Self Help Tools

Disclaimer: Self Help Tools is not intended to take the place of an attorney's legal advice. It also may not contain information that addresses your particular case or problem

If you wish to start a civil action in federal court, but do not have an attorney to represent you, you may bring your case on your own. Bringing a case on your own is called proceeding "pro se." A civil action is the only type of case you can start in federal court and is different from a criminal action which is started by government officials. You do not have the right to an attorney in a civil case and the Court only appoints attorneys in certain circumstances. Because you do not have the right to an attorney and may not be appointed one, you must be ready to pursue your case to completion.

The Self Help Tools contains information to help you if you decide to proceed pro se. This section contains forms, frequently asked questions, and links to other internet sites. The Court and its employees cannot give you legal help or advice. If you file a case pro se, you will have to follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this Court's Local Rules the same as any attorney who represents someone.

Here is a description of the information contained in Self Help Tools:

Filing on Your Own Behalf (pro se) - this contains a copy of the Court's "Frequently Asked Questions For Filing A Complaint on Your Own Behalf." It is a good place to start if you are thinking about bringing a case.

Information and Instructions for filing a Civil Complaint - procedural information specific to filing and adjudicating a civil complaint.

Forms - under Pro Se, this section has forms and instructions for filing several different types of cases on your own. It also has other form motions and documents you may need to file your case or appeal. You should look at these forms before you file your case as there may be forms and instructions you can use.

A listing of conflicts for each judge is available for your information.