RULE 4. PERSONS SUBJECT TO JURISDICTION; PROCESS; SERVICE
1 (a) Definition of Person. As used in this rule, "person", whether or not a
2 citizen or domiciliary of this state and whether or not organized under the laws of
3 this state, includes:
4 (1) an individual, executor, administrator or other personal representative;
5 (2) any other fiduciary;
6 (3) any two or more persons having a joint or common interest;
7 (4) a partnership;
8 (5) an association;
9 (6) a corporation; and
10 (7) any other legal or commercial entity.
11 (b) Personal Jurisdiction.
12 (1) Personal Jurisdiction Based on Presence or Enduring Relationship. A
13 court of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person found within,
14 domiciled in, organized under the laws of, or maintaining a principal place of
15 business in, this state as to any claim for relief.
16 (2) Personal Jurisdiction Based on Contacts. A court of this state may
17 exercise personal jurisdiction over a person who acts directly or by an agent as to
18 any claim for relief arising from the person's having such contact with this state
19 that the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the person does not offend against
20 traditional notions of justice or fair play or the due process of law, under one or
21 more of the following circumstances:
22 (A) transacting any business in this state;
23 (B) contracting to supply or supplying service, goods, or other things in this
25 (C) committing a tort within or outside this state causing injury to another
26 person or property within this state;
27 (D) committing a tort within this state, causing injury to another person or
28 property within or outside this state;
29 (E) having an interest in, using, or possessing property in this state;
30 (F) contracting to insure another person, property, or other risk within this
32 (G) acting as a director, manager, trustee, or officer of a corporation
33 organized under the laws of, or having its principal place of business within, this
35 (H) enjoying any other legal status or capacity within this state; or
36 (I) engaging in any other activity, including cohabitation or sexual
37 intercourse, within this state.
38 (3) Limitation on Jurisdiction Based on Contacts. If jurisdiction over a
39 person is based solely on paragraph (2) of this subdivision, only a claim for relief
40 arising from bases enumerated in paragraph (2) may be asserted against that
42 (4) Acquisition of Jurisdiction. A court of this state may acquire personal
43 jurisdiction over any person through service of process as provided in this rule or
44 by statute, or by voluntary general appearance in an action by any person either
45 personally or through an attorney or any other authorized person.
46 (5) Inconvenient Forum. If the court finds, in the interest of substantial
47 justice, the action should be heard in another forum, the court may stay or dismiss
48 the action in whole or in part on any condition that may be just.
49 (c) Process.
50 (1) Contents of Summons. The summons must:
51 (A) specify the venue of the court in which the action is brought;
52 (B) contain the title of the action specifying the names of the parties;
53 (C) be directed to the defendant;
54 (D) It must state the time within which these rules require the defendant to
55 appear and defend;
56 (E) notify the defendant that, if the defendant fails to appear and defend,
57 default judgment will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in
58 the complaint; and
59 (F) be dated and subscribed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney and
60 include the post office address of the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney.
61 (G) If the action involves real estate and service is by publication, include
62 the additional information required by Rule 4(e)(8).
63 (2) Copy of Complaint. A copy of the complaint must be served with the
64 summons, except when service is by publication under Rule 4(e).
65 (d) Personal Service.
66 (1) By Whom. Service of all process may be made:
67 (A) within the state by any person of legal age and not a party to nor
68 interested in the action; and
69 (B) outside the state by any person who may make service under the law of
70 this state or under the law of the place where service is made, or by a person who
71 is designated by a court of this state.
72 (2) How Service Made Within the State. Personal service of process within
73 the state must be made as follows:
74 (A) Serving an Individual Fourteen Years of Age and Older. Service must
75 be made on an individual 14 or more years of age by:
76 (i) delivering a copy of the summons to the individual personally;
77 (ii) leaving a copy of the summons at the individual's dwelling or usual
78 place of residence in the presence of a person of suitable age and discretion who
79 resides there;
80 (iii) delivering, at the office of the process server, a copy of the summons to
81 the individual's spouse if the spouses reside together;
82 (iv) delivering a copy of the summons to the individual's agent authorized
83 by appointment or by law to receive service of process; or
84 (v) any form of mail or third-party commercial delivery addressed to the
85 individual to be served and requiring a signed receipt and resulting in delivery to
86 that individual.
