Lewis v. McClung et al
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONERS. The Clerk is directed to send the Administrator of the Clay County Detention Center a calculation sheet and a copy of this Order. The Administrator is instructed to complete the form on Plaintiff's behalf and return it to the Court within thirty days of the entry of this Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 6/12/2015. (jak)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MARK S. LEWIS
Retired State Trooper, et al.
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PRISONERS
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. In
particular, Local Rule 5.5(c)(2) provides that:
It is the duty of any party not represented by counsel to promptly
notify the Clerk and the other parties to the proceedings of any change
in his or her address, to monitor the progress of the case, and to
prosecute or defend the action diligently. A party appearing for
himself/herself must sign his/her pleadings and state his/her address, zip
code, and telephone number. 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. Any party proceeding pro se must be
expected to be familiar with and follow the Federal Rules of Civil
Second: The Three Strikes Rule.
U.S.C. § 1915(g), provides that:
The Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section if the prisoner
has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any
facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that
was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is
under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
Third: Service of Defendants. All Defendants must be served within 120
days of the filing of the Complaint. This includes “John/Jane Doe” Defendants. It
is your responsibility to identify all Defendants, including “Doe” Defendants. The
Court will order service on all properly identified Defendants, but you are responsible
for providing valid service addresses for each of them. Any Defendant who is not
served within 120 days will be dismissed, without prejudice, from the lawsuit. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m); Lee v. Armontrout, 991 F.2d 487, 489 (8th Cir. 1993).
Fourth: 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. Phillips
v. Jasper County Jail, 437 F.3d 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006). If your case proceeds to a
jury trial, however, a lawyer will be appointed to assist you.
Fifth: Do Not File Discovery. Discovery requests (such as interrogatories and
requests for production of documents) and responses to discovery requests cannot be
filed with the Court. Instead, you must mail discovery requests and responses directly
to counsel for the Defendant. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d). Do not mail discovery requests
to Defendants' counsel until after he or she has filed an Answer or Motion to Dismiss.
Sixth: Do Not Send Documents to the Court, Except in Two Situations.
You may send documents or other evidence to the Court only if: (1) it is attached to
a Motion for Summary Judgment, or a Response thereto; or (2) the Court orders you
to file documents or other evidence.
Seventh: Witnesses. If your case is set for trial, as your trial date approaches,
you will be asked to provide a witness list. After reviewing your witness list, the
Court will subpoena the necessary witnesses.
Eighth: Filing Fee. Every civil case filed by a prisoner requires the plaintiff
to pay a filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. 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. Importantly, the entire filing fee will be collected, even if your lawsuit is
You have filed an IFP that does not include a calculation sheet specifying the
balances in your prison trust fund account. The Court must have that information to
rule on your IFP. Although it is unclear, it appears that you are alleging that Clay
County jail officials are refusing to complete your forms.
The Clerk is directed to send the Administrator of the Clay County Detention
Center a calculation sheet and a copy of this Order. The Administrator is instructed
to complete the form on Plaintiff's behalf and return it to the Court within thirty
days of the entry of this Order.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 12th day of June, 2015.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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