A GUIDE FOR THE PRO SE LITIGANT FILING A CIVIL CASE WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY

FILING A CIVIL CASE WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY:
A GUIDE FOR THE PRO SE LITIGANT

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

(1/31/11)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction …………………………………………………..1 Legal Words: Some Terms You May Encounter and What They Mean . . . . . . . . . . 2 Filing Your Civil Case: What You Must Do to Get Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Fees ………………………………………………………..15 AFewBasicProceduresforOngoingCivilCases ……………………… 16 E-Filing(ElectronicFiling) ……………………………………… 16 TheClerk’sOffice …………………………………………….. 18 Getting Legal Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Federal Agencies and Courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Appendix:SamplesofFormsandLocalRules ………………………… 27

Introduction

This guide is intended to help people who want to file a civil case without an attorney. Someone who files a civil case on his or her own behalf is often referred to as a pro se party or pro se litigant (pronounced pro say).

If you are a pro se litigant, this guide will help you to understand some of the legal terms you are likely to hear as your case proceeds. It will explain some of the guidelines that control how a civil case moves forward. It will also give you information about a few legal resources you may wish to consult. However, the guide is not a substitute for an attorney.

The staff of the Clerk’s Office can help you by answering questions about procedures, but they are forbidden by law from giving you legal advice. This means, for example, that the Clerk’s staff cannot do any of the following:

  • !  recommend a legal course of action or suggest ways to help you win your case;
  • !  predict how a district or magistrate judge may decide any issue;
  • !  interpret the meaning of any judicial order; or
  • !  interpret the local rules of this Court, federal procedural rules, or federal

    statutes.

    The rules and procedures that affect the way your case proceeds can be hard to understand. With that in mind, you should seriously consider trying to obtain professional legal assistance. There are legal organizations that can help arrange for you to have a chance to talk with a lawyer about your case for a small fee. There are also some organizations that help to arrange for attorneys to represent litigants at no charge. A separate section of this guide lists organizations that may be able to offer you legal assistance.

    This guide has been organized into the following sections:

  • !  Legal Words: Some Terms You May Encounter and What They Mean
  • !  Filing Your Case: What You Must Do to Get Started
  • !  Proceeding In Forma Pauperis
  • !  Fees
  • !  A Few Basic Procedures for Ongoing Cases
  • !  The Clerk’s Office
  • !  Getting Legal Help
  • !  Appendix: Samples of Forms and Local Rules

    Copies of the forms that are included in the Appendix of the guide may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office in Chicago or Rockford. The Chicago office is located on the 20th

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 1)

floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse at 219 South Dearborn Street. The Rockford, Illinois office is located on the 2nd floor of the United States Courthouse at 211 South Court Street .

The District is divided into two divisions. The Chicago courthouse is the headquarters for the District’s Eastern Division. The Rockford courthouse is the headquarters for the District’s Western Division. A map of the District has been included in the appendix, showing the counties in each division.

Legal Words: Some Terms You May Encounter and What They Mean

The courts and lawyers use words that you may not encounter in other settings. Because their vocabulary is specialized, you are likely to hear or see terms that are somewhat confusing. This section gives you definitions of some of the most common legal terms used in civil cases. It is intended to help make it easier to understand the discussion in the rest of the guide.

Amount in controversy

Answer

Appearance form

Civil case

The phrase “amount in controversy” is sometimes used to describe the amount of money requested in a civil case.

The answer is the name for the document filed as the defendant’s basic response to the complaint filed by the plaintiff. The answer must respond to each of the points made in the complaint.

An appearance form is a document form that records the name and address of someone who is representing one or more of the parties in a case. It is called an appearance form because it is a formal statement by the person who files it that he or she will “appear” in court on behalf of a party. The information entered on the appearance form is used by the Clerk’s Office to send copies of notices and orders. Appearance forms are completed by both attorneys and pro se litigants. A sample appearance form has been included in the Appendix.

A civil case is a legal action in which one party (the plaintiff) sues another party (the defendant). In a civil case, the plaintiff claims that the defendant or defendants failed to carry out some type of legal duty—for example, the duty to comply with a contract or the duty not to violate constitutional rights. The plaintiff also claims to have suffered a financial loss or personal injury because of the defendant’s actions. In most civil cases the plaintiff asks the court to order the defendant to pay for the harm suffered by the plaintiff.

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 2)

Civil cover sheet

The civil cover sheet is a form completed by the plaintiff that is submitted along with the complaint. The civil cover sheet records basic information about the civil case, including the names of the parties, the type of case, and the damages being requested by the plaintiff. The plaintiff may also use the civil cover sheet to request that the case be tried by a jury. Civil cover sheets are used to collect statistical information for the federal government about the kinds of cases filed in district courts. A sample civil cover sheet is included in the Appendix.

The complaint is the document filed by the plaintiff that begins the lawsuit. It names each defendant, describes how the plaintiff was harmed by each defendant, explains why the court has jurisdiction over the case (“jurisdiction” is defined below), and describes the money damages or other forms of relief requested by the plaintiff. The complaint must be signed, either by an attorney or by the pro se party.

“Counsel” is another name for attorney.

“Damages” is the word used to describe the harm that the plaintiff says was caused by the defendant. It is also used to describe the amount of money requested by the plaintiff in the complaint.

A default judgment is a judgment entered in then plaintiff’s favor because the defendant failed to answer or respond to the complaint.

In a civil case, the defendant is the person being sued by the plaintiff.

“Discovery” is a word used to describe the phase of a civil case where each side collects information from the other. This may mean getting copies of documents or holding interviews, called depositions, where one side answers questions asked by the other side about facts and events relevant to the case, with the answers being formally recorded as part of a record that may be used in the case.

These are the judges of the Court. District judges are sometimes called “Article III” judges because they are appointed for life under Article III of the United States Constitution.

The docket is a short written record of what happens in a civil case. Each document filed in the case and each order entered by the judge is

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 3)

Complaint

Counsel Damages

Default judgment

Defendant Discovery

District judges

Docket

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

noted on the docket. In federal district courts—including the Northern District of Illinois—the docket is a computerized record. This computerized docket is part of an automated system called the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system, or CM/ECF. “The docket” and “the CM/ECF docket” are different names for the same thing.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are a set of rules that govern the way civil cases are handled in all federal district courts. Approved by the Supreme Court and by Congress, these rules have the force of law. They are often referred to by the abbreviation FedRCivP, FRCP, or FRCvP. Copies of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may be consulted at the William J. Campbell Law Library on the 16th floor of the Dirksen Building, and can probably also be found in any public library. In addition, a computerized version of the Federal Rules may be consulted in the public area of the Clerk’s Office on the 20th floor of the Chicago courthouse.

A person who cannot afford to pay the $350 filing fee for a civil case has the option of asking the court for permission to file a case without paying the fee in advance. To make this request, the party files a petition called an in forma pauperis petition, or IFP petition. In Latin, the phrase in forma pauperis means “as a poor person.” This petition is a sworn statement that lists the plaintiff’s income and other assets, and is used by the judge in deciding whether or not the plaintiff should be allowed to proceed without paying the filing fee.

The judgment is the final decision made by the judge that ends the case.

Jurisdiction is the legal authority of the court to hear a civil case. Federal district courts have jurisdiction only over the following types of civil cases:

  • !  cases where the U.S. government is a plaintiff;
  • !  cases where the U.S. government is a defendant;
  • !  cases involving a constitutional right or a federal law

    (these are called federal question cases); and

  • !  cases where the plaintiff and defendant live in different districts, for example, cases where the parties live in different states. This last type of case is called a diversity case. In diversity cases, the dollar amount in

    controversy in the case must be at least $75,000. (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 4)

In forma pauperis

Judgment Jurisdiction

Leave to

Litigant Local rules

Internal operating procedures

Magistrate judges

Minute order

Order Party Plaintiff

The words “leave to” or “leave” are often used when a party is asking for the court’s permission to do something. For example, an attorney’s request for leave to appear in a case is a request for the court’s permission to appear.

The word litigant is another name for the parties involved in a case, generally the plaintiff and the defendant.

District courts have a set of their own rules that control aspects of civil cases. Copies of the local rules may be purchased from the Clerk’s Office. They may also be consulted in law libraries and on the Court’s website.

The Court’s Internal Operating Procedures (IOPs) are procedural guidelines established by the Court that govern the administrative aspects of the Court’s operation. Like the local rules, the IOP’s may be purchased from the Clerk’s Office or consulted in law libraries and on the Court’s website.

Magistrate judges are judicial officers appointed by the Court for an eight-year term of office. In civil cases, magistrate judges can handle a wide range of matters referred to them by district judges. If all of the parties in a civil case give their consent, a civil case can be reassigned to a magistrate judge for trial. When a civil case is filed, a magistrate judge is designated for that case. If the case requires the involvement of a magistrate judge at any point, it will go to the designated magistrate judge.

A minute order is a form used by judges to set schedules in cases and to record brief rulings. Judges sometimes use the reverse side of this form to enter brief orders.

An order is a decision or set of instructions by a judge that usually directs the plaintiff or defendant to do something.

Each person or company named in the lawsuit on either side of the case is called a party.

In a civil action, the plaintiff is the party who files the case.

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 5)

Pleadings

Relief

Referral

Service of process

Settlement

Summons

A pleading is a written document that sets out the basic position and argument of one of the parties in a case. In most cases, the basic pleading for the plaintiff is the complaint and the basic pleading for the defendant is the answer. In some cases, the basic response of the defendant on some occasions is a motion to dismiss the case instead of an answer.

“Relief” is another name for the money or other damages requested by the plaintiff in the complaint. When a party files a motion, the word “relief” is sometimes used to describe what action the party filing the motion is asking the judge to do.

A referral is an order entered by a district judge that directs a magistrate judge to handle one or more aspects of a case. Examples of matters that are sometimes referred to a designated magistrate judge are the supervision of the discovery process or the handling of a specific motion filed by one of the parties.

“Service of process” is a phrase used to describe the act of formally serving a summons and a copy of the complaint on the defendant. Plaintiffs may not serve the summons on the defendant themselves. Service of process is usually carried out by a process server. Where ordered by the court, service in certain circumstances may be made by the U.S. Marshal (see also “waiver of service”).

A settlement is one of the ways a case can end. A settlement occurs when the parties resolve their civil dispute, usually after negotiations among themselves rather than the court or a jury deciding the case.

A summons is a formal notice by the court telling the defendant that he or she is being sued by the plaintiff, and that an answer is required. The phrase used to describe the Clerk’s Office providing a signed and sealed copy of a summons to the plaintiff is “issuing the summons.” Even though the summons is a notice from the Court, the plaintiff is responsible for delivering the summons and a copy of the complaint to the defendant, in accordance with F.R.Cv.P. 4. Phrases that are sometimes used to describe delivering the summons to the defendant are “service of summons” and “executing service.” A copy of a blank summons is included in the Appendix.