87 (B) Serving an Individual Under the Age of Fourteen. Service must be
88 made on an individual under the age of 14 by delivering a copy of the summons to:
89 (i) the individual's guardian, if the individual has one within the state;
90 (ii) the individual's parent or any person or agency having the individual's
91 care or control, or with whom the individual resides, if the individual does not
92 have a guardian within the state; or
93 (iii) the person designated by court order, if service cannot be made under
94 (i) or (ii).
95 (C) Serving an Incompetent Individual or Appointed Guardian. Service
96 must be made on an individual who has been judicially adjudged incompetent or
97 for whom a guardian of the individual's person or estate has been appointed in this
98 state, by delivering a copy of the summons to the individual's guardian. If a general
99 guardian and a guardian ad litem have been appointed, both must be served.
100 (D) Serving a Corporation, Partnership, or Association. Service must be
101 made on a domestic or foreign corporation or on a partnership or other
102 unincorporated association, by:
103 (i) delivering a copy of the summons to an officer, director, superintendent
104 or managing or general agent, or partner, or associate, or to an agent authorized by
105 appointment or by law to receive service of process on its behalf, or to one who
106 acted as an agent for the defendant with respect to the matter on which the
107 plaintiff's claim is based and who was an agent of the defendant at the time of
109 (ii) if the sheriff's return indicates no person upon whom service may be
110 made can be found in the county, then service may be made by leaving a copy of
111 the summons at any office of the domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, or
112 unincorporated association within this state with the person in charge of the office;
114 (iii) any form of mail or third-party commercial delivery addressed to any of
115 the foregoing persons and requiring a signed receipt and resulting in delivery to
116 that person.
117 (E) Serving a Municipal or Public Corporation. Service must be made on a
118 city, township, school district, park district, county, or any other municipal or
119 public corporation, by delivering a copy of the summons to any member of its
120 governing board.
121 (F) Serving the State and Its Agencies.
122 (i) State. Service must be made on the state by delivering a copy of the
123 summons to the governor or attorney general or an assistant attorney general.
124 (ii) State Agency. Service must be made on an agency of the state, such as
125 the Bank of North Dakota or the North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association, by
126 delivering a copy of the summons to the managing head of the agency or to the
127 attorney general or an assistant attorney general.
128 (G) Serving an Agent Not Authorized to Receive Process. If service is made
129 on an agent who is not expressly authorized by appointment or by law to receive
130 service of process on behalf of the defendant, a copy of the summons and
131 complaint must be mailed or delivered via a third-party commercial carrier to the
132 defendant with return receipt requested not later than ten days after service by
133 depositing a copy of the summons and complaint, with postage or shipping
134 prepaid, in a post office or with a commercial carrier in this state and directed to
135 the defendant to be served at the defendant's last reasonably ascertainable address.
136 (3) How Service of Process is Made Outside the State. Service on any
137 person subject to the personal jurisdiction of the courts of this state may be made
138 outside the state:
139 (A) in the same manner as service within this state, with the force and effect
140 as though service had been made within this state;
141 (B) under the law of the place where service is made for service in that
142 place in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction; or
143 (C) as directed by court order.
(e) Service by Publication.
(1) When Service by Publication Permitted. A defendant, whether
unknown, who has not been served personally under subdivision (d) of
may be served by publication in one or more of the following situations
(A) the claim for relief is based on one or more grounds for the exercise
personal jurisdiction under paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of this
(B) the subject of the action is real or personal property in this state,
(i) the defendant has or claims a lien or other interest in the
whether vested or contingent,
(ii) the relief demanded against the defendant consists wholly or partly
excluding the defendant from that lien or interest or in defining,
limiting that lien or interest, or
(iii) the action otherwise affects the title to the property;
(C) the action is to foreclose a mortgage, cancel a contract for sale, or
enforce a lien on or a security interest in real or personal property in this
(D) the plaintiff has acquired a lien on the defendant's property or
within this state by attachment, garnishment, or other judicial processes
property or credit is the subject matter of the litigation or the underlying
relief relates to the property or credits;
(E) the action is for divorce, separation, or annulment of a marriage of
(F) the action is to determine parenting rights and responsibilities of
individual subject to the court's jurisdiction; or
(G) the action is to award, partition, condemn, or escheat real or
property in this state.
