Welcome to the District of Minnesota's webpage for individuals representing themselves in Federal Court. When you proceed in Court without the assistance of an attorney, you are proceeding pro se, which is Latin for "in one's own behalf." To answer basic questions about proceeding pro se, use the link in the left-hand column to visit our Questions and Answers page.
For specific questions about initiating a case, completing an IFP application (starting a lawsuit without paying the filing fee), serving the summons and complaint, or applying to use the Court's electronic case filing system, use the link in the left-hand column to visit our Pro Se Civil Guidebook and Information Sheets page, and read the Information Sheet that pertains to your question. For more in-depth information about representing yourself in a civil case in this Court, read our Pro-Se Civil Guidebook. You may also use the link in the left-hand column to visit our Glossary page. For information on law libraries and Internet legal research, use the link in the left-hand column to visit our Legal Resources page.
The information on this website is intended to be informative and practical for pro se litigants and is not meant to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. The Court strongly encourages you to seek legal counsel when filing a case in Federal Court. For more information on how to obtain an attorney, use the link in the left-hand column to visit our Legal Resources page.
As of June 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court will no longer mail copies of pro se filings back to the filing party. They will only receive the Notice of Electronic Filing. The Notice of Electronic Filing will tell the filing party the date and time the filing was entered, the case name, case number, filer, document number, docket text and who received the filing. If you attach any exhibits to your complaint or other court documents, you should file a copy of the exhibit and keep the original for your records.