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This Page Last Updated October 25, 2011

Prisoner & Pro Se Guidance


Can the Clerk's Office tell me how to proceed with my case?

Clerk's Office staff cannot give "legal advice" or "practice law" as they are prohibited under Title 28 U.S.C. Section 955. Therefore, Clerk's Office personnel cannot:

  • Explain the meaning of a specific rule
  • Make an interpretation of case law
  • Explain the result of taking or not taking an action in a case
  • Answer whether jurisdiction is proper in a case
  • Answer whether a complaint properly presents a claim
  • Provide advice on the best procedure to accomplish a particular objective

Clerk's Office staff CAN provide procedural information such as:

  • Instructions on how to execute a task (e.g. number of copies, use of forms, etc.)
  • Provide information as to compliance with this Court's policies

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Instructions for Filing a Prisoner Complaint (42USC1983)

Click here for the instructions.

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