(2) Filing of Complaint and Affidavit for Service by Publication.
service of the summons by publication is authorized, a complaint and
must be filed with the clerk of court where the action is venued. The
must set forth a claim in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant
based on one or more of the situations specified in paragraph (e)(1). The
must be executed by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney and must state
more of the following:
(A) that after diligent inquiry personal service of the summons cannot
made on the defendant in this state to the best knowledge, information,
of the affiant;
(B) that the defendant is a domestic corporation that has forfeited its
or right to do business in this state or has failed to file its annual report as
(C) that the defendant is a domestic or foreign corporation and has
officer, director, superintendent, managing agent, business agent, or other
authorized by appointment or by law on whom service of process can be
its behalf in this state; or
(D) that all persons having or claiming an estate or interest in, or lien
encumbrance on, the real property described in the complaint, whether as
devisees, legatees, or personal representative of a deceased person, or
other title or interest, and not in possession, nor appearing of record in the
the register of deeds, the clerk of the district court, or the county auditor
county in which the real property is situated, to have such claim, title or
the property, are proceeded against as unknown persons defendant under
Chs. 32-17 or 32-19, and stating facts necessary to satisfy the
(3) Number of Publications. Service of the summons by publication may
made by publishing the summons three times, once each week for three
weeks, in a newspaper published in the county where the action is
pending. If no
newspaper is published in that county, publication may be made in a
having a general circulation in the county.
(4) Mailing or Delivering Summons and Complaint. A copy of
summons and complaint, at any time after the filing of the affidavit for
and no later than 14 days after the first publication of the summons, must
deposited in a post office or with a third-party commercial carrier in this
postage or shipping prepaid, and directed to the defendant to be served at
defendant's last reasonably ascertainable address.
206 (e) Other Service. When it appears by affidavit of a person having
207 knowledge of the facts filed with the clerk that after diligent inquiry a party cannot
208 be served with process under Rule 4(d), service may be made by posting on the
209 North Dakota Court System's legal notice website and as otherwise directed by the
210 court as provided in Rule 4(e). The party who seeks to have service made under
211 Rule 4(e) must include in the affidavit of diligent inquiry a discussion of whether
212 other methods of service listed in Rule 4(e)(4) may be more likely to give the
213 absent party actual notice. In adoption cases, service by posting on the North
214 Dakota Court System's legal notice website or by publication will be allowed only
215 if ordered by the court for compelling reasons.
216 (1) Diligent Inquiry. Inquiry as to the absent party's whereabouts must be
217 made by the party who seeks to have service made, or by the party's attorney
218 actually entrusted with the conduct of the action, or by the agent of the attorney. It
219 must be made of any person who the inquirer has reason to believe possesses
220 knowledge or information as to the absent party's residence or address or the
221 matter inquired of. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, diligent inquiry must
222 include a reasonable effort to search the internet for the whereabouts of the absent
223 party. The inquiry must also be undertaken in person or by letter, and the inquirer
224 must state that an action has been or is about to be commenced against the party
225 inquired for, that the object of the inquiry is to give such party notice of the action
226 in order that such party may appear and defend it. When the inquiry is made by
227 letter, postage must be enclosed sufficient for the return of an answer. The
228 affidavit of inquiry must be made by the inquirer. It must fully specify the inquiry
229 made, of what persons and in what manner it was made, and a description of any
230 efforts that were made to search the internet, so that by the facts stated in the
231 affidavit it may appear that diligent inquiry has been made for the purpose of
232 effecting actual notice.
233 (2) Filing of Complaint and Affidavit for Service by Publication. Before
234 service of the summons by other service is authorized, a complaint and the
235 affidavit of inquiry must be filed with the clerk of court where the action is
236 venued. The complaint must set forth a claim in favor of the plaintiff and against
237 the defendant.