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 6)

Waiver of service

“Waiver of service” refers to circumstances where the plaintiff is able to waive (skip) the formal service of the summons on the defendant. For the plaintiff, the benefit of waiving service is not having to the pay the cost of serving the summons. For defendants, the benefit of agreeing to waive service is extra time to file an answer to the complaint. Defendants who agree to waive service have 60 days to file an answer instead of the standard 21 days to answer. The U.S. government may not waive service. The Appendix includes two forms that are used for this purpose, a Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons, which is the form sent to the defendant by the plaintiff, and a Waiver of service, which is the form sent to the Clerk’s Office by a defendant who agrees to waive service. These two forms are included in the Appendix.

Filing Your Civil Case: What You Must Do to Get Started Documents You Are Required to File

When you file a civil case, you must submit each of the following documents to the Cashier:

  • !  a complaint.
    Extra copies of the complaint are required. In addition to your original complaint, you must submit one extra copy for the judge. If you do not pay the filing fee and submit a petition to proceed without prepaying the fee, you will need to submit one extra copy of your complaint for each defendant. (IFP petitions are discussed in a section that begins on page 12).
  • !  a civil cover sheet.
  • !  an appearance form.
  • !  a summons for each defendant named in the complaint.
    You need to provide an original and one copy for each defendant. If you are suing the federal government or one of its agencies, you must provide three more copies in addition to the copies for the named defendants.
  • !  Either the $350 filing fee or the forms used to request permission to proceed in forma pauperis. If you are requesting leave to proceed in forma pauperis, you must submit an original IFP petition and a copy for the judge.

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 7)

If you wish to have a court-appointed attorney, you may file a motion for appointment of counsel at the same time that you file the documents listed above. A copy of a form that can be used to request appointment of counsel is included in the appendix. As with every document filed with the court, you must file an original and one copy of the motion for the judge.

A separate section of this guide covers the steps involved in filing a petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (see page 12). Another section deals with special procedures that you need to follow if you are filing an employment civil rights case (see page 13). In this section of the guide, assume that you can afford to pay the $350 filing fee and that you are not filing a civil rights employment case.

The Complaint

In the space at the top right of the first page, enter “United States District Court.” On the line below that, enter “Northern District of Illinois.” In the top left of the first page of your complaint you should list the names of the parties in your case. Your name (the plaintiff) should appear first. On the next line, enter the letter “v.”, which is short for “versus” or “against”. List the names of the defendant or defendants below the “v”. You must list all of the parties. Each person should be identified as a plaintiff or a defendant. Underneath the party names and the name of the court, enter the word “Complaint” to identify your document.

The basic information that identifies the document is sometimes called the “caption.” An example of a caption is the following:

) A. Smith, ) Plaintiff ) ) v. ) ) B. Jones, ) Defendant )

COMPLAINT

United States District Court Northern District of Illinois

After the caption, write a description of your case. You should tell what happened to you and why you believe that the defendant is responsible for the damage or injury you experienced. You should tell why the court has jurisdiction over the case (“jurisdiction” is defined in the legal terms section of this guide). You must also state what you want the court to do, for example, the amount of money you are seeking from the defendant

If possible, you should write your complaint in the form of numbered paragraphs, with each paragraph covering a separate point of your case.

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 8)

Your complaint is your side of the case and your version of events. It is important for you to be careful, complete, and as clear as possible in your complaint.

You must sign the complaint on the last page. Below your signature, you need to print your name and address.

What Happens When You Submit the Complaint.

You should complete the complaint, civil cover sheet, appearance form, summons, and any other documents you want to file before you arrive at the Clerk’s Office to file your case. Bring your documents to the cashier’s window, located in the northeast corner of the 20th floor of the Chicago courthouse. [NOTE: in the Western Division, bring documents to the Clerk’s Office, located on the second floor of the Rockford courthouse].

When you present your documents, the cashier will review them to be sure that they appear to have been properly completed. The clerk will then assign the next available civil case number to your complaint. A computer program will be used to randomly pick a district judge for your case. A magistrate judge will also be designated for your case. You may stamp the case number and the district and magistrate judges’ names on the original and copies at the time of filing.

If you have paid the filing fee and have summons, the cashier will issue an original and one copy for each defendant and will give them back to you for service.

If you are filing a petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, see the section below. In all other cases, it is your responsibility to ensure that the summons and a copy of the complaint are served on the defendant. However, you may not serve the summons yourself. Your options for serving the summons are the following:

  • !  You can arrange for a private process server to serve the summons. The process server will file an affidavit with the court stating how the service was carried out. A summons may be served by anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the case.
  • !  You can file a motion asking the Court to direct the U.S. Marshal to serve the summons, on the grounds that you cannot afford to prepay the cost of a process server.
  • !  You can ask the defendant to waive the right to formal service. If you want to use this approach, you need to send the defendant a Notice of Lawsuit and Waiver of Service Form.

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 9)

Service in a civil case must be carried out properly. The basic guidelines for service are described in Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Failure to serve correctly may result in a case being dismissed. The text of Rule 4 has been included in the appendix to this guide.

Filing a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

If you are unable to pay the $350 filing fee for a civil case, you may ask the court to let you proceed without paying the fee in advance. The Latin phrase used for proceeding in this way is “in forma pauperis.” Translated, this phrase means “in the status of a poor person.” This phrase is often shortened to “IFP.” Cases of this type are sometimes called IFP cases.

A separate document is used to ask permission to proceed in forma pauperis. The full name of this document is an “Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees and Affidavit.” This document is almost always called by the shorter name of “IFP petition.”

A copy of a blank IFP petition is included in the Appendix. Blank IFP petitions may be obtained in the public area of the Clerk’s Office. If you want to proceed in forma pauperis, you need to submit a completed original IFP petition and a copy for the judge at the same time that you submit your complaint and associated documents.

If you file an IFP petition, you should provide the cashier with an original and one copy of the summons for each defendant at the time that you present your IFP petition. The summons will be kept with your file. If the judge grants your request to proceed in forma pauperis, the summons will issue. The IFP petition, the complaint, and any other documents you submitted along with the complaint will be sent to the assigned district judge. There are a number of possible results of this review. Some of the more common outcomes are the following:

  • !  The judge may grant the IFP petition. If this happens, the summons will be issued. The judge may also direct the U.S. Marshal to serve the summons and complaint on the defendant.
  • !  The judge may determine that you can afford the $350 filing fee. If this happens, you will need to pay the filing fee—usually within a specified period of time—before your case can proceed and the summons is issued.
  • !  The judge may require you to pay a part of the $350 filing fee. If this happens, you must comply with the judge’s instructions within a specified time before your case proceeds.
  • !  The judge may ask for more information from you before ruling on your IFP petition.

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 10)

! The judge may also review your complaint and decide, on the basis of that review, that your case should be dismissed on legal grounds. If this happens, your case will not proceed.

Filing a Complaint of Employment Discrimination

The intake clerk will give you blank copies of the employment discrimination complaint form on request. A copy of this form has been included in the Appendix of this guide.

The remainder of this section tells you how to complete the employment discrimination complaint form. If you need additional room for your answer to any of the items on the form, you may enter the extra information on a plain piece of paper that is the same size as the employment discrimination form. If you add an extra page for one of the items in the form, write “see additional page” in the place on the form where you run out of room to write. On your additional page, write the number of the item and the word “continued” (For example, “Item 13 continued”).

Identifying the Parties

At the top of the form, write your name in the lined space above “(Name of the plaintiff or plaintiffs).” On the lines above “(Name of the defendant or defendants),” write the name of the party or parties you want to sue. If you need more space to list plaintiffs or defendants, use an extra sheet of paper, and indicate on the original form that the list of parties continues to another page. Be careful to identify each party as a plaintiff or defendant.

Numbered Items in the Employment Discrimination Complaint Form

  1. 1)  This item simply identifies the complaint as a legal action involving a claim of employment discrimination. You do not need to write anything here.
  2. 2)  Item 2) tells the court who you are. Complete this item by entering your name and the county and state where you live. If there are more than one plaintiffs, you need to add the counties and states where each plaintiff lives.

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 11)

  1. 3)  Item 3) identifies the defendant. Complete this item by entering the name, address, and (if available) the telephone number of each defendant. Please note that, in general, the defendant named in the complaint filed in this Court must be the same person or company that was named in the EEOC proceeding.
  2. 4)  Item 4) identifies the place of business where you believe the employment discrimination happened. Complete this item by entering the address of the business.
  3. 5)  Item 5) describes your employment relationship with the defendant at the time you are filing your complaint. Complete this item by putting an “X” or a “U” in the box that describes your current status.
  4. 6)  Item 6) indicates when you believe the employment discrimination occurred or—if you believe the discrimination is still going on—when the discrimination started. Complete this item by entering the date. If you do not know a specific date, complete item 6 by entering the date that is your best estimate of when the discrimination happened or started.
  5. 7)  Item 7) indicates whether you have or have not previously taken your employment discrimination complaint to either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Record your response by entering an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “has not” or the box labeled “has.”

    If you indicated in 7)(a) that you have filed your complaint with the EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights, complete items 7)(a)(i) or 7)(a)(ii) to indicate which of these agencies you have been before and the date you filed your complaint with them.

    In item 7)(b), enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether you have attached a copy of the charge you brought before the EEOC and/or the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

  6. 8)  If the EEOC has not issued you a document called a “Notice of Right to Sue,” enter an “X” or a “U” in box 8)(a).

    If the EEOC has issued you a “Notice of Right to Sue,” enter an “X” or a “U” in box 8)(b). Complete the rest of item 8)(b) by entering the date on which you received the EEOC notice. Attach a copy of your ‘Notice of Right to Sue” to the complaint form.

  7. 9)  Item 9) indicates the type of discrimination covered by your complaint. Read the list of discrimination types, then enter an “X” or a “U” in the boxes or boxes that you believe apply to your situation.

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 12)

  1. 10)  If the defendant in your complaint is a state or local government agency and you are claiming discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, complete item 10) by entering an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “YES.” For all other complaints, enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “NO.”
  2. 11)  This item lists the laws that give the District Court jurisdiction over the case. You do not need to write anything here.
  3. 12)  Use item 12) to indicate what action or actions you believe the defendant took that affected your employment. Read the list of six actions, then enter an “X” or a “U” in the boxes or boxes that you believe apply to your situation. Note that this item 12)(f) allows additional space for you to write more if you believe that items 12)(a) through 12)(e) don’t apply to your complaint. Please note that a plaintiff is generally permitted to proceed in this Court only on claims that have been presented to the EEOC.

13.) Use item 13) to briefly describe the facts that lead you to believe that you have been discriminated against by the defendant.

  1. 14)  Item 14) consists of specific language that is required in employment complaints that claim discrimination on the basis of age. You do not need to write anything here.
  2. 15)  Use item 15) to indicate whether or not you want your case to be tried by a jury. If you want a trial by jury, enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “YES.” If you do not want to demand a jury trial, enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “NO.”
  3. 16)  Use Item 16) to tell the Court what you want to happen as a result of your employment discrimination complaint. Read the list of kinds of relief, then enter an “X” or a “U” in the boxes or boxes that indicate the result you want. Note that item 16)(f) allows additional space for you to write more if necessary.

