United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONER PLAINTIFFS
have filed this federal civil rights lawsuit pro se,
that is, without the help of a lawyer. There are rules and
procedures that you must follow in order to proceed with your
lawsuit, even though you are not a lawyer.
THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Follow All Court Rules.
must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well
as Local Rules for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Local
Rule 5.5(c)(2) provides that:
It is the duty of any party not represented by counsel to
promptly notify the Clerk and the other parties to the
proceedings of any change in his or her address, to monitor
the progress of the case, and to prosecute or defend the
action diligently. A party appearing for himself/herself
shall sign his/her pleadings and state his/her address, zip
code, and telephone number. If any communication from the
Court to a pro se plaintiff is not responded to
within thirty (30) days, the case may be dismissed without
prejudice. Any party proceeding pro se shall be
expected to be familiar with and follow the Federal Rules of
Pay the Filing Fee.
civil case filed by a prisoner - including this one -
requires the plaintiff to pay a filing fee either at the
beginning of the lawsuit or, if he cannot afford to pay the
entire fee in a lump sum, to apply for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis (“IFP”). If you are
granted IFP status, the filing fee is $350, which will be
collected in installments from your prisoner account.
Importantly, the entire filing fee will be collected, even if
your lawsuit is dismissed.
have not paid the $400 filing fee or filed a complete IFP
application. The Clerk of Court is directed to enclose an IFP
application along with a copy of this order. You
must return a completed IFP application, including an
accompanying calculation sheet and certificate signed by an
authorized official, or pay the $400.00 filing fee within 30
days of the date of this order. Otherwise, the lawsuit will
Provide Addresses for Service. All defendants must
be served with the complaint and a summons within 90 days of
the filing of a complaint. This includes “John/Jane
Doe” defendants. Any defendant who is not served within
90 days can be dismissed, without prejudice, from the
lawsuit. If you are proceeding IFP, the Court will order
service of process on the defendants if it determines that
service is appropriate after screening your complaint as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and/or 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e). However, it is your responsibility to identify
defendants, including “Doe” defendants, and to
provide valid service addresses for defendants. You may send
discovery requests, or use other means, to find valid service
addresses for defendants.
No Right to Appointed Counsel.
a civil case. Unlike criminal cases, there is no right to
have an appointed lawyer in a civil case. If your case
proceeds to a jury trial, however, a lawyer may be appointed
to assist you before trial.
Do Not File Your Discovery Requests.
requests, such as interrogatories and requests for documents,
are not to be filed with the Court. Instead, discovery
requests should be sent to counsel for the defendant (or
directly to the defendant if he or she is not represented by
a lawyer). No discovery should be sent to a defendant until
after that defendant has been served with the complaint.
Do Not Send Documents to Court Except ...