238 (3) Service by Posting on the North Dakota Court System's Legal Notice
239 Website. A notice must be continuously posted for four consecutive weeks on the
240 North Dakota Court System's legal notice website. A copy of the notice and
241 complaint, at any time after the filing of the affidavit of inquiry and no later than
242 14 days after the first posting of the notice, must be deposited in a post office or
243 with a third-party commercial carrier in this state, postage or shipping prepaid, and
244 directed to the defendant to be served at the defendant's last reasonably
245 ascertainable address.
246 (4) Additional Service by Other Methods. In addition to the service required
247 under Rule 4(e)(3), the court, in its discretion, may require service of process to be
248 made upon an absent party in any other manner that is reasonably calculated to
249 give the party actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. The
250 method of service could include publication of the notice in a print or online
251 newspaper or other publication at least once a week for four consecutive weeks;
252 service of the notice to the absent party's e-mail account; posting of the notice to
253 the absent party's social networking account; physically posting a copy of the
254 notice and complaint on a public bulletin board or on the front door of the absent
255 party's place of residence; or any method the court determines to be reasonable
256 and appropriate.
257 (5) Mailing Required. If service is allowed by any method listed in Rule
258 4(e)(4), the party who seeks to have service made must also send the absent party a
259 copy of the notice and the complaint by mail as required in Rule 4(e)(3). Proof of
260 mailing must be made by affidavit of a deposit in a post office of the copies of the
261 notice and the complaint or other pleadings.
262 (6) Form and Contents of Notice Time. The notice referred to in Rule
263 4(e)(3), (4) and (7) must be in the form of a summons. It must state briefly the
264 nature of the action, the relief demanded, and why the party to whom it is
265 addressed is made a party to the action. Where the action concerns real property or
266 where real property of a party has been attached, the notice must set forth a legal
267 description of the property, must state the municipality or district in which it is
268 located, and the street or road on which the property is situated, and if the property
269 is improved, it must state the street number of the same. Where personal property
270 of a party has been attached, the notice must generally describe the property. If a
271 mortgage is to be foreclosed, the notice must state the names of all parties to the
272 mortgage and the dates that the mortgage was executed. The notice must specify
273 the time within which the absent party has to appear or answer or plead, which
274 may not be less than 21 days after personal service or, if service is made by
275 publication, not less than 21 days after the last date of publication, and must state
276 the effect of a failure to appear or answer or plead. If the absent party does not
277 appear or answer or plead within the time specified within the notice, the court
278 may proceed as if such party had been served with process within the state.
279 (7) Proof of Service.
280 (A) Service by Posting on the North Dakota Court System's Legal Notice
281 Website. If service is made by posting to the North Dakota Court System's Legal
282 Notice Website, proof of posting must be made by certification of the court clerk.
283 A printed copy of the posted notice and the dates of posting must be attached to the
284 clerk's certificate.
285 (B) Service by Publication in a Printed Newspaper. If service is made by
286 publication in a printed newspaper, proof of publication must be made by the
287 affidavit of the newspaper's publisher, printer, manager, foreman, or principal
288 clerk, or by the certificate of the attorney for the party at whose instance the
289 service was made. A printed copy of the published notice with the name of the
290 newspaper and dates of publication marked must be attached to the affidavit or
292 (C) Service by Posting to an Online Publication Website. If service is made
293 by posting to an online publication website, proof of posting must be made by
294 affidavit of the online publication's publisher, printer, manager, foreman, or
295 principal clerk, or by the certificate of the attorney for the party at whose instance
296 the service was made. A printed copy of the posted notice with the name of the
297 online publication and dates of posting marked must be attached to the affidavit or
299 (D) Service by E-mail or Posting to a Social Networking Account. If service
300 is made by e-mail or posting to a social networking account, proof of e-mail
301 transmission or electronic posting must be made by affidavit. If service is made by
302 e-mail, a copy of the sent e-mail transmission must be attached to the affidavit. If
303 service is made by posting a notice on the absent party's social networking
304 account, a screen print of the posting must be attached to the affidavit.
305 (E) Service by Posting to a Public Bulletin Board or on the Front Door of
306 the Absent Party's Place of Residence. If service is made by posting to a public
307 bulletin board or on the front door of the absent party's place of residence, proof of
308 posting must be made by affidavit of posting of the notice and the complaint or
309 other pleadings.
