Filing Without an Attorney
Pro Se Information
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 Pro Se Litigant Guide contains information to help you if you decide to proceed pro se. If your case is based on a claim of employment discrimination, you should also review the Pro Se Employment Discrimination Complaint Guide in addition to the Pro Se Employment Discrimination Complaint Guide. If your case is alleging that your constitutional rights or privileges or immunities have been violated you should also consult the Pro Se civil Rights Complaint Guide in addition to the Pro Se Employment Discrimination Complaint Guide. 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.
DISCLAIMER: The Pro Se Guides are 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.