Pro Se Civil Guide Book
This guidebook explains many of the procedures you will need to know if you are representing yourself in this Court. The guidebook includes subjects such as drafting and filing a complaint, serving a summons and complaint and other documents, drafting and responding to motions, calculating deadlines, discovery, summary judgment, trial, post-trial motions, and starting an appeal.
Below are links to Information Sheets that provide basic information about specific procedures. Information Sheet No. 1 describes the basic steps necessary to start a civil case in federal court without an attorney. Information Sheet No. 2 describes the basic information about delivering your summons and complaint to each defendant in the manner required by law (called service of process). Information Sheet No. 3 describes what to do if you cannot afford the Court's $400.00 filing fee, the Court's process for considering, granting or denying your request to proceed without paying the filing fee, and the consequences of your request being granted or denied. Information Sheet No. 4 describes the Court's electronic case filing system, and how to apply to use the electronic case filing system. Information Sheet No. 5 explains how to respond to a summons and complaint if you are being sued in federal court and do not have an attorney.
- Information Sheet No. 1: How to Start a Civil Case Without An Attorney
- Information Sheet No. 2: Service of Process
- Information Sheet No. 3: IFP (In Forma Pauperis) Status
- Information Sheet No. 4: Using the Court's Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF)
- Information Sheet No. 5: Responding to a Summons and Complaint
To view Pro Se guidebooks for prisoner actions, visit the Prisoner Resources page.