310 (F) Other Service by Court Order. If the court has allowed service of
311 process to be made upon an absent party in any other manner calculated to give
312 actual notice, proof of service must be made as directed by the court.
(5) (8) Personal Service Outside State is
Equivalent to Publication. After
314 the affidavit
for publication of inquiry and the
complaint in the action are filed,
315 personal service of the summons and complaint on the defendant out of state is
316 equivalent to and has the same force and effect as the
317 mailing or delivery provided for in Rule 4(e)(4) and (5).
(6) (8) Time When First Publication
Other Service or Service Outside State
319 Must Be Made. The first
publication other service of the
summons, or personal
320 service of the summons and complaint on the defendant outside the state, must be
321 made within 60 days after the filing of the
for publication of
inquiry. If not made,
322 the action is considered discontinued as to any defendant not served within that
(7) (9) When Defendant Served by
Publication Other Service is Permitted to
326 (A) The defendant who is served by
service, or the
327 defendant's representative, on application and sufficient cause shown at any time
328 before judgment, must be allowed to defend the action.
329 (B) Except in an action for divorce, the defendant who is served by
publication other service, or the defendant's
representative, on just terms, may be
331 allowed to defend at any time within three years after entry of judgment if the
332 defendant files an affidavit with the court that states:
333 (i) the defendant has a good and meritorious defense to the action; and
334 (ii) the defendant had no actual notice or knowledge of the action to enable
335 the defendant to make application to defend before the entry of judgment.
336 (C) If the defense is successful and the judgment, or any part of the
337 judgment, has been collected or otherwise enforced, restitution may be ordered by
338 the court, but the title to property sold under the judgment to a purchaser in good
339 faith may not be affected.
340 (D) A defendant is considered to have had notice of the action and of the
341 judgment if the defendant:
342 (i) receives a copy of the summons in the action by mail or delivery under
paragraph Rule 4 (e) (4)(3) or
344 (ii) is personally served the summons outside the state under
345 4 (e)
(8) Additional Information to be Published for Real Property. In all
which publication of summons is made in an action that the title to, or an
in or lien on, real property is involved, the publication must also contain
description of the real property and a statement of the object of the
350 (f) Serving a Person in a Foreign Country. Unless otherwise provided by
351 law, an individual, other than a minor or an incompetent person, may be served at a
352 place not within any judicial district of the United States:
353 (1) by any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably
354 calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention
355 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; or
356 (2) if there is no internationally agreed means, or if an international
357 agreement allows but does not specify other means, by a method that is reasonably
358 calculated to give notice:
359 (A) as prescribed by the foreign country's law for service in that country in
360 an action in its courts of general jurisdiction;
361 (B) as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter
362 of request; or
363 (C) unless prohibited by the foreign country's law by
364 (i) delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint to the individual
365 personally; or
366 (ii) using any form of mail or third-party commercial delivery that the clerk
367 addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a signed receipt; or
368 (3) by other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the court
370 (4) Serving a Minor or Incompetent Person. Unless otherwise provided by
371 law, service must be made on a minor or an incompetent person in a place not
372 within any judicial district of the United States in the manner prescribed by
373 paragraphs (2)(A), (2)(B), and (3).
374 (5) Serving a Foreign Corporation, Partnership, or Association. Unless
375 otherwise provided by law, service must be made on a foreign corporation,
376 partnership or other unincorporated association, that is subject to suit under a
377 common name, in a place not within any judicial district of the United States in the
378 manner prescribed for individuals in this subdivision except personal delivery
379 under paragraph (2)(C)(i).
380 (g) When Other Service
by Publication or
Service Outside State Complete.
Service by publication Other service is complete fifteen
days after the first posting
382 or publication of the summons. Personal service of the summons and complaint
383 upon the defendant outside the state is complete fifteen days after the date of
385 (h) Amendment of Process or Proof of Service. The court may allow any
386 process or proof of service to be amended at any time on notice and just terms,
387 unless it clearly appears that the substantial rights of the party against whom the
388 process was issued would be materially prejudiced.