Signature, Date, Name, and Address

You must sign the employment discrimination complaint. Do this on the last page of the form. You must also enter your name, address, and telephone number.

Completing the Civil Cover Sheet for an Employment Discrimination Complaint

The civil cover sheet is a form that you need to complete and submit along with your complaint. The civil cover sheet records basic information about your civil case. There are instructions on the reverse side of the civil cover sheet describing how the cover sheet

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 13)

should be completed. However, a brief summary for employment discrimination complaints may be helpful.

  • !  Identifying the parties. Record the names of the parties in the spaces labeled “plaintiffs” and “defendants” at the top of the civil cover sheet.
  • !  Basis of jurisdiction. Unless you are suing the federal government, enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “federal question.” If you are suing the federal government enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “U.S. Government Defendant.”
  • !  In an employment discrimination case you do not need to enter anything in the section of the civil cover sheet labeled “Citizenship of Principal Parties.”
  • !  In the section labeled “Origin,” enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “Original Proceeding.”
  • !  In the part of the civil cover sheet section labeled “Nature of Suit,” find the section labeled “Civil Rights.” Next, enter an “X” or a “U” in the box labeled “442 Employment.”
  • !  In the section labeled “Cause of Action,” enter “complaint of employment discrimination.”
  • !  In the part of the civil cover sheet labeled “Requested in Complaint,” find the section labeled “Demand $.” If you are asking that the court order the defendant to pay you a specific amount of money, enter that amount next to “Demand $.” If you are not requesting an award of money, enter “0” next to “Demand $.”

    In the same section of the civil cover sheet, enter the same information about your request for a jury trial that you entered in item 15) of your employment discrimination complaint form.

  • !  Refiling a Previously Dismissed Case. If you have previously filed a complaint involving the same claim of discrimination by the same defendant, enter the name of the judge and the case number in the space provided in this section of the civil cover sheet.
  • !  Date and signature. Record the date and sign the civil cover sheet in the space labeled “signature of attorney of record.”

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 14)

Fees

The $350 filing fee for a civil case has already been mentioned. Once a case has been filed, there are no additional fees for filing a document in that case. However, there are a series of other fees listed below that may affect the pro se litigant. Most of these fees are set by the Judicial Conference of the United States.

These fees may be paid by mail or in person at the Clerk’s Office cashier’s window, located in the northeast corner of the 20th Floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Payment may be made in cash, by check, or by credit card (only Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted). If you pay by check, your check should be made out to “Clerk, U.S. District Court.” Your name, address, and phone number must appear on the front of your check.

Filing Fees

CivilCaseFilingFee ………………………………. HabeasCorpusFilingFee …………………………… ForeignDepositionFilingFee ………………………… RegistrationofaForeignJudgment …………………….. LettersRogatoryorLettersofRequest ………………….. U.S.CourtofAppealsDocketingFee …………………… U.S.DistrictCourtNoticeofAppeal ……………………. Misdemeanor Appeal (Magistrate Judge to District Judge) . . . . . . . .

Copy Services

CertificationFee(perdocument) ………………………. ExemplificationFee(perdocument) ……………………. CopyFee(perpagefrompaperrecord) …………………..
Electronic Copy Fee (per page from electronic record) . . . . . . . . .. .
Copy of Magnetic Tape Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RetrievingaRecordFromOff-SiteStorage …………………..$45.00 RecordsSearch&Certification(pernameoritem) ……………..$26.00

Miscellaneous Fees

PrintedCopyoftheCourt’sLocalRules …………………….$10.50 CheckReturnedforInsufficientFunds ……………………..$45.00

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 15)

$350.00 $5.00 $39.00 $39.00 $39.00 $450.00 $5.00 $32.00

$9.00 $18.00 0.50 $0.10 . . . $26.00

A Few Basic Procedures for Ongoing Civil Cases E-Filing ( Electronic Filing)

Most of the documents filed with the court are not filed in paper form, Instead, they are filed electronically. That is, the documents are produced in an electronic form and filed by attorneys over the internet. E-filing is mandatory for attorneys. It is not mandatory for pro se litigants. However, pro se litigants who have participated in the free e-filing training program offered at the Chicago courthouse may become e-filers in their own cases. Information on e-filing and the Court’s training program may be found on the Court’s website at http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov.

Format Requirements

Local Rule 5.2(a) covers the format requirements for documents filed with the Court in paper form. A copy of Local Rule 5.2(a) has been included in the Appendix. Basically, the Court requires that the documents you file meet the following requirements:

  • !  the document must be on paper that is 81⁄2 by 11 inches in size, flat and unfolded;
  • !  it must be typed or neatly handwritten;
  • !  it must be bound at the top of the document; and
  • !  it must be signed by you on the final page of the document, including your name, address, and telephone number. The document must bear your original signature, not a photocopy of your signature.

    If you present a document for filing to the clerk that does not meet the format requirements set out in Local Rule 5.2(a), a deputy clerk may call your attention to the format problems. The clerk will not refuse to file your document on these grounds, but Rule 5.2 allows the judge to have your document stricken. Therefore, you should read Rule 5.2 and comply with the format requirements.

    Document Length

    The Court’s Local Rules do not limit the length of your complaint. However, if you later file a brief in support of one of your own motions or a brief in response to a motion filed by the defendant, you need to be aware that Local Rule 7.1 sets a limit of 15 pages for documents of this type. If you want to file a brief that is longer than 15 pages, you

    (Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 16)

need to have the court’s permission to do so. To do this, you need to file a separate motion requesting leave to file a brief in excess of 15 pages.

Filing Copies of Documents

Local Rule 5.2(c) requires you to file an extra copy for the judge of any pleading, motion, or other document you file, with the exception of exhibits or depositions.

Filing Motions

In an ongoing civil case you may need to ask the judge to instruct the defendant to do something connected to your case, or you may need to ask the judge to allow you to do something yourself. Examples would be asking the judge to direct the defendant to give you access to certain records during the discovery phase of your case, or asking the judge to grant you an extension of time to file a document. When you request the court to take a specific action, you do so by filing a motion.

Some of the Court’s basic procedural rules for motions are contained in Local Rules 5.3 through 5.4 and Rule 78. Copies of these rules are included in the Appendix.

When you file a motion, you must provide a copy of the motion to the defendant and tell the defendant that you are filing the motion. If the defendant has an attorney, the copy of the motion and the notice can go to the attorney . This is called giving the defendant notice of your motion. You also must file a statement with the Court indicating that you have given the defendant the required notice.

If you do not want to appear personally before the judge concerning your motion, you may simply file an original and one copy of your motion with the clerk. Judges hold court sessions to address motions on different days of the week. If you want to appear before the judge in person to formally present your motion, you need to be aware of the judge’s motion call, and select a date for presenting the motion that is consistent with the judge’s motion practice. In other words, if the judge hears motions on Tuesday and Thursday, do not plan to appear on a Wednesday to present your motion.

Judges also vary in the number of days of advance notice they require for motions. Many require two days of advance notice. Some require more advance notice.

If you want to appear before the judge in person, the notice you give the defendant must specify the date, time, and courtroom where you will appear before the judge. Information on the number of days of advance notice and the standard motion practices of all judges can

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 17)

be obtained from the Clerk’s Office. Check this information before you get ready to file your motion.

The Clerk’s Office Mailing Address

The mailing addresses for the two divisions of the Clerk’s Office are:

Eastern Division

Clerk’s Office, U.S. District Court 219 South Dearborn
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Office Hours

Western Division

Clerk’s Office, U.S. District Court United States Courthouse
211 South Court Street
Rockford, Illinois 61101

The Clerk’s Office is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., except for legal holidays. The intake desk, cashier’s window, and the area used to review case dockets and case files are all located in the northeast corner of the 20th floor of the courthouse in Chicago. In the Rockford courthouse, these areas are all located on the 2nd floor.

Reviewing Dockets

Several computer terminals are located in the public area of the 20th floor that allow the public to review automated dockets for civil and criminal cases. These dockets may also be used to check the Court’s party index (a list of all parties in civil cases) and case index (a list of case numbers).

Reviewing Case Files

For documents that are received in paper form, case files may be reviewed by completing some files request card and giving the card to the files department desk in the public area of the 20th floor. A deputy clerk will bring you the case file. Case files may not be taken out of the Clerk’s Office. If you want to make a copy of a document in the case file, you may use coin-operated photocopiers located in the public area (25¢ per page). The Clerk’s Office will provide you with copies of documents for 50¢ per page.

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 18)

The Court’s Web Site

Information about procedures, the local rules, fees, as well as several other subjects covered in this guide may be found on the Court’s internet web site. The web site also lists the activity scheduled before each judge for the coming week. The site also has links to several other judicial web sites. If you have access to the internet, the address of the Court’s web site is http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov.

Getting Legal Help

The Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Council of Lawyers have each produced legal guides that include lists of organizations and agencies that may be able to help pro se litigants. The Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association has prepared a handbook on legal proceedings called “Your Guide to the Law: A Basic Legal Handbook for Chicagoans.” This pamphlet contains a list of agencies and organizations that provide free or low-cost legal services. The Chicago Council of Lawyers and The Fund For Justice have prepared a “Legal Services Directory for Free and Low Cost Legal Services in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.”

The groups listed below are drawn from the CBA and Chicago Council/Fund for Justice material. These groups provide legal services covering a wide variety of topics, including adoption, bankruptcy, criminal matters, divorce and related family matters, employment, immigration, landlord-tenant problems, probate and social security. Some of these services deal with topics that may fall within the jurisdiction of this Court. Since some of the agencies and organizations listed do not handle all types of legal matters, you should call or write the agency for specific information.

Access Living
115 West Chicago Ave Chicago, Illinois 60610 (800) 613-8549 toll free voice (800) 253-7003 tool free tty http://www.accessliving.org

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago

Cabrini-Green Legal Aid Clinic 740 North Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60642
(312) 738-2452

http://www.cgla.net

Center for Disability and Elder Law
79 W Monroe St. Suite 919 Chicago, Illinois 60603 (312) 376-1880 http://www.cdel.org

180 North Michigan Ave Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 427-8990 http://www.aidslegal.com

Suite 2110

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 19)

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee
for Civil Rights Under Law
100 North LaSalle Street Suite 600 Chicago, Illinois 60602
(312) 630-9744
http://www.clccrul.org

Chicago Legal Clinic http://www.clclaw.org
1) South Office

2938 E. 91st St Chicago, Illinois (773) 731-1762

60617

  1. 2)  Austin Office
    118 N. Central Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60644 (773) 854-1610
  2. 3)  PilsenOffice
    1909 S. Ashland Ave.

