Wright v. Weems
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE PLAINTIFFS. Directing Plaintiff to either pay the $400 filing fee or file an IFP motion within 30 days of the date of this Order. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send plaintiff a free-world IFP application along with a copy of this Order. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 11/6/2017. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
NO: 3:17CV0299 JLH
INITIAL ORDER FOR PRO SE 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. 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 Procedure.
Second: The Three Strikes Rule. The Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g),
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 90 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 90 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
Eighth: Filing Fee. Every civil case filed 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 a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP motion”). If you are granted IFP status,
the filing fee is $350. Importantly, you are responsible for the entire filing fee, even if your lawsuit
You have not paid the $400 filing fee or filed an IFP motion. You must do one or the other
within thirty (30) days of the date of this order. If you do not do so, your case will be dismissed
without prejudice. LOCAL RULE 5.5(c)(2). The Clerk of the Court is directed to send you a freeworld IFP application along with a copy of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 6th day of November, 2017.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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