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
documents filed by self-
represented litigants and prisoners. After June 1, 2013,
initiating pleadings All
7 documents in civil, non-juvenile, cases must be filed
in civil, non-
juvenile, cases. A party who files a complaint in a civil case
9 serve notice of filing on the other parties or their attorneys.
10 (3) Self-represented litigants and prisoners are exempt from the electronic
11 filing requirement and may file paper documents in person, by mail, or by third
12 party commercial carrier. Self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file
13 documents by electronic means must use the Odyssey® system.
14 (4) On a showing of exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone
15 may be granted leave of court to file paper documents. Original wills, codicils and
16 other documents of independent legal significance may be filed as paper
17 documents. Colored or shaded documents may be filed as paper documents if
18 necessary to ensure legibility.
(4) (5) A document filed electronically has the same
legal effect as a paper
(5) (6) Any signature on a document filed
electronically is considered that
22 of the officer of the court or party it purports to be for all purposes. If it is
23 established that the documents were transmitted without authority, the court must
24 strike the filing.
25 (7) A party who electronically files a proposed order must identify the filing
26 party in the Odyssey® comments field.
27 (b) Filing formats.
28 (1) Approved formats for documents filed electronically are WordPerfect
29 (.wpd), Tagged Image File (.tif), Portable Document File (.pdf) and ASCII (.txt).
30 (2) All paragraphs must be numbered in documents filed electronically.
31 Reference to material in such documents must be to paragraph number, not page
32 number. Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits, documents prepared
33 before the action was commenced, or in documents not prepared by the parties or
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,
42 whether the document has been accepted or rejected.
43 (3) If a document submitted for electronic filing is rejected, the time for
44 filing is tolled from the time of submission to the time the e-mail generated by the
45 Odyssey® system notifying the filer of rejection is sent. The document will be
46 considered timely filed if resubmitted within three days after the notice of
47 rejection. A party seeking to take advantage of this tolling provision must file and
48 serve a separate document providing notice that the rejected document is being
49 resubmitted under N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(c)(3).
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 email 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 on the date of transmission. If an
74 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 (f) Technical issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may
80 grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed
81 due to technical problems.
82 EXPLANATORY NOTE
83 Adopted effective January 15, 2013; amended effective April 15, 2013;
84 June 1, 2013; June 1, 2015; March 1, 2016.
85 Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1,
86 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009;
87 August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; and July 1, 2012.
88 Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions
89 of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey®
90 Electronic Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties
91 Using the Odyssey® Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and
92 Order 18 were repealed, effective July 1, 2012.
93 In an appeal from an agency determination under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42, the
94 notice of appeal must be served on all the entities listed in the statute, some of
95 whom may not be subject to electronic service through the Odyssey® system.
96 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that self-
97 represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents electronically must
98 use the Odyssey® system and to require a party filing a proposed order to identify
99 the party in the Odyssey® comments field.
100 Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word
101 documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey®
102 system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as
103 proposed findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be
104 e-mailed to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in
105 Odyssey in an approved format.
106 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that a
107 document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the e-
108 signature is affixed.
109 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 23-24, 2015, pages 2-
110 3; January 29-30, 2015, pages 13-14; April 25-26, 2013, pages 3-16; January 31-
111 February 1, 2013, pages 2-5, 15-18; September 27, 2012, pages 14-21; April 29-
112 30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008, pages 12-16; October 11-12, 2007, pages 3-
113 5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18; January 25, 2007, pages 15-16; Sept 23-24,
114 2004, pages 18-27.
115 Statutes Affected:
116 Considered: N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42.
117 Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with
118 the Court); N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 (Persons Subject to Jurisdiction; Process; Service);
119 N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Documents); N.D.
120 Admission to Practice R. 1 (General Requirements for Admission).