Chicago, Illinois (773) 226-2669

4) DowntownOffice 205 West Monroe Chicago, Illinois (312) 726-2938

60608

Suite 401 60628

Chicago Volunteer Foundation (CVLS)
100 N. LaSalle, Suite 900

Equip for Equality, Inc.,
20 North Michigan Ave, Suite 300 Chicago, Illinois 60602
(312) 341-0022 or (800) 537-2632 http://www.equipforequality.org

Kent College of Law
Clinic: Advice Desk
565 W. Adams St. Suite 600 Chicago, Illinois 60661 (312) 906-5050 http://www.kentlaw.edu

John Marshal Law School
Fair Housing Legal Clinic
55 East Jackson Blvd. Suite 1020 Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 786-2267 http://www.jmls.edu/fairhousingcenter

Lawyers’ Committee
For Better Housing
100 West Monroe Street Chicago, Illinois 60603 (312)347-7600 http://www.lcbh.org

Legal Assistance Metropolitan Chicago 111 West Jackson 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 341-1070

http://www.lafchicago.org

Loyola University Community Law Center
One E. Pearson Suite 202 Chicago, Illinois 60610 (312) 915-7830

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 20)

Legal Services 60602

Chicago, Illinois
(312) 332-1624
http://www.cvls.org
(NOTE: CVLS has many legal clinics throughout Chicago. Call for specific locations.)

Mandel Legal Aid Clinic University of Chicago Law School 6020 South University Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60637
(773) 702-9611

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
11 East Adams Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60603

(312) 427-0701 http://www.maldef.org

Northwestern University
Legal Assistance Clinic
357 E. Chicago Ave. Room 375 Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 503-8576
TDD (312) 503-4472

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. 325 W. Washington St. Suite 100 Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 662-6925

TDD (847) 662-4441 http://www.pslegal.ord

Uptown People’s Law Center 4413 North Sheridan Road Chicago, Illinois 60640 (773) 769-1411

Referral Services

(The following organizations will refer you to an attorney if you can afford to pay for legal services)

American Civil Liberties Union 180 North Michigan Ave Chicago, Illinois 60601
(312) 201-9740 http://www.aclu-il.org

Casa Central
Hispanic Social Service Agency 1401 North California
Chicago, Illinois 60622
(773) 782-8705 http://www.casacentral.org

Chicago Bar Association 321 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, Illinois 60604 (312) 554-2001 http://www.chicagobar.org

Chicago Council of Lawyers 750 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, Illinois 60611 (312) 988-6565 http://www.chicagocouncil.org

Cook County Bar Association 120 West Madison
Chicago, Illinois 60602 (312) 630 – 1157 http://www.cookcountybar.org

Dupage Lawyer Referral 126 South County Farm Rd. Wheaton, Illinois 60187 (630) 653 – 9109 http://www.dcba.org

Hispanic Lawyers Association
of Illinois
321 South Plymouth Court Suite 600

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 21)

Chicago, Illinois (312) 345-9200 http://www.hlai.org

60604

Illinois National Employment Lawyers’ Association
http://www.nela-illinois.org (At this website, go to “contact us” and fill out the potential client interview form)

Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago
3225 N. Sheffield Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60657

(312) 334-1637

Mujeres Latinas En Accion 1823 W. 17th St.
Chicago, Illinois 60605 (312) 738 – 5351 http://www.mujereslatinasaccion.org

North Suburban Bar Association 825 Green Bay Road
Wilmette, Illinois 60092
(847) 564-4800

http://www.ilnsba.org

Northwest Suburban Bar Association 515 East Golf Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60006 (847) 290 – 8071

http://www.nwsba.org

South Suburban Bar Association 4849 167th Street
Oak Forest, Illinois 60452 (708) 633 – 9700 http://www.southsuburbanbar.org

West Suburban Bar Association 1317 South First Avenue Maywood, Illinois 60153 (708) 338-2662

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 22)

233 North Michigan Ave Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 353 – 5160 http://www.hhs.gov

Suite 1300

Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20210 (866) 4USADOL http://www.usdol.gov

Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC (202) 514-2000 http://www.usdoj.gov

20530

FEDERAL AGENCIES AND COURTS

Citizenship and Imigration Services 10 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 385 – 1500

http://www.uscis.gov
Department of Health and Human Services

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
500 West Madison Street Suite 2800 Chicago, Illinois 60661

(312) 353-2713 http://www.eeoc.gov

Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago Division
2111 West Roosevelt
Chicago, Illinois 60608 (312) 421 – 6700 http://www.chicago.fbi.gov

Social Security
77 West Jackson Blvd. Room 300 Chicago, Illinois 60604
(800) 772 – 1213
http://www.ssa.gov

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
219 South Dearborn
Chicago, Illinois 60604

(312) 435-5694 http://www.ilnb.uscourts.gov

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
219 South Dearborn Room 2722 Chicago, Illinois 60604

(312) 435 – 5850

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
219 South Dearborn
Chicago, Illinois

(312) 435 – 5670 http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov

Department of Housing and Urban Development
77 West Jackson Blvd. 26th Floor

Chicago, Illinois (312) 353-5680 http://www.hud.gov

60604

Department of Veterans Administration 2122 West Taylor Street

Chicago, Illinois (800) 827 – 1000 http://www.va.gov

60612

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 23)

APPENDIX: SAMPLES OF FORMS AND LOCAL RULES

  • !  MAP OF THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
  • !  APPEARANCE FORM
  • !  CIVIL COVER SHEET
  • !  SUMMONS
  • !  NOTICE OF LAWSUIT AND WAIVER OF SERVICE
  • !  WAIVER OF SERVICE
  • !  MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
  • !  IN FORMA PAUPERIS PETITION
  • !  COMPLAINT OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION
  • !  COMPLAINT OF VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
  • !  NOTICE OF MOTION AND CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
  • !  LOCAL RULES 5.2 – 5.4
  • !  LOCAL RULE 78
  • !  RULE 4 OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 24)

THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

page27image992

(Guide to Civil Cases for Litigants Without Lawyers: Page 25)

APPEARANCE FORM FOR PRO SE LITIGANTS
DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

Information entered on this form is required for any person filing a case in this court as a pro se party (that is, without an attorney).

NAME: ______________________________________________________ (Please print)

STREET ADDRESS:
CITY/STATE/ZIP:
PHONE NUMBER:
CASE NUMBER: ________________________________________________

________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________

_____________________________________________ _______________________ Signature Date

CIVIL COVER SHEET

The civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form isrequired for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE REVERSE OF THE FORM.)

page29image4792

(a) PLAINTIFFS

(b) CountyofResidenceofFirstListedPlaintiff
(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)

(c) Attorney’s (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number)

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an “X” in One Box Only)

DEFENDANTS

CountyofResidenceofFirstListed
(IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)

NOTE: IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF THE LAND INVOLVED.

Attorneys (If Known)

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES(Place an “X” in One Box for Plaintiff (For Diversity Cases Only) and One Box for Defendant)

PTF DEF PTF DEF

Citizen of This State G 1 G 1 Incorporated or Principal Place G 4 G 4 of Business In This State

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G 1 U.S. Government Plaintiff

G 2 U.S. Government Defendant

IV. NATURE OF SUIT CONTRACT

G 110 Insurance
G 120 Marine
G 130 Miller Act
G 140 Negotiable Instrument
G 150 Recovery of Overpayment

& Enforcement of Judgment

G 3 Federal Question
(U.S. Government Not a Party)

G 4 Diversity
(Indicate Citizenship of Parties

in Item III)

(Place an “X” in One Box Only)

Citizen of Another State G 2

G 2 G 3

Incorporated and Principal Place G 5 of Business In Another State

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CitizenorSubjectofa Foreign Country

G 3

ForeignNation

G 5 G 6

G 400 State Reapportionment
G 410 Antitrust
G 430 Banks and Banking
G 450 Commerce/ICC Rates/etc. G 460 Deportation

G 470 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations

G 810 Selective Service
G 850 Securities/Commodities/

G 875 G 891

G 6 OTHER STATUTES

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TORTS

FORFEITURE/PENALTY

BANKRUPTCY

PERSONAL INJURY

PERSONAL INJURY

G 310 G 315

G 320 G 330

G 340 G 345

G 350 G 355

G 360

Airplane
Airplane Product Liability
Assault, Libel & Slander
Federal Employers’ Liability
Marine
Marine Product Liability
Motor Vehicle Motor Vehicle Product Liability Other Personal Inj.

G 362 G 365 G 368

Personal Injury— Med. Malpractice Personal Injury — Product Liability Asbestos Personal Injury Product Liability

PERSONAL PROPERTY

G 370 G 371 G 380

G 385

Other Fraud Truth in Lending Other Personal Property Damage Property Damage Product Liability

G 610 G 620 G 625

G 630 G 640 G 650 G 660

G 690

Agriculture
Other Food & Drug Drug Related Seizure of Property 21 USC Liquor Laws
R.R. & Truck
Airline Regs. Occupational

Safety/Health Other

G 422 Appeal 28 USC 158

G 423 Withdrawal 28 USC 157

PROPERTY RIGHTS

G 820 Copyrights G 830 Patent
G 840 Trademark

LABOR

SOCIAL SECURITY

G 710 Fair Labor Standards Act

G 720 Labor/Mgmt. Relations

G 730 Labor/Mgmt.Reporting & Disclosure Act

G 740 Railway Labor Act

G 790 Other Labor Litigation

G 791 Empl. Ret. Inc. Security Act

G 861 HIA (1395ff)
G 862 Black Lung (923)
G 863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g)) G 864 SSID Title XVI
G 865 RSI (405(g))

CIVIL RIGHTS

PRISONER PETITIONS

G 441 V oting
G 442 Employment G 443 Housing/

Accommodations G 444 Welfare

G 440 Other Civil Rights

G 510 Motions to V acate Sentence

Habeas Corpus:
G 530 General
G 535 Death Penalty
G 540 Mandamus & Other G 550 Civil Rights
G 555 Prison Condition

FEDERAL TAX SUITS

G 870 Taxes (U.S. Plaintiff or Defendant)

G 871 IRS—Third Party 26 USC 7609

G 151 G 152

G 153 G 160

G 190 G 195

Medicare Act
Recovery of Defaulted Student Loans
(Excl. Veterans) Recovery of Overpayment

of Veteran’s Benefits Stockholders’ Suits
Other Contract
Contract Product Liability

Exchange
Customer Challenge
12 USC 3410
Agricultural Acts Economic Stabilization Act Environmental Matters

REAL PROPERTY

G 210 Land Condemnation
G 220 Foreclosure
G 230 Rent Lease & Ejectment G 240 Torts to Land
G 245 Tort Product Liability G 290 All Other Real Property

G 892
G 893
G 894EnergyAllocationAct G 895Freedomof

Information Act G 900AppealofFee

Determination Under

Equal Access to Justice G 950Constitutionalityof

State Statutes
G 890OtherStatutoryActions

V. ORIGIN (PLACE AN “X” IN ONE BOX ONLY)

Transferred from G 5 another district

Appeal to District Judge from Magistrate Judgment

G1G2G3G4 Original Removed from Remanded from

Reinstated or Reopened

(specify)

G 6

Multidistrict Litigation

G 7

Proceeding State Court Appellate Court

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VI. CAUSE OF ACTION (Enter U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing and write a brief statement of cause.)

VII. PREVIOUS BANKRUPTCY MATTERS (For nature of suit 422 and 423, enter the case number and judge for any associated bankruptcy matter previously adjudicated by a judge of this Court. Use a separate attachment if necessary.)

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VIII. REQUESTED IN COMPLAINT:

G CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION UNDER F.R.C.P. 23

is not a refiling of a previously dismissed action. is a refiling of case
number

DEMAND $

, previously dismissed by Judge

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:

JURY DEMAND:

G Yes

G No

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IX. This case

G G

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DATE

SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTORNEYS COMPLETING CIVIL COVER SHEET

Authority For Civil Cover Sheet

The civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replaces nor supplements the filings and service of pleading or other papers as required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, based on a form approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. Consequently, a civil cover sheet is submitted to the Clerk of Court for each civil complaint filed. The attorney filing a case should complete the form as follows:

I. (a) Plaintiffs-Defendants. Enter names (last, first, middle initial) of plaintiff and defendant. If the plaintiff or defendant is a government agency, use only the full name or standard abbreviations. If the plaintiff or defendant is an official within a government agency, identify first the agency and then the official, giving both name and title.

(b.) County of Residence. For each civil case filed, except U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county where the first listed plaintiff resides at the time of filing. In U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county in which the first listed defendant resides at the time of filing. (NOTE: In land condemnation cases, the county of residence of the “defendant” is the location of the tract of land involved.)

(c) Attorneys. Enter the firm name, address, telephone number, and attorney of record. If there are several attorneys, list them on an attachment, noting in this section “(see attachment)”.

II. Jurisdiction. The basis of jurisdiction is set forth under Rule 8(a), F.R.C.P., which requires that jurisdictions be shown in pleadings. Place an “X” in one of the boxes. If there is more than one basis of jurisdiction, precedence is given in the order shown below.

United States plaintiff. (1) Jurisdiction based on 28 U.S.C. 1345 and 1348. Suits by agencies and officers of the United States, are included here.

United States defendant. (2) When the plaintiff is suing the United States, its officers or agencies, place an “X” in this box.

Federal question. (3) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1331, where jurisdiction arises under the Constitution of the United States, an amendment to the Constitution, an act of Congress or a treaty of the United States. In cases where the U.S. is a party, the U.S. plaintiff or defendant code takes precedence, and box 1 or 2 should be marked.

Diversity of citizenship. (4) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1332, where parties are citizens of different states. When Box 4 is checked, the citizenship of the different parties must be checked. (See Section III below; federal question actions take precedence over diversity cases.)

III. Residence (citizenship) of Principal Parties. This section of the JS-44 is to be completed if diversity of citizenship was indicated above. Mark this section for each principal party.

IV. Nature of Suit. Place an “X” in the appropriate box. If the nature of suit cannot be determined, be sure the cause of action, in Section IV below, is sufficient to enable the deputy clerk or the statistical clerks in the Administrative Office to determine the nature of suit. If the cause fits more than one nature of suit, select the most definitive.

V. Origin. Place an “X” in one of the seven boxes.
Original Proceedings. (1) Cases which originate in the United States district courts.

Removed from State Court. (2) Proceedings initiated in state courts may be removed to the district courts under Title 28 U.S.C., Section 1441. When the petition for removal is granted, check this box.

Remanded from Appellate Court. (3) Check this box for cases remanded to the district court for further action. Use the date of remand as the filing date. Reinstated or Reopened. (4) Check this box for cases reinstated or reopened in the district court. Use the reopening date as the filing date.

Transferred from Another District. (5) For cases transferred under Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1404(a) Do not use this for within district transfers or multidistrict litigation transfers.

Multidistrict Litigation. (6) Check this box when a multidistrict case is transferred into the district under authority of Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1407. When this box is checked, do not check (5) above.

Appeal to District Judge from Magistrate Judgment. (7) Check this box for an appeal from a magistrate judge’s decision.
VI. Cause of Action. Report the civil statute directly related to the cause of action and give a brief description of the cause.

VII. PreviousBankruptcyMatters Forbankruptcyappeals(natureofsuit422)andwithdrawalsofreference(natureofsuit423),enterthecasenumber and assigned judge for any associated bankruptcy matter previously adjudicated by a judge of this Court. Use a separate attachment if necessary.

VIII. Requested in Complaint. Class Action. Place an “X” in this box if you are filing a class action under Rule 23, F.R.Cv.P.

Demand. In this space enter the dollar amount (in thousands of dollars) being demanded or indicate other demand such as a preliminary injunction.

Jury Demand. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether or not a jury is being demanded.

IX. Refiling Information. Use this section to indicate whether or not the case is a refiling of a previously dismissed action. If the case is a refiling, enter the previous case number and the name of the district or magistrate judge who dismissed the case.

Date and Attorney Signature. Date and sign the civil cover sheet.

AO 440 (Rev. 05/00) Summons in a Civil Action

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

SUMMONS IN A CIVIL CASE

CASE NUMBER: V. ASSIGNED JUDGE:

DESIGNA TED MAGISTRATE JUDGE:

TO: (Name and address of Defendant)

YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED and required to serve upon PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY (name and address)

an answer to the complaint which is herewith served upon you, within page31image6128days after service of this summons upon you, exclusive of the day of service. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You must also file your answer with the Clerk of this Court within a reasonable period of time after service.

MICHAEL W. DOBBINS, CLERK
(By) DEPUTY CLERK DATE

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AO 440 (Rev. 05/00) Summons in a Civil Action

RETURN OF SERVICE

Service of the Summons and complaint was made by me(1)

DA TE

NAME OF SERVER (PRINT)

TITLE

Check one box below to indicate appropriate method of service

G Served personally upon the defendant. Place where served:

G Left copies thereof at the defendant’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.

Name of person with whom the summons and complaint were left: G Returned unexecuted:

G Other (specify):

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STATEMENT OF SERVICE FEES

TRA VEL

SERVICES

TOTAL

DECLARATION OF SERVER

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing information contained in the Return of Service and Statement of Service Fees is true and correct.

Executed on

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Date Signature of Server

Address of Server

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(1) As to who may serve a summons see Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

AO 398 (Rev. 01/09) Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the

Northern District of Illinois

Plaintiff )

) Civil Action No.

NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT AND REQUEST TO WAIVE SERVICE OF A SUMMONS

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v.
Defendant )

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To:

Why are you getting this?

A lawsuit has been filed against you, or the entity you represent, in this court under the number shown above. A copy of the complaint is attached.

This is not a summons, or an official notice from the court. It is a request that, to avoid expenses, you waive formal service of a summons by signing and returning the enclosed waiver. To avoid these expenses, you must return the signed waiver within days (give at least 30 days, or at least 60 days if the defendant is outside any judicial district of the United States) fromthedateshownbelow,whichisthedatethisnoticewassent. Twocopiesofthewaiverformareenclosed,alongwith a stamped, self-addressed envelope or other prepaid means for returning one copy. You may keep the other copy.

What happens next?

If you return the signed waiver, I will file it with the court. The action will then proceed as if you had been served on the date the waiver is filed, but no summons will be served on you and you will have 60 days from the date this notice is sent (see the date below) to answer the complaint (or 90 days if this notice is sent to you outside any judicial district of the United States).

If you do not return the signed waiver within the time indicated, I will arrange to have the summons and complaint served on you. And I will ask the court to require you, or the entity you represent, to pay the expenses of making service.

Please read the enclosed statement about the duty to avoid unnecessary expenses. I certify that this request is being sent to you on the date below.

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Date:

(Name of the defendant or – if the defendant is a corporation, partnership, or association – an officer or agent authorized to receive service)

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Signature of the attorney or unrepresented party Printed name

Address E-mail address Telephone number

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AO 399 (01/09) Waiver of the Service of Summons

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the

Northern District of Illinois

Plaintiff )

) Civil Action No.

WAIVER OF THE SERVICE OF SUMMONS

(Name of the plaintiff’s attorney or unrepresented plaintiff)

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v.
Defendant )

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To:

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I have received your request to waive service of a summons in this action along with a copy of the complaint, two copies of this waiver form, and a prepaid means of returning one signed copy of the form to you.

I, or the entity I represent, agree to save the expense of serving a summons and complaint in this case.

I understand that I, or the entity I represent, will keep all defenses or objections to the lawsuit, the court’s jurisdiction, and the venue of the action, but that I waive any objections to the absence of a summons or of service.

I also understand that I, or the entity I represent, must file and serve an answer or a motion under Rule 12 within
60 days from , the date when this request was sent (or 90 days if it was sent outside the United States). If I fail to do so, a default judgment will be entered against me or the entity I represent.

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Date:

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Printed name of party waiving service of summons

Signature of the attorney or unrepresented party Printed name

Address

E-mail address

Telephone number

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Duty to Avoid Unnecessary Expenses of Serving a Summons

Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires certain defendants to cooperate in saving unnecessary expenses of serving a summons and complaint. A defendant who is located in the United States and who fails to return a signed waiver of service requested by a plaintiff located in the United States will be required to pay the expenses of service, unless the defendant shows good cause for the failure.

“Good cause” does not include a belief that the lawsuit is groundless, or that it has been brought in an improper venue, or that the court has no jurisdiction over this matter or over the defendant or the defendant’s property.

If the waiver is signed and returned, you can still make these and all other defenses and objections, but you cannot object to the absence of a summons or of service.

If you waive service, then you must, within the time specified on the waiver form, serve an answer or a motion under Rule 12 on the plaintiff and file a copy with the court. By signing and returning the waiver form, you are allowed more time to respond than if a summons had been served.

(Rev. 03/09)

Plaintiff(s)

Defendant(s)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION

)

) Case Number: V. )

) Judge:

)

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MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
[NOTE: Failure to complete all items in this form may result in the denial of this motion]

  1. I, , declare that I am the (check appropriate box)

    plaintiff defendant in the above-entitled proceeding and state that I am unable to afford
    the services of an attorney, and hereby request the Court to appoint counsel to represent me in this proceeding.

  2. In support of my motion, I declare that I have contacted the following attorneys/organizations seeking representation (NOTE: This item must be completed):

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but I have been unable to find an attorney because:

  1. In further support of my motion, I declare that (check appropriate box):

    I am not currently, nor previously have been, represented by an attorney appointed by the Court in this or any other civil or criminal proceeding before this Court.

    I am currently, or previously have been, represented by an attorney appointed by the Court in the proceeding(s) described on the back of this page.

  2. In further support of my motion, I declare that (check appropriate box):

    I have attached an original Application for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in the proceeding detailing my financial status.

    I have previously filed an Application for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in this proceeding, and it is a true and correct representation of my financial status.

    I have previously filed an Application for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in this proceeding.

