Sparks v. Gibson
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PLAINTIFFS. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 5/24/2017. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JONATHAN W. SPARKS,
L.D. GIBSON, Public Defender, Poinsett County
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PLAINTIFFS
You filed this federal civil rights lawsuit without a lawyer’s help. Even
though you’re not a lawyer, there are rules and procedures you must follow
in your lawsuit.
1. Follow All Court Rules. You must comply with the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
These rules are available online at http://www.uscourts.gov/rulespolicies/current-rules-practice-procedure and http://www.are.uscourts.
In particular, Local
Rule 5.5(c)(2) explains requirements for plaintiffs who aren’t represented by
• If your address changes, you must promptly notify the Clerk and
the other parties in the case. If you don’t keep the Court informed
about your current address, your lawsuit can be dismissed
• You must monitor the progress of your case and prosecute it
• You must sign all papers filed with the Court; and each paper you
file must include your current address.
• If the Court issues an Order directing you to do something by a
certain date, and you don’t, then your case may be dismissed
2. No Right to Appointed Counsel. This is a civil case. Unlike in a
criminal case, you have no right to an appointed lawyer. If your case goes to
a jury trial, though, the Court will appoint a lawyer to help you before trial.
3. Do Not File Your Discovery Requests. Discovery requests—like
interrogatories and requests for documents—should not be filed with the
Court. Instead, discovery requests should be sent to the Defendant’s lawyer
(or directly to the Defendant if he or she isn’t represented by a lawyer). Don’t
send any discovery requests to a Defendant until after that Defendant has
been served with the complaint.
4. Only Send Documents to the Court in Three Situations. You may
send documents or other evidence to the Court only if (a) they are attached
to a motion for summary judgment, (b) they are attached to your response to
a motion for summary judgment, or (c) the Court orders you to send
documents or other evidence.
5. Provide a Witness List Before Trial. If your case goes to trial, you’ll
be asked for a witness list as your trial date approaches. After reviewing the
witness list, the Court will subpoena necessary witnesses for you.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
24 May 2017
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