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Prisoner and Pro Se Guidance

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

Several judges have provided instruction and preparation for cases proceeding before them.  The information for those specific judges can be found here.

For Prisoner Forms and Instructions, click here.

The Federal Bar Association has developed an informational handbook for self-represented (pro se) litigants that is available here. This handbook contains general information that may be helpful, but not all parts are applicable to all courts, including the Northern District of Georgia. The handbook does not constitute legal advice or legal authority and should not be cited in any filings with the Court. Rather, federal rules of procedure and local rules and orders—not the handbook—govern cases in this Court.