    However, my financial status has changed and I have attached an Amended Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis to reflect my current financial status.

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5. (Check one box) In further support of my motion, I declare that my highest level of education is:

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Grammar school only Some high school High school graduate Some college College graduate Post-graduate

  1. (Check only if applicable) In further support of my motion, I declare that my ability to speak, write, and/or read English is limited because English is not my primary language
  2. (Check only if applicable) In further support of my motion, I declare that this form and other complaint forms were prepared with the help of an attorney from the U.S. District Court Pro Se Assistance Program.
  3. I declare under penalty that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Movant’s Signature Street Address

    Date City, State, ZIP

As indicated in paragraph three on the preceding page, I am currently, or previously have been, represented by an attorney appointed by this Court in the civil or criminal actions listed below.

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Assigned Judge: Case Number: Case Title:

Appointed Attorney’s Name:
If this case is still pending, please check box

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Assigned Judge: Case Number: Case Title:

Appointed Attorney’s Name:
If this case is still pending, please check box

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Assigned Judge: Case Number: Case Title:

Appointed Attorney’s Name:
If this case is still pending, please check box

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11/06/08 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

_____________________________, Plaintiff

v.

_____________________________, Defendant(s)

FINANCIAL AFFIDAVIT

IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION AND

Case Number: Judge:

________________________
________________________

Instructions: Please answer every question. Do not leave any blanks. If the answer is “none” or “not applicable (N/A),” write that response. Wherever a box is included, place an X in whichever box applies. If you need more space to answer a question or to explain your answer, attach an additional page that refers to each such question by number and provide the additional information. Please print or type your answers.

Application: I, _______________________________________, declare that I am the G plaintiff G petitioner G movant (other______________________) in the above-entitled case. This affidavit constitutes my application G to proceed without full prepayment of fees, or G in support of my motion for appointment of counsel, or G both. I declare that I am unable to pay the costs of these proceedings, and I believe that I am entitled to the relief sought in the complaint/petition/motion/appeal. In support of my application, I answer the following questions under penalty of perjury.

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1. Are you currently incarcerated? G Yes G No
(If “No,” go to Question 2)

I.D. #: __________________ Name of prison or jail: _____________________________ Do you receive any payment from the institution? G Yes G No Monthly amount: ___________

2. Are you currently employed? G Yes G No a. If the answer is “yes,” state your:

Monthly salary or wages: ___________________
Name and address of employer: ________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

b. If the answer is “no,”state your:
Beginning and ending dates of last employment: ___________________________ Last monthly salary or wages: ___________________________________________ Name and address of last employer: _____________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

  1. Are you married? G Yes G No Iftheansweris“yes,”isyourspousecurrentlyemployed? GYes GNo Spouse’s monthly salary or wages: ______________________________________ Name and address of spouse’s employer: _________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. In addition to your income stated above in response to Question 2 (which you should not repeat here), have you or anyone else living at the same residence received more than $200 in the past twelve months from any of the following sources? Mark an X next to “Yes” or “No” in each of the categories a. through g, check all boxes that apply in each category, and fill in the twelve-month total in each category.
    1. G Salary or G wages GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
    2. G Business, G profession or G other self-employment GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
    3. G Rental income, G interest or G dividends GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
    4. G Pensions, G social security, G annuities, G life insurance, G disability,G workers’ compensation, G alimony or maintenance or G child support GYes GNo
      Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
  1. G Gifts or G inheritances GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
  2. G Unemployment, G welfare or G any other public assistance GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
  3. G Any other sources (describe source:___________) GYes GNo Amount: _______________ Received by: _______________________________
  1. Do you or anyone else living at the same residence have more than $200 in cash or checking or savings

    accounts? GYes GNo
    Total amount: __________________________
    In whose name held: _____________________ Relationship to you: __________________

  2. Do you or anyone else living at the same residence own any stocks, bonds, securities or other financial

    instruments? GYes GNo
    Property: _________________________ Current value: ____________________________ In whose name held: _____________________ Relationship to you: __________________

  3. Do you or anyone else living at the same residence own any real estate (with or without a mortgage)? Real estate

    includes, among other things, a house, apartment, condominium, cooperative, two-flat, etc. GYes GNo Type of property and address: _______________________________________
    Current value: __________________________ Equity: ___________________ (Equity is the difference

    between what the property is worth and the amount you owe on it.)
    In whose name held: ______________________ Relationship to you: __________________ Amount of monthly mortgage or loan payments: _________________________________ Name of person making payments: _____________________________________________

  4. Do you or anyone else living at the same residence own any automobiles with a current market value of more

    than $1000? GYes GNo
    Year, make and model: ____________________________________________________
    Current value: _________________________ Equity: ___________________ (Equity is the difference between

    what the automobile is worth and the amount you owe on it.)
    Amount of monthly loan payments: ________________________
    In whose name held: ______________________ Relationship to you: __________________ Name of person making payments: _____________________________________________

  5. Do you or anyone else living at the same residence own any boats, trailers, mobile homes or other items of

    personal property with a current market value of more than $1000? GYes GNo
    Property: __________________________________________________________
    Current value: __________________________ Equity: ___________________ (Equity is the difference

    between what the property is worth and the amount you owe on it.)
    Amount of monthly loan payments: ________________________
    In whose name held: ______________________ Relationship to you: __________________ Name of person making payments: _____________________________________________

  6. List the persons who live with you who are dependent on you for support. State your relationship to each person and state whether you are entirely responsible for the person’s support or the specific monthly amount you

    contribute to his or her support. If none, check here: G None. _______________________________________________________________________________________

          _______________________________________________________
  7. List the persons who do not live with you who are dependent on you for support. State your relationship to each

    person and state how much you contribute monthly to his or her support. If none, check here: G None. _______________________________________________________________________________________

          _________________________________________________________

I declare under penalty of perjury that the above information is true and correct. I understand that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(A) states that the court shall dismiss this case at any time if the court determines that my allegation of poverty is untrue.

Date: _______________________ ___________________________________ Signature of Applicant

___________________________________ (Print Name)

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NOTICE TO PRISONERS: In addition to the Certificate below, a prisoner must also attach a print-out from the institution(s) where he or she has been in custody during the last six months showing all receipts, expenditures and balances in the prisoner’s prison or jail trust fund accounts during that period. Because the law requires information as to such accounts covering a full six months before you have filed your lawsuit, you must attach a sheet covering transactions in your own account – prepared by each institution where you have been in custody during that six-month period. As already stated, you must also have the Certificate below completed by an authorized officer at each institution.

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CERTIFICATE
(Incarcerated applicants only)
(To be completed by the institution of incarceration)

I certify that the applicant named herein, ____________________, I.D.#_______________, has the sum of $ _____________ on account to his/her credit at (name of institution) ____________________________. I further certify that the applicant has the following securities to his/her credit: ______________. I further certify that during the past six months the applicant’s average monthly deposit was $ _______________. (Add all deposits from all sources and then divide by number of months).

_______________________ __________________________________________ Date Signature of Authorized Officer

__________________________________________ (Print Name)

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___________________________________ ) ___________________________________ )

___________________________________ ) (Name of the plaintiff or plaintiffs) )

v. ) ) ___________________________________ )

___________________________________ )

___________________________________ ) (Name of the defendant or defendants) )

CIVIL ACTION NO.___________________

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

EASTERN DIVISION

COMPLAINT OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION

1. This is an action for employment discrimination.
2. The plaintiff is _________________________________________________________ of the county of

________________________________in the state of_____________________.
3. The defendant is _______________________________________________________, whose street address

is ___________________________________________________________,

(city)______________(county)______________(state)______________(ZIP)________
(Defendant’s telephone number) (____) – ________________________
II The plaintiff sought employment or was employed by the defendant at (street address)

______________________________________________ (city)____________________ (county)___________ (state)__________ (ZIP code)__________

5. The plaintiff [check one box]
(a)G was denied employment by the defendant.
(b)G was hired and is still employed by the defendant.
(c)G was employed but is no longer employed by the defendant.

6. The defendant discriminated against the plaintiff on or about, or beginning on or about, (month)_____________, (day)________, (year)_________.

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7.1 (Choose paragraph 7.1 or 7.2, do NOT complete both.)
(a) The defendant is not a federal governmental agency, and the plaintiff [check one box]

Ghas not G has filed a charge or charges against the defendant asserting the acts of discrimination indicated in this complaint with any of the following government agencies:

  1. (i)  G the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on or about (month)_____________ (day)________ (year)_________.
  2. (ii)  G the Illinois Department of Human Rights, on or about (month)_____________ (day)________ (year)_________.

(b) If charges were filed with an agency indicated above, a copy of the charge is ttached. G YES.G NO, but plaintiff will file a copy of the charge within 14 days.

It is the policy of both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights to cross-file with the other agency all charges received. The plaintiff has no reason to believe that this policy was not followed in this case.

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7.2

The defendant is a federal governmental agency, and
(a) the plaintiff previously filed a Complaint of Employment Discrimination with the defendant asserting

the acts of discrimination indicated in this court complaint.
G Yes (month)________________ (day)_______ (year) _________

G No, did not file Complaint of Employment Discrimination

2. The plaintiff received a Final Agency Decision on (month)____________ (day) _________ (year) __________.

c. Attached is a copy of the
a. Complaint of Employment Discrimination,

G YES G NO, but a copy will be filed within 14 days. (ii) Final Agency Decision

G YES G NO, but a copy will be filed within 14 days. (Complete paragraph 8 only if defendant is not a federal governmental agency.)

8.

. (a)G the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not issued a Notice of Right to Sue.

(b)G the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a Notice of Right to Sue, which was received by the plaintiff on (month)_____________ (day)________

(year)_________ a copy of which Notice is attached to this complaint.

  1. The defendant discriminated against the plaintiff because of the plaintiff’s [check only those that apply]:

    (a)G Age (Age Discrimination Employment Act).
    (b)G Color (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981).
    (c)G Disability (Americans with Disabilities Act or Rehabilitation Act)
    (d)G National Origin (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981). (e)G Race (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981).
    (f)G Religion (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
    (g)G Sex (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

  2. If the defendant is a state, county, municipal (city, town or village) or other local governmental agency,

    plaintiff further alleges discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (42 U.S.C. § 1983).

  3. Jurisdiction over the statutory violation alleged is conferred as follows: for Title VII claims by 28

    U.S.C.§1331, 28 U.S.C.§1343(a)(3), and 42 U.S.C.§2000e-5(f)(3); for 42 U.S.C.§1981 and §1983 by 42 U.S.C.§1988; for the A.D.E.A. by 42 U.S.C.§12117; for the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 791.

  4. The defendant [check only those that apply]

    (a)G failed to hire the plaintiff.

    (b)Gterminated the plaintiff’s employment.

    (c)G failed to promote the plaintiff.

    (d)Gfailed to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff’s religion.

    (e)G failed to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff’s disabilities.

