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 (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.
If a A document submitted for electronic filing must comply with
42 published guidelines (N.D.R.Ct. Appendix K Rule 3.5 Electronic Filing
43 Requirements). If a document is rejected, the time for filing is tolled from the time
44 of submission to the time the e-mail generated by the Odyssey® system notifying
45 the filer of rejection is sent. The document will be considered timely filed if
46 resubmitted within three days after the notice of rejection. A party seeking to take
47 advantage of this tolling provision must file and serve a separate document
48 providing notice that the rejected document is being resubmitted under N.D.R.Ct.
50 (4) Any required filing fee must be paid by credit card or debit card at the
51 time the document is filed.
52 (d) Confidentiality. In documents prepared for filing with the court,
53 information that would otherwise be included in the document but required by
54 N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 to be redacted in court documents must be separately filed in a
55 reference sheet (confidential information form, see appendix) and may be included
56 in those documents only by reference. Any document not complying with this
57 order is subject to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(g).
58 (e) Electronic Service.
59 (1) All documents filed electronically after the initiating pleadings must be
60 served electronically through the Odyssey® system except for documents served
61 on or by self-represented litigants and prisoners. On a showing of exceptional
62 circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to serve
63 paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service. Attorneys who
64 are required by rule or statute to serve documents on their own clients may serve
65 paper documents.
66 (2) Except as provided in N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(e)(4), electronic service of a
67 document is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that
68 the document did not reach the person to be served.
69 (3) All attorneys must provide at least one e-mail address to the State Board
70 of Law Examiners for accepting electronic service. Designated e-mail service
71 addresses will be posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.
72 (4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically
73 served must be treated as if it were
mailed delivered on the date of transmission. If
74 an attorney who is not exempt from electronic service fails to provide an e-mail
75 address for service or fails to accept or open electronically served e-mail, the
76 server's attempt at electronic service constitutes delivery. Service made impossible
77 due to an attorney's failure to provide an e-mail address must be shown by an
78 affidavit or certificate of attempted service.
79 (5) Counsel are required to use the Attorney Subscription Management
80 System for notice of filing in the Odyssey system.
81 (f) Technical Issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may
82 grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed
83 due to technical problems.
84 (g) Filed Electronic Documents. An electronic document filed, accepted and
85 docketed in the Odyssey® electronic filing system is a court record. No further
86 proof that the document is a court record is required when the record is distributed
87 between courts or files using the Odyssey® system.
88 EXPLANATORY NOTE
89 Adopted effective January 15, 2013; amended effective April 15, 2013;
90 June 1, 2013; June 1, 2015; March 1, 2016; March 1, 2017;_____________.
91 Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1,
92 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009;
93 August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; July 1, 2012.
94 Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions
95 of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey®
96 Electronic Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties
97 Using the Odyssey® Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and
98 Order 18 were repealed, effective July 1, 2012.
99 In an appeal from an agency determination under N.D.C.C. §§ 28-32-42, the
100 notice of appeal must be served on all the entities listed in the statute, some of
101 whom may not be subject to electronic service through the Odyssey® system.
102 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that
103 self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents electronically
104 must use the Odyssey® system and to require a party filing a proposed order to
105 identify the party in the Odyssey® filing description field.
106 Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word
107 documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey®
108 system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as proposed
109 findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be e-mailed
110 to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in Odyssey in an
111 approved format.
112 Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective_____________, to specify that
113 paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals.
114 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that a
115 document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the
116 e-signature is affixed.
117 Paragraph (c)(3) was amended, effective_________________, to add a
118 reference to Appendix K, which contains document guidelines.
119 Paragraph (e)(4) was amended, effective ________________, to provide
120 that documents served electronically are treated as delivered on the day of
122 Paragraph (e)(5) was added, effective ________________, to require
123 counsel to use the Attorney Subscription Management System for notice of filing.
124 Subdivision (g) was added, effective March 1, 2017, to explain that once a
125 document is accepted into the Odyssey® system, the document is a court record
126 and no further proof that the document is a court record is needed when the record
127 is distributed between courts or files using the Odyssey® system.
128 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 27, 2017, pages 14-
129 9; January 26-27, 2017, page 30; May 12-13, 2016, pages 15-22; January 28-29,
130 2016, pages 8-11; April 23-24, 2015, pages 2-3; January 29-30, 2015, pages 13-14;
131 April 25-26, 2013, pages 3-16; January 31-February 1, 2013, pages 2-5, 15-18;
132 September 27, 2012, pages 14-21; April 29-30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008,
133 pages 12-16; October 11-12, 2007, pages 3-5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18;
134 January 25, 2007, pages 15-16; September 23-24, 2004, pages 18-27.
135 Statutes Affected:
136 Considered: N.D.C.C. §§ 28-32-42.
137 Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with
138 the Court); N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 (Persons Subject to Jurisdiction; Process; Service);
139 N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Documents); N.D.
140 Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission).