(a) Electronic Filing.
(1) Documents filed electronically in the district courts must be submitted through the Odyssey electronic filing system.
(2) All documents filed after the initiating pleadings in criminal and juvenile cases must be filed electronically. All documents in civil, non-juvenile, cases must be filed electronically. A party who files a complaint in a civil case must electronically serve notice of filing on the other parties or their attorneys.
(3) Self-represented litigants and prisoners are exempt from the electronic filing requirement and may file paper documents in person, by mail, or by third party commercial carrier. Self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents by electronic means must use the Odyssey system.
(4) On a showing of exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to file paper documents. Original wills, codicils and other documents of independent legal significance may be filed as paper documents. Colored or shaded documents may be filed as paper documents if necessary to ensure legibility.
(5) A document filed electronically has the same legal effect as a paper document.
(6) Any signature on a document filed electronically is considered that of the officer of the court or party it purports to be for all purposes. If it is established that the documents were transmitted without authority, the court must strike the filing.
(7) A party who electronically files a proposed order must identify the filing party in the Odyssey filing description field.
(b) Filing Formats.
(1) Approved formats for documents filed electronically are WordPerfect (.wpd), Tagged Image File (.tif), Portable Document File (.pdf) and ASCII (.txt).
(2) All paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals in documents filed electronically. Reference to material in such documents must be to paragraph number, not page number. Paragraph numbering is not required in exhibits, documents that consist of a single paragraph, documents prepared before the action was commenced, or in documents not prepared by the parties or court.
(3) A document submitted for electronic filing must comply with published guidelines (N.D.R.Ct. Appendix K Rule 3.5 Electronic Filing Requirements).
(c) Time of Filing.
(1) A document in compliance with the rules and submitted electronically to the district court clerk by 11:59 p.m. local time is considered filed on the date submitted. A document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the e-signature is affixed.
(2) After reviewing an electronically filed document, the district court clerk must inform the filer, through an e-mail generated by the Odyssey system, whether the document has been accepted or rejected. A notice of rejection must state all provisions of Appendix K or other statute, rule or case relied upon.
(3) If a document submitted for electronic filing is rejected, the time for filing is tolled from the time of submission to the time the e-mail generated by the Odyssey system notifying the filer of rejection is sent. The document will be considered timely filed if resubmitted within three days after the notice of rejection.
(4) Any required filing fee must be paid by credit card or debit card at the time the document is filed.
(d) Confidentiality. In documents prepared for filing with the court, information that would otherwise be included in the document but required by N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 to be redacted in court documents must be separately filed in a reference sheet (confidential information form, see appendix) and may be included in those documents only by reference. Any document not complying with this order is subject to N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(g).
(e) Electronic Service.
(1) All documents filed electronically after the initiating pleadings must be served electronically through the Odyssey system except for documents served on or by self-represented litigants and prisoners. On a showing of exceptional circumstances in a particular case, anyone may be granted leave of court to serve paper documents or to be exempt from receiving electronic service. Attorneys who are required by rule or statute to serve documents on their own clients may serve paper documents.
(2) Except as provided in N.D.R.Ct. 3.5(e)(4), electronic service of a document is not effective if the party making service learns through any means that the document did not reach the person to be served.
(3) All attorneys must provide at least one e-mail address to the State Board of Law Examiners for accepting electronic service. Designated e-mail service addresses will be posted on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.
(4) For purposes of computation of time, any document electronically served must be treated as if it were delivered on the date of transmission. If an attorney who is not exempt from electronic service fails to provide an e-mail address for service or fails to accept or open electronically served e-mail, the server's attempt at electronic service constitutes delivery. Service made impossible due to an attorney's failure to provide an e-mail address must be shown by an affidavit or certificate of attempted service.
(5) Counsel are required to use the Attorney Subscription Management System for notice of filing by the court in the Odyssey system.
(f) Technical Issues; Relief. On a showing of good cause, the court may grant appropriate relief if electronic filing or electronic service was not completed due to technical problems.
(g) Filed Electronic Documents. An electronic document filed, accepted and docketed in the Odyssey electronic filing system is a court record. No further proof that the document is a court record is required when the record is distributed between courts or files using the Odyssey system.
Rule 3.5 was originally adopted as N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 16 on March 1, 2006. Order 16 was later amended, effective March 1, 2008; March 1, 2009; August 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; July 1, 2012; March 1, 2018.
Order 16 was amended, effective July 1, 2012, to incorporate the provisions of the Order 16 Addendum (Filing in the District Court where Odyssey Electronic Filing is Available) and N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.O. 18 (Filing in Counties Using the Odyssey Case Management System). The Order 16 Addendum and Order 18 were repealed, effective July 1, 2012.
In an appeal from an agency determination under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42, the notice of appeal must be served on all the entities listed in the statute, some of whom may not be subject to electronic service through the Odyssey system.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that self-represented litigants and prisoners who wish to file documents electronically must use the Odyssey system and to require a party filing a proposed order to identify the party in the Odyssey filing description field.
Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective June 1, 2015, to remove Word documents from the list of approved formats for electronic filing in the Odyssey system. If a court requests that parties submit editable documents such as proposed findings or orders, Word or other editable format documents still may be e-mailed to the court for that purpose but only after e-filing the documents in Odyssey in an approved format.
Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to specify that paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals.
Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2019, to except documents that consist of a single paragraph from the paragraph numbering requirement.
Paragraph (b)(3) was added, effective March 1, 2018, to add a reference to Appendix K, which contains document guidelines.
Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2016, to clarify that a document electronically signed by the court is considered filed when the e-signature is affixed.
Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to require a notice of document rejection to state all provisions of Appendix K or other statute, rule or case relied upon for the rejection and to delete the requirement to file a notice of resubmission.
Paragraph (e)(4) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to provide that documents served electronically are treated as delivered on the day of transmission.
Paragraph (e)(5) was added, effective March 1, 2018, to require counsel to use the Attorney Subscription Management System for notice of filing by the court.
Subdivision (g) was added, effective March 1, 2017, to explain that once a document is accepted into the Odyssey system, the document is a court record and no further proof that the document is a court record is needed when the record is distributed between courts or files using the Odyssey system.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 27, 2018, pages 13-14; September 28, 2017, pages 2-10; April 27, 2017, pages 14-19; January 26-27, 2017, page 30; May 12-13, 2016, pages 15-22; January 28-29, 2016, pages 8-11; April 23-24, 2015, pages 2-3; January 29-30, 2015, pages 13-14; April 25-26, 2013, pages 3-16; January 31-February 1, 2013,pages 2-5, 15-18; September 27, 2012, pages 14-21; April 29-30, 2010, page 21; April 24-25, 2008, pages 12-16; October 11-12, 2007, pages 3-5; April 26-27, 2007, pages 16-18; January 25, 2007, pages 15-16; September 23-24, 2004, pages 18-27.
Considered: N.D.C.C. § 28-32-42.
Cross References: N.D.R.Ct. 3.1 (Pleadings); N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court); N.D.R.Ct. Appendix K (Electronic Filing Requirements); N.D.R.Civ.P. 4 (Persons Subject to Jurisdiction; Process; Service); N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Documents); N.D. Admission to Practice R. 1(General Requirements for Admission).
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