389 (i) Proof of Service. Proof of service of the summons and of the complaint
390 or notice, if any, accompanying the summons or of other process, must be made as
392 (1) if served by the sheriff or other officer, by the officer's certificate of
394 (2) if served by any other person, by the server's affidavit of service;
395 (3) if served by publication, by an affidavit made as provided in N.D.C.C. ?
396 31-04-06 and an affidavit of mailing or an affidavit of delivery via a third-party
397 commercial carrier of a copy of the summons and complaint under paragraph
398 (e)(4) of this rule, if the summons and complaint has been deposited;
399 (4) in any other case of service by mail or delivery via a third-party
400 commercial carrier resulting in delivery under paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3), by an
401 affidavit of mailing or an affidavit of delivery of a copy of the summons and
402 complaint or other process, with return receipt attached; or
403 (5) by the written admission of the defendant.
404 (j) Contents of Proof of Service.
405 (1) The certificate, affidavit or admission of service mentioned in
406 subdivision (i) must state the date, time, place, and manner of service.
407 (2) If the process, pleading, order of court, or other paper is served
408 personally by a person other than the sheriff or person designated by law, the
409 affidavit of service must also state that:
410 (A) the server is of legal age and not a party to the action nor interested in
411 the action, and
412 (B) the server knew the person served to be the person named in the papers
413 served and the person intended to be served.
414 (k) Contents of Affidavit of Mailing or Delivery via a Third-party
415 Commercial Carrier. An affidavit of mailing or delivery required by this rule must:
416 (1) state a copy of the process, pleading, order of court, or other paper to be
417 served was deposited by the affiant, with postage or shipping prepaid, in the mail
418 or with a third-party commercial carrier and directed to the party shown in the
419 affidavit to be served at the party's last reasonably ascertainable address;
420 (2) contain the date and place of deposit;
421 (3) indicate the affiant is of legal age; and
422 (4) contain the return receipt, if any, attached to the affidavit.
423 (l) Effect of Mail or Delivery Refusal. If a summons and complaint or other
424 process is mailed or sent with delivery restricted and requiring a receipt signed by
425 the addressee, the addressee's refusal to accept the mail or delivery constitutes
426 delivery. Return of the mail or delivery bearing an official indication on the cover
427 that delivery was refused by the addressee is prima facie evidence of the refusal.
428 Service is complete on the date of refusal.
429 (m) Service Under Statute. If a statute requires service and does not specify
430 a method of service, service must be made under this rule.
431 EXPLANATORY NOTE
432 Rule 4 was amended, effective 1971; January 1, 1976; January 1, 1977;
433 January 1, 1979; September 1, 1983; March 1, 1986; March 1, 1990; March 1,
434 1996; March 1, 1998; March 1, 1999; March 1, 2004; March 1, 2007; August 1,
435 2009; March 1, 2011; March 1, 2013; ________. The explanatory note was
436 amended, effective March 1, 2014.
437 Rule 4 governs civil jurisdiction and service of process. In contrast, Rule 5
438 applies to service of papers other than process.
439 Rule 4 was amended, effective March 1, 1999, to allow delivery via a
440 third-party commercial carrier as an alternative to the Postal Service. The
441 requirement for a "third-party" is consistent with the rule's requirement for
442 personal service by a person not a party to nor interested in the action. The
443 requirement for a "commercial carrier" means it must be the regular business of the
444 carrier to make deliveries for profit. A law firm may not act as its own commercial
445 carrier service for service of process. Finally, the phrase "commercial carrier" is
446 not intended to include or authorize electronic delivery. Service via e-mail or
447 facsimile transmission is not permitted by Rule 4.
448 Originally, Rule 4 concerned process, with no mention of jurisdiction. In
449 1971, what are now subdivisions (a) [Definition of Person] and (b) [Jurisdiction
450 Over Person] were added. They were taken from the Uniform Interstate and
451 International Procedure Act. Many changes were also made to subdivision (d)
452 [previously (c)] concerning personal service, several of which were taken from that
454 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 1998, to provide a
455 defendant with the means to compel the plaintiff to file the action.
456 Paragraph (c)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2007, to require the
457 complaint to be served with the summons under most circumstances.
458 Paragraph (c)(3) on making a demand to file the complaint was transferred
459 to Rule 5, effective March 1, 2013.
