TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: September 8, 2014
RE: Rule 3.5, N.D.R.Ct., Electronic Filing in District Courts
The Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Inwards v. N.D. Workforce Safety and Insurance, 2014 ND 163. The opinion interpreted Rule 3.5's technical relief provision. A copy is attached.
Justice Kapsner requested that the committee look into the underlying situation in the case and discuss whether any amendments to the rule may be needed. In the case, WSI appealed an administrative determination and filed its notice of appeal using Odyssey. The other party, however, was not electronically served with the notice of appeal.
Staff queried IT to see whether what happened could be traced through Odyssey's electronic records. IT looked up the case and determined that the filing party had not requested electronic service, so the failure of service was not a system error.
Staff also brought the issue before the Odyssey User Group to see whether there was any pattern of problems with filing and serving administrative appeals through the system. Staff was advised that there were generally no problems, but that the administrative appeal statute did require service on entities who sometimes might not be subject to service through Odyssey. A proposed explanatory note advising about service in administrative appeals and a cross-reference to the statute and N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 and 5 is included in the attached draft.
At a different meeting of the Odyssey User Group, the problem of proposed orders was brought up. Apparently, it is sometimes difficult in Odyssey to determine which party submitted a proposed order. The User Group recommended that Rule 3.5 be amended to require the filer of a proposed order to identify the party who is submitting it in the Odyssey comments field. This propose amendment is included in the attached draft.