Houston v. Arkansas Department of Correction et al
INITIAL ORDER FOR pro se prisoners. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 11/18/2014. (kcs)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
DWIGHT R. HOUSTON
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, 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 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
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. 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. 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.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 18th day of November, 2014.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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