
110 approved format.
111 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that a
112 document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the
113 e-signature is affixed.
114 Subdivision (g) was added, effective__________________, to explain that
115 once a document is accepted into the Odyssey® system, the document is
116 considered authentic and no further proof of authenticity needs to be applied to it.
117 Previously, under the system of paper records, an embossed seal or certification
118 stamp was applied to a document to establish its authenticity. The Odyssey®
119 electronic case management system provides authenticity through the electronic
120 generation of a time and date stamp as well as making a record of who filed the
121 document and which official accepted the document into the system.
122 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of ____________; April
123 23-24, 2015, pages 2-3; January 29-30, 2015, pages 13-14; April 25-26, 2013,
124 pages 3-16; January 31-February 1, 2013, pages 2-5, 15-18; September 27, 2012,
125 pages 14-21; April 29-30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008, pages 12-16; October
126 11-12, 2007, pages 3-5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18; January 25, 2007, pages
127 15-16; September 23-24, 2004, pages 18-27.
128 Statutes Affected:
129 Considered: N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42.
130 Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with
131 the Court); N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 (Persons Subject to Jurisdiction; Process; Service);
132 N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Documents); N.D.
133 Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission).