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.
not file an 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 be dismissed.
Provide Addresses for Service.
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 ...