(a) Legibility. All pleadings and other documents must be typewritten, printed, reproduced, or in electronic form and easily readable.
(b) Signature. All pleadings and other documents of a party represented by an attorney must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name and contain beneath the signature the attorney's name address, telephone number, e-mail address for electronic service, and State Board of Law Examiners identification number. All pleadings and other documents of a party who is not represented by an attorney must be signed by the party and contain beneath the signature the party's name, address and telephone number.
(c) Filing of Documents. A party seeking to file a pleading or other document must submit it to the clerk. The first submitted version of a pleading or document will be treated as the original unless otherwise ordered by the court. A party need only file a single copy of any pleading or document.
(d) Lost Documents. If any original document is lost or withheld by any person, the court may authorize a copy to be filed.
(e) File Numbers. The clerk, at the time of the filing of a case and at the time of the filing of any responsive pleading, must assign a file number to the case and immediately notify the attorney of record of the assigned file number. Thereafter, all documents and pleadings to be filed must bear the assigned file number on the front or title page in the upper righthand portion of the document to be filed.
(f) Filing After Service. After the complaint is filed, all documents required to be served on a party, together with certificate of service, must be filed with the court within a reasonable time after service. Discovery documents may only be filed as allowed by N.D.R.Civ.P. 5(d)(3).
(g) Privacy Protection. Parties must follow privacy protection instructions in N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 when making filings with the court. Court personnel have no duty to review documents for compliance with N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
(h) Non-Conforming Documents.
(1) Documents and pleadings that do not conform to this rule may not be filed.
(2) If a non-conforming document is filed by mistake, the court on motion or on its own may order the pleading or other document reformed. If the order is not obeyed, the court may order the document stricken.
(3) If a document is stricken, the time for filing is tolled from the time of submission to the time the order striking the document is filed. The document will be considered timely filed if resubmitted in corrected form within three days after the order striking the document is filed.
(i) Paper Documents. Paper documents may be filed only as allowed under Rule 3.5(a). Except as otherwise permitted by the court, paper documents must be prepared on 8 1/2 x 11 inch white paper. Each sheet must be separately numbered and in the proper sequence. Writing may appear on one side of the sheet only and must be double-spaced, except for quoted material. Paper documents must be filed by the clerk flat and unfolded with each set of papers firmly fastened together.
Rule 3.1 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1996; March 1, 1999; August 1, 2001; March 1, 2005; March 1, 2007; March 1, 2009; May 1, 2012; March 1, 2013; April 15, 2013; March 1, 2014; March 1, 2018; March 1, 2019.
Rule 3.1 was reorganized, effective May 1, 2012, to make it clear that all documents presented for filing must conform to all applicable requirements of the rule.
A new subdivision (b) was added, effective March 1, 1996, which contains signature requirements. The letter designation of each existing subdivision was amended accordingly.
Subdivision (b) was amended, effective April 15, 2013, to require the e-mail address for electronic service under Rule 3.5 to be provided in filed documents.
A new subdivision (c) was added, effective March 1, 2005, to clarify that documents must be filed with the clerk. Submitting a document to a judge or to court personnel other than the clerk does not constitute filing. The first version of a given document submitted to the clerk, regardless of what form it is in, will be filed and treated as the original. A party seeking to correct the original or have another document treated as the original must obtain an order from the court.
Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2014, to clarify that only a single copy of any pleading or document need be filed with the court. This provision supersedes the requirement in N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21 that a demand for change of judge be filed in triplicate and the requirements in N.D.C.C. §§ 14-12.2-36 and 14-14.1-25 for the filing of two copies of an order. This provision should be interpreted as superseding any statutory requirement that multiple copies of a document be filed with the court.
Subdivision (f) was amended, effective March 1, 2014, to require, once the complaint has been filed, filing of all documents that must be served, along with a certificate of service, within a reasonable time after service. This provision is modeled after Minn. R. Civ. P. 5.04.
Subdivision (g) was amended, effective March 1, 2007, to specify that court personnel have no duty to review documents for compliance with privacy protection rules.
Subdivision (g) was amended, effective March 1, 2009, to reflect the addition of document privacy protection requirements to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4.
Subdivision (h) was amended, effective March 1, 2018 to provide that the time of filing is tolled pending resubmission of a stricken document.
Subdivision (i) was added, effective March 1, 2019, to consolidate the rule's requirements related to the preparation and filing of paper documents in a single place. The letter designations of the rule's subdivisions were amended accordingly.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 27, 2018, pages 11-12; September 29-30, 2016, page 29; September 26, 2013, pages 7-11; April 25-26, 2013, pages 13-15; September 27, 2012, page 14; January 26-27, 2012, pages 16-17; January 24, 2008, pages 9-12; October 11-12, 2007, pages 28-30; April 26-27, 2007, page 31; September 22-23, 2005, pages 16-17; September 23-24, 2004, pages 3-5; April 29-30, 2004, pages 6-13, 17-25; January 29-30, 2004, pages 3-8; September 16-17, 2003, pages 2-11; April 24-25, 2003, pages 6-12; January 29-30, 1998, page 22; September 29-30, 1994, pages 6-7.
Superseded: N.D.C.C. §§ 14-12.2-36 (in part), 14-14.1-25 (in part), and 29-15-21 (in part).
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers); N.D.R.Civ.P. 11 (Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions); N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court); N.D.R.Ct. 3.5 (Electronic Filing in the District Courts); N.D.R.Ct. Appendix K (Electronic Filing Requirements); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41 (Access to Judicial Records).
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