    (f)G failed to stop harassment;

    (g)G retaliated against the plaintiff because the plaintiff did something to assert rights protected by the laws identified in paragraphs 9 and 10 above;

    (h)Gother (specify):______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

      ___________________________________________________________________
  1. The facts supporting the plaintiff’s claim of discrimination are as follows: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
  2. [AGE DISCRIMINATION ONLY] Defendant knowingly, intentionally, and willfully discriminated against the plaintiff.
  3. The plaintiff demands that the case be tried by a jury. G YES G NO
  4. THEREFORE, the plaintiff asks that the court grant the following relief to the plaintiff [check only

those that apply]

(a)G Direct the defendant to hire the plaintiff.
(b)G Direct the defendant to re-employ the plaintiff.
(c)G Direct the defendant to promote the plaintiff.
(d)G Direct the defendant to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff’s religion. (e)G Direct the defendant to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff’s disabilities. (f)G Direct the defendant to (specify): _______________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

(g)G If available, grant the plaintiff appropriate injunctive relief, lost wages, liquidated/double damages, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, prejudgment interest, post- judgment interest, and costs, including reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees.

(h)G Grant such other relief as the Court may find appropriate. ____________________________________________________

Plaintiff’s signature

____________________________________________________ Plaintiff’s name

Plaintiff’s street address _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

City___________________ State __________ ZIP________ Plaintiff’s telephone number ________________________

Date: ___________________________

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION

) ___________________________________ )

___________________________________, ) Plaintiff(s), )

vs. ___________________________________ )

________________________________ __, ) Defendant(s). )

COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

This form complaint is designed to help you, as a pro se plaintiff, state your case in a clear manner. Please read the directions and the numbered paragraphs carefully. Some paragraphs may not apply to you. You may cross out paragraphs that do not apply to you. All references to “plaintiff” and “defendant” are stated in the singular but will apply to more than one plaintiff or defendant if that is the nature of the case.

  • !  This is a claim for violation of plaintiff’s civil rights as protected by the Constitution

    and laws of the United States under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1986.

  • !  The court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1367.
  • !  Plaintiff’s full name is _____________________________________________________.

    If there are additional plaintiffs, fill in the above information as to the first-named plaintiff and complete the information for each additional plaintiff on an extra sheet.

) Case No. )

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44

4. Defendant, ____________________________________________________________, is (name, badge number if known)

G an officer or official employed by _________________________________________; (department or agency of government)

____________________________________________________________________or G an individual not employed by a governmental entity.

If there are additional defendants, fill in the above information as to the first-named defendant and complete the information for each additional defendant on an extra sheet.

5. The municipality, township or county under whose authority defendant officer or official acted is_____________________________________________. As to plaintiff’s

federal constitutional claims, the municipality, township or county is a defendant only if

custom or policy allegations are made at paragraph 7 below.

6. On or about___________________, at approximately ________________ G a.m. G p.m. (month,day, year)

plaintiff was present in the municipality (or unincorporated area) of _________________

___________________________________ , in the County of _____________________,

State of Illinois, at ________________________________________________________, (identify location as precisely as possible)

when defendant violated plaintiff’s civil rights as follows (Place X in each box that applies):

G arrested or seized plaintiff without probable cause to believe that plaintiff had committed, was committing or was about to commit a crime;

G searched plaintiff or his property without a warrant and without reasonable

cause;
G used excessive force upon plaintiff;
G failed to intervene to protect plaintiff from violation of plaintiff’s civil rights

by one or more other defendants;
G failed to provide plaintiff with needed medical care;
G conspired together to violate one or more of plaintiff’s civil rights; G Other:

__________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

  1. Defendant officer or official acted pursuant to a custom or policy of defendant

    municipality, county or township, which custom or policy is the following: (Leave blank

    if no custom or policy is alleged):____________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

       ________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________.

  2. Plaintiff was charged with one or more crimes, specifically:

45

   ________________________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________

9. (Place an X in the box that applies. If none applies, you may describe the criminal proceedings under “Other”) The criminal proceedings

G are still pending.
G were terminated in favor of plaintiff in a manner indicating plaintiff was innocent.1

G Plaintiff was found guilty of one or more charges because defendant deprived me

of a fair trial as

follows________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________. G Other:

_______________________________________________________________.
10. Plaintiff further alleges as follows: (Describe what happened that you believe

supports your claims. To the extent possible, be specific as to your own actions and the actions of each defendant.)

   ________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________

   ____________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________
   ________________________________________________________________________

1Examples of termination in favor of the plaintiff in a manner indicating plaintiff was innocent may include a judgment of not guilty, reversal of a conviction on direct appeal, expungement of the conviction, a voluntary dismissal (SOL) by the prosecutor, or a nolle prosequi order.

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   ___________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________.

  1. Defendant acted knowingly, intentionally, willfully and maliciously.
  2. As a result of defendant’s conduct, plaintiff was injured as follows:

    ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________.

  3. Plaintiff asks that the case be tried by a jury. G YesG No
  4. Plaintiff also claims violation of rights that may be protected by the laws of Illinois, such as false arrest, assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, and/or any other claim that may be supported by the allegations of this complaint.

    WHEREFORE, plaintiff asks for the following relief:

    1. Damages to compensate for all bodily harm, emotional harm, pain and

      suffering, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage and any other injuries inflicted by defendant;

    2. G (Place X in box if you are seeking punitive damages.) Punitive damages

      against the individual defendant; and

    3. Such injunctive, declaratory, or other relief as may be appropriate, including

attorney’s fees and reasonable expenses as authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1988.
Plaintiff’s signature: _____________________________________________________ Plaintiff’s name (print clearly or type):________________________________________

Plaintiff’s mailing address:__________________________________________________

City______________________________

State __________ ZIP ___________

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Plaintiff’s telephone number: ( ) _________________________.
Plaintiff’s email address (if you prefer to be contacted by email):___________________

______________________________________
15. Plaintiff has previously filed a case in this district. G Yes G No

If yes, please list the cases below.

Any additional plaintiffs must sign the complaint and provide the same information as the first plaintiff. An additional signature page may be added.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION

)

Plaintiff ) Case Number:

v. ) Judge: )

Defendant )
NOTICE OF MOTION

TO:

____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on __________________________ at __________, or as soon thereafter as I may be heard, I shall appear before the Honorable Judge

____________________
or any judge sitting in his or her stead in Courtroom ___________ of the U.S. District Court

of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 219 South Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois and shall present the following motion attached hereto:

___________________________________________________________________________ CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on _________________, I provided service to the person or persons listed above by the following means: ____________________________________________________

Signature: _____________________________________ Date: _______________________

Name (Print):___________________________________ Address:_______________________________________ Phone: ______________________

    ________________________________________
    ________________________________________

49

LOCAL RULE 5.2. Form of Documents Filed

a) Electronic Filing Permitted. The court will accept for filing documents submitted, signed, or verified by electronic means that comply with procedures established by the court as set forth in the General Order on Electronic Case Filing or other similar order.

Where a document is submitted in an electronic format pursuant to procedures established by the court, submitted in both electronic and paper formats, or submitted in paper and subsequently produced in an electronic format by court staff, the electronic version shall be the court’s official record. Where a document is submitted in paper format without an electronic version being produced, the paper version shall be the court’s official record. Where the electronic version of a document is a redacted version of an unredacted paper document, the unredacted paper version shall be the court’s official record.

(b) Paper and Font Size. Each paper original filed and each paper judge’s copy shall be flat and unfolded on opaque, unglazed, white paper 81⁄2 x 11 inches in size. It shall be plainly written, typed, printed, or prepared by means of a duplicating process, without erasures or interlineations which materially deface it.

Where the document is typed, line spacing will be at least 11⁄2 lines. Where it is typed or printed,

(1) the size of the type in the body of the text shall be 12 points and that in footnotes, no less than 11 points, and

(2) the margins, left-hand, right-hand, top, and bottom, shall each be a minimum of 1 inch.

(c) Binding and Tabs. Each paper original shall be bound or secured at the top edge of the document by a staple or a removable metal paper fastener inserted through two holes. A paper original shall not have a front or back cover. A paper original shall not have protruding tabs. Exhibits or tabs that are part of the paper original shall be indicated in bold type on a single sheet of paper placed immediately before the corresponding exhibit or attachment. Unless not reasonably feasible, exhibits to paper originals shall be 81⁄2 x 11 inches in size. A judge’s paper copy shall be bound on the left side and shall include protruding tabs for exhibits. A list of exhibits must be provided for each document that contains more than one exhibit.

(d) Documents Not Complying May be Stricken. Any document that does not comply with this rule shall be filed subject to being stricken by the court.

(e) Judge’s Copy. Each person or party filing a paper version of a pleading, motion, or document, other than an appearance form, motion to appear pro hac vice , or return of service, shall file in addition to the original a copy for use by the court. Where a filing is made electronically of a pleading, motion, or document other than an appearance form or return of service, a paper copy shall be provided for the judge within one business day, unless the judge determines that a paper copy is not required.

LOCAL RULE 5.3. Motions: Notice of Motions and Objections

a) Service. Except in the case of an emergency or unless otherwise ordered, written notice of the intent to present a motion, or an objection to a magistrate judge’s order or report under F. R.Civ.P. 72, specifying the date on which the motion or objection is to be presented, a copy of the motion or objection and any accompanying documents must be served as follows:

(1) Personal service. Personal service must be accomplished no later than 4:00 p.m. of the second business day preceding the date of presentment. Personal service shall include actual delivery within the time specified by this section by a service organization providing for delivery within

50

a specified time (e.g., overnight service) or by electronic transmission pursuant to F. R.Civ.P. 5(b)(2)(D) and 5(b)(3).

(2) Mail service. Where the service is by mail, the notice and documents shall be mailed at least five business days before the date of presentment.

Ex parte motions and agreed motions or objections may be presented without notice.

(b) Presentment. Every motion or objection shall be accompanied by a notice of presentment specifying the date and time on which, and judge before whom, the motion or objection is to be presented. The date of presentment shall be not more than 10 business days following the date on which the motion or objection is delivered to the court pursuant to LR78.1.

LOCAL RULE 5.4. Motions: Filing Notice & Motion

Filing of papers shall be with the clerk unless a particular judge has provided for filing in the judge’s chambers. The clerk shall maintain a list of the delivery requirements of each judge and post a copy in a public area of the clerk’s office.

Where a motion is delivered to the clerk that does not comply with the scheduling requirements established by the judge pursuant to LR78.1 or is scheduled before a judge who, pursuant to this rule, has directed that the motions are to be delivered to the minute clerk assigned to the judge or to the judge’s chambers, the clerk shall inform the person offering the motion of the correct procedure. If the person insists on delivering it to the clerk, the clerk shall accept it and attach to it a note indicating that the person delivering it was advised of the scheduling or delivery requirements.

LOCAL RULE 78.1. Motions: Filing in Advance of Hearing

Except where a judge fixes a different time in accordance with this rule, the original of any motion shall be filed by 4:30 p.m. of the second business day preceding the date of presentment.

