United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONERS
Nathan Zachary McMullan have filed a single civil rights
complaint that was severed into two separate lawsuits. This
is the case number for your lawsuit. You are
proceeding pro se, which means, without a lawyer.
Nevertheless, there are rules and procedures that you must
follow in order to proceed with your lawsuit.
Follow All Court Rules. You must comply with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as Local Rules for
the Eastern District of Arkansas. In particular, 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 must
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 must be expected to be familiar
with and follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Three Strikes Rule. The Prison Litigation Reform
Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), provides that:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section
if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while
incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action
or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed
on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the
prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
Service of Defendants. All Defendants must be served
within 90 days of the filing of the Complaint. This includes
“John/Jane Doe” Defendants. It is your
responsibility to identify all Defendants, including
“Doe” Defendants. The Court will order service on
all properly identified Defendants, but you are responsible
for providing valid service addresses for each of them. Any
Defendant who is not served within 90 days may be dismissed,
without prejudice, from the lawsuit. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 4(m); Lee v. Armontrout, 991 F.2d 487, 489
(8th Cir. 1993). Service is not appropriate at this
No Right to Appointed Counsel. This is a civil case.
Unlike criminal cases, there is no right to have an appointed
lawyer in a civil case. Phillips v. Jasper County
Jail, 437 F.3d 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006). If your case
proceeds to a jury trial, however, a lawyer will be appointed
to assist you.
Do Not File Discovery. Discovery requests (such as
interrogatories and requests for production of documents) and
responses to discovery requests cannot be filed with the
Court. Instead, you must mail discovery requests and
responses directly to counsel for the Defendant. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d). Do not mail discovery requests to
Defendants' counsel until after he or she has filed an
Answer or Motion to Dismiss.
Do Not Send Documents to the Court, Except in Two
Situations. You may send documents or other evidence
to the Court only if: (1) it is attached to a Motion for
Summary Judgment, or a Response thereto; or (2) the Court
orders you to file documents or other evidence.
Filing Fee. Every civil case filed by a prisoner
requires the plaintiff to pay a filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. A $400 filing fee must be paid at the beginning
of the lawsuit unless the plaintiff cannot afford to pay the
entire fee at once. If you cannot afford to pay the filing
fee in a lump sum, you may file a motion to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP motion”). 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 an IFP motion
for your case. The Clerk will be directed to send
you a prisoner IFP application, along with an institutional
trust fund account statement. You will be given until
December 6, 2019 to either: (1) pay the $400 filing fee for
your case; or (2) file an IFP motion. If
you file an IFP motion, you must have an authorized jail
official complete and sign the trust fund account statement
Signature. You did not sign the § 1983
Complaint. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a) (a pro se
litigant must sign every pleading and motion and a court
“must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is
promptly corrected”). You will be given until
December 6, 2019 to correct this deficiency.
Screening. After the filing fee and signature issues
are resolved, the Court will screen your Complaint,
determine whether service is ...