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Pro Se | Filing Without an Attorney

Welcome to the Middle District of Louisiana's web page for individuals representing themselves in federal court.  If you wish to initiate a civil action in federal court but do not have an attorney to represent you, you may file it on your own. Filing a civil action on your own is called proceeding "Pro Se." A civil action is the only type of case you can file in federal court and is different from a criminal action which can only be initiated by government officials. You do not have the right to an attorney in a civil case and the Court only appoints attorneys in certain circumstances. Because you do not have the right to an attorney and may not be appointed one, you must be ready to pursue your case to completion.
This section contains information to help you if you decide to proceed Pro Se. You will find forms, and links to other internet sites in the menu on the left side of this page. There is also information about where you may be able to get legal help. The Court and its employees, however, cannot give you legal help or advice. If you file a case Pro Se, you will have to follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this Court's Local Rules the same as any attorney who represents someone. Visit the following link for information on How the Federal Courts Work.
The information on this website is intended to be informative and practical for pro se litigants and is not meant to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. The court strongly encourages you to seek legal counsel when filing a case in federal court.