460 Subdivision (d) was amended, effective March 1, 1998, to allow personal
461 service by delivering a copy of the summons to an individual's spouse. The time of
462 service for an item served by mail or third-party commercial carrier under
463 subdivision (d) is the time the item is delivered to or refused by the recipient.
464 Refusal of delivery is tantamount to receipt of the mail or delivery for purposes of
465 service. On the other hand, if the mail or delivery is unclaimed, no service is made.
466 Subdivision (l) was added in 1983, effective September 1, 1983, to make it clear
467 that refusal of delivery by the addressee constitutes delivery.
468 Paragraph (d)(4) was deleted and subdivision (m) was added, effective
469 March 1, 2004, to clarify that, when a statute requires service and no method of
470 service is specified, service must be made under this rule. Statutes governing
471 special procedures often conflict with these rules. As an example, N.D.C.C.
472 32-19-32 concerning the time period for mailing the summons and complaint after
473 publication in a mortgage foreclosure conflicts with Rule 4(e)(4).
474 Paragraph (e)(4) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to increase the
475 time to deposit a copy of the summons and complaint with a post office or
476 third-party commercial carrier from 10 to 14 days after the first publication of the
478 A new subdivision (f) was added, effective March 1, 1996, to provide
479 procedures for service upon a person in a foreign country. The new procedures
480 follow Rule 26(f), Fed.R.Civ.P.
481 Rule 4 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December
482 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and
483 organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and
484 to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
485 Service of process under statutory methods is allowed in some
486 circumstances. Examples of service statutes include: N.D.C.C. § 10-01.1-13
487 (service of process on foreign and dissolved business entities); N.D.C.C. §
488 26.1-11-10 (service on a foreign insurance company); N.D.C.C. § 28-04.1-02
489 (service on a person agreeing by contract to be sued in North Dakota); N.D.C.C.
490 ch. 28-06.2 (service on the United States); N.D.C.C. § 39-01-11 (service on
491 non-resident motorist); N.D.C.C. § 43-07-19 (service on non-resident contractors
492 doing public work); N.D.C.C. § 52-04-12 (service on non-resident employers in
493 unemployment compensation actions); N.D.C.C. § 53-05-04 (service of process in
494 actions related to amusements).
495 SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of
496 ___________________; January 31-February 1, 2013, page 12; September 27,
497 2012, pages 7-8; January 26-27, 2012, pages 12-13; April 29-30, 2010, pages 5-6;
498 May 21-22, 2009, pages 44-45; April 27-28, 2006, pages 11-14; January 30-31,
499 2003, pages 6-10; September 26-27, 2002, pages 15-18; April 30-May 1, 1998,
500 pages 3, 8, and 11; January 29-30, 1998, pages 17-18; September 25-26, 1997,
501 page 2; January 30, 1997, pages 6-7, 10-12; September 26-27, 1996, pages 14-16;
502 January 26-27, 1995, pages 7-8; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, pages
503 1-4 and 11; May 21-22, 1987, page 5; November 29, 1984, pages 3-5; September
504 30-October 1, 1982, pages 15-18; April 15-16, 1982, pages 2-5; December 11-12,
505 1980, page 2, October 30-31, 1980, page 31; January 17-18, 1980, pages 1-3;
506 November 29-30, 1979, page 2: October 27-28, 1977, page 10; April 8-9, 1976,
507 pages 5-9; Fed.R.Civ.P. 4.
508 STATUTES AFFECTED:
509 SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. chs. 28-06, 28-06.1.
510 CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. ch. 28-06.2; N.D.C.C. §§ 10-01.1-13;
511 26.1-11-10; 28-04.1-02; 39-01-11; 43-07-19; 52-04-12; 53-05-04.
512 CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings
513 and Other Papers), N.D.R.Civ.P. 6 (Time); N.D.R.Civ.P. 12 (Defenses and
514 objections - When and how presented - By pleading or motion - Motion for
515 judgment on pleadings); N.D.R.Civ.P. 45 (Subpoena), and N.D.R.Civ.P. 81
516 (Applicability In General); N.D.R.Ct. 8.4 (Summons in Action for Divorce or