Sipes v. Dabney et al
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONER PLAINTIFFS. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 5/1/2014. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
ROGER DALE SIPES
NO. 3:14CV00116 JLH
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONER-PLAINTIFFS
You have filed this federal civil rights lawsuit pro se, that is, without the help of a
lawyer. There are rules and procedures that you must follow in order to proceed with your
lawsuit, even though you are not a lawyer.
First: 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. Copies of rules
can be found in the prison or jail library.
In particular, Local Rule 5.5(c)(2) explains requirements for plaintiffs, like you, who
are not represented by a lawyer:
You must promptly notify the Clerk and the other parties in the case of any
change in address. You must inform the court if you are transferred from one
unit to another. Notifying the court of your change in address is especially
important if you are released from custody while your lawsuit is pending. If
you do not keep the court informed as to your current address, your lawsuit
can be dismissed.
You must monitor the progress of your case and prosecute the case diligently.
You must sign all pleadings and other papers filed with the court, and each
paper you file must include your current address.
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.
Second: Pay the Filing Fee. Every civil case filed by a prisoner – including this one
– requires the plaintiff to pay a filing fee. 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 an
application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). If you are granted IFP status, the
filing fee is $350.
Third: 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. If your case proceeds to
a jury trial, however, a lawyer will be appointed to assist you before trial.
Fourth: Do Not File Your Discovery Requests. Discovery requests, such as
interrogatories and requests for documents, are not to be filed with the court. Instead,
discovery requests should be sent to counsel for the defendant (or directly to the
defendant if he or she is not represented by a lawyer). No discovery should be sent
to a defendant until after that defendant has been served with the complaint.
Fifth: Do Not Send Documents to Court Except in Two Situations. You may send
documents or other evidence to the Court only if attached to a motion for summary
judgment or in response to a motion for summary judgment; or if the court orders
you to send documents or other evidence.
Sixth: Provide a Witness List. If your case is set for trial, as your trial date
approaches, you will be asked to provide a witness list. After reviewing the witness
list, the Court will subpoena necessary witnesses.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 1st day of May, 2014.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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