Before you file a lawsuit, you should familiarize yourself with the Rules of Civil Procedure.
These rules apply to every civil lawsuit filed in the federal courts. You should also familiarize yourself with the Local Rules of Practice.
These rules apply to every case filed in this court. You must follow both sets of rules if your case is filed in this court. By law, the employees of the Clerk’s Office are not allowed to discuss your case with you, tell you whether or how specific rules apply to your case, explain what any particular order or rule of the court means, or even tell you when a filing is due. Clerk’s Office employees may provide you with specific court resources or forms that may be useful to you and may give you basic information that is included in your public case file, including copies of documents filed with the court. You can find information about copy requests here. Computer terminals are available for use by pro se litigants in each Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.