A judge may fix a time for delivery longer than that provided by this rule, or elect to hear motions less frequently than daily, or both. In those instances where a judge elects to fix a longer delivery time, or hear motions less frequently than daily, or both, the judge shall notify the clerk in writing of the practice to be adopted. The clerk shall maintain a list of the current motion practices of each of the judges at the assignment desk.

LOCAL RULE 78.2. Motions: Denial for Failure to Prosecute

Where the moving party, or if the party is represented by counsel, counsel for the moving party, delivers a motion or objection to a magistrate judge’s order or report without the notice required by LR5.3(b) and fails to serve notice of a date of presentment within 10 days of delivering the copy of the motion or objection to the court as provided by LR5.4, the court may on its own initiative deny the motion or objection .

LOCAL RULE 78.3. Motions: Briefing Schedules, Oral Arguments, Failure to File Brief

The court may set a briefing schedule. Oral argument may be allowed in the court’s discretion. Failure to file a supporting or answering memorandum shall not be deemed to be a waiver of the

motion or a withdrawal of opposition thereto, but the court on its own motion or that of a party may strike the motion or grant the same without further hearing. Failure to file a reply memorandum within the requisite time shall be deemed a waiver of the right to file.

51

LOCAL RULE 78.4. Motions: Copies of Evidentiary Matter to be Served

Where evidentiary matter, in addition to affidavits permitted or required under Rules 5 or 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, will be submitted in support of a motion, copies thereof shall be served with the notice of motion

LOCAL RULE 78.5. Motions: Request for Decision; Request for Status Report

Any party may on notice provided for by LR5.3 call a motion to the attention of the court for decision.

Any party may also request the clerk to report on the status of any motion on file for at least seven months without a ruling or on file and fully briefed for at least sixty days. Such requests will be in writing. On receipt of a request the clerk will promptly verify that the motion is pending and meets the criteria fixed by this section. If it is not pending or does not meet the criteria, the clerk will so notify the person making the request. If it is pending and does meet the criteria, the clerk will thereupon notify the judge before whom the motion is pending that a request has been received for a status report on the motion. The clerk will not disclose the name of the requesting party to the judge. If the judge provides information on the status of the motion, the clerk will notify all parties. If the judge does not provide any information within ten days of the clerk’s notice to the judge, the clerk will notify all parties that the motion is pending and that it has been called to the judge’s attention.

52

FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE RULE 4. SUMMONS
(a) CONTENTS; AMENDMENTS.

(1) Contents. A summons must:
(A) name the court and the parties;
(B) be directed to the defendant;
(C) state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney or if unrepresented
(D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend;
(E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment

against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; (F) be signed by the clerk; and
(G) bear the court’s seal.

(2) Amendments. The court may permit a summons to be amended.

(b) ISSUANCE. On or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If the summons is properly completed, the clerk must sign, seal, and issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant. A summons or a copy of a summons that is addressed to multiple defendants must be issued for each defendant to be served.

(c) SERVICE.

(1) In General. A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having the summons and complaint served within the time allowed by Rule 4(m) and must furnish the necessary copies to the person who makes service.

(2) By Whom. Any person who is at least 18 years old and not a party may serve a summons and complaint.

(3) By a Marshal or Someone Specially Appointed. At the plaintiff’s request, the court may order that service be made by a United States marshal or deputy marshal or by a person specially appointed by the court. The court must so order if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. 1915 or as a seaman under 28 U.S.C. 1916.

(d) WAIVING SERVICE.

(1) Requesting a Waiver. An individual, corporation, or association that is subject to service under Rule 4(e), (f), or (h) has a duty to avoid unnecessary expenses of serving the summons. The plaintiff may notify such a defendant that an action has been commenced and request that the defendant waive service of a summons. The notice and request must:

(A) be in writing and be addressed:

(i) to the individual defendant; or

(ii) for a defendant subject to service under Rule 4(h), to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process;

(B) name the court where the complaint was filed;

(C) be accompanied by a copy of the complaint, 2 copies of a waiver form, and a prepaid means for returning the form;

(D) inform the defendant, using text prescribed in Form 5, of the consequences of waiving and not waiving service;

(E) state the date when the request is sent; 53

of the plaintiff;

(F) give the defendant a reasonable time of at least 30 days after the request was sent or at least 60 days if sent to the defendant outside any judicial district of the United

States to return the waiver; and

(G) be sent by first-class mail or other reliable means.

(2) Failure to Waive. If a defendant located within the United States fails, without good cause, to sign and return a waiver requested by a plaintiff located within the United States, the court must impose on the defendant:

(A) the expenses later incurred in making service; and

(B) the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, of any motion required to collect those service expenses.

(3) Time to Answer After a Waiver. A defendant who, before being served with process, timely returns a waiver need not serve an answer to the complaint until 60 days after the request was sent or until 90 days after it was sent to the defendant outside any judicial district of the United States.

(4) Results of Filing a Waiver. When the plaintiff files a waiver, proof of service is not required and these rules apply as if a summons and complaint had been served at the time of filing the waiver.

(5) Jurisdiction and Venue Not Waived. Waiving service of a summons does not waive any objection to personal jurisdiction or to venue.

(e) SERVING AN INDIVIDUAL WITHIN A JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF THE
UNITED STATES. Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual other than a minor, an

incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has been filed may be served in a judicial district of the United States by:

(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located or where service is made; or

(2) doing any of the following:

(A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally;

(B) leaving a copy of each at the individual’s dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or

(C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.

(f) SERVING AN INDIVIDUAL IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has

been filed may be served at a place not within any judicial district of the United States:

(1) by any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents;

(2) if there is no internationally agreed means, or if an international agreement allows but does not specify other means, by a method that is reasonably calculated to give notice:

54

(A) as prescribed by the foreign country’s law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction;

(B) as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

(C) unless prohibited by the foreign country’s law, by:

(i) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally; or

(ii) using any form of mail that the clerk addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a signed receipt; or

(3) by other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the court orders.

(g) SERVING A MINOR OR AN INCOMPETENT PERSON. A minor or an incompetent person in a judicial district of the United States must be served by following state law for serving a summons or like process on such a defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state where service is made.

A minor or an incompetent person who is not within any judicial district of the United States must be served in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(f)(2)(A), (f)(2)(B), or (f)(3).

(h) SERVING A CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP, OR ASSOCIATION. Unless federal law provides otherwise or the defendant’s waiver has been filed, a domestic or foreign corporation, or a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, must be served:

(1) in a judicial district of the United States:

(A) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(e)(1) for serving an individual; or

(B) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and if the agent is one authorized by statute and the statute so requires by also mailing a copy of each to the defendant; or

(2) at a place not within any judicial district of the United States, in any manner prescribed by Rule 4(f) for serving an individual, except personal delivery under (f)(2)(C)(I).

(i) SERVING THE UNITED STATES AND ITS AGENCIES, CORPORATIONS, OFFICERS, OR EMPLOYEES.

(1) United States. To serve the United States, a party must:

(A)(i) deliver a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the United States attorney for the district where the action is brought or to an assistant United States attorney or clerical employee whom the United States attorney designates in a writing filed with the court clerk or

(ii) send a copy of each by registered or certified mail to the civil-process clerk at the United States attorney’s office;

(B) send a copy of each by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of the United States at Washington,D.C.; and

(C) if the action challenges an order of a nonparty agency or officer of the United States, send a copy of each by registered or certified mail to the agency or officer.

55

(2) Agency; Corporation; Officer or Employee Sued in an Official Capacity. To serve a United States agency or corporation, or a United States officer or employee sued only in an official capacity, a party must serve the United States and also send a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail to the agency, corporation, officer, or employee.

(3) Officer or Employee Sued Individually. To serve a United States officer or employee sued in an individual capacity for an act or omission occurring in connection with duties performed on the United States’ behalf (whether or not the officer or employee is also sued in an official capacity), a party must serve the United States and also serve the officer or employee under Rule 4(e), (f), or (g).

(4) Extending Time. The court must allow a party a reasonable time to cure its failure to:
(A) serve a person required to be served under Rule 4(i)(2), if the party has served

either the United States attorney or the Attorney General of the United States; or

(B) serve the United States under Rule 4(i)(3), if the party has served the United States officer or employee.

(j) SERVING A FOREIGN, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

(1) Foreign State. A foreign state or its political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality must be served in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1608.

(2) State or Local Government. A state, a municipal corporation, or any other state-created governmental organization that is subject to suit must be served by:

(A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to its chief executive officer; or

(B) serving a copy of each in the manner prescribed by that state’s law for serving a summons or like process on such a defendant.

(k) TERRITORIAL LIMITS OF EFFECTIVE SERVICE.

(1) In General. Serving a summons or filing a waiver of service establishes personal jurisdiction over a defendant:

(A) who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located;

(B) who is a party joined under Rule 14 or 19 and is served within a judicial district of the United States and not more than 100 miles from where the summons was issued; or

(C) when authorized by a federal statute.

(2) Federal Claim Outside State-Court Jurisdiction. For a claim that arises under federal law, serving a summons or filing a waiver of service establishes personal jurisdiction over a defendant if:

(A) the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction in any state’s courts of general jurisdiction; and

(B) exercising jurisdiction is consistent with the United States Constitution and laws.

(l) PROVING SERVICE.

56

(1) Affidavit Required. Unless service is waived, proof of service must be made to the court. Except for service by a United States marshal or deputy marshal, proof must be by the server’s affidavit.

(2) Service Outside the United States. Service not within any judicial district of the United States must be proved as follows:

(A) if made under Rule 4(f)(1), as provided in the applicable treaty or convention; or

(B) if made under Rule 4(f)(2) or (f)(3), by a receipt signed by the addressee, or by other evidence satisfying the court that the summons and complaint were delivered to the addressee.

(3) Validity of Service; Amending Proof. Failure to prove service does not affect the validity of service. The court may permit proof of service to be amended.

(m) TIME LIMIT FOR SERVICE. If a defendant is not served within 120 days after the complaint is filed, the court on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f) or 4(j)(1).

(n) ASSERTING JURISDICTION OVER PROPERTY OR ASSETS.

(1) Federal Law. The court may assert jurisdiction over property if authorized by a federal statute. Notice to claimants of the property must be given as provided in the statute or by serving a summons under this rule.

(2) State Law. On a showing that personal jurisdiction over a defendant cannot be obtained in the district where the action is brought by reasonable efforts to serve a summons under this rule, the court may assert jurisdiction over the defendant’s assets found in the district. Jurisdiction is acquired by seizing the assets under the circumstances and in the manner provided by state law in that district.

(As amended Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Jan. 12, 1983, eff. Feb. 26, 1983; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007.)

57

Summary of Instructions for Filing a Civil Case

Document

General Information

Number of Copies Required

Complaint

List all plaintiffs and defendants in the caption the top left of the complaint. State your case in your own words, using additional pages if you need them. Y our signature, address, and telephone number must appear on the last page of your complaint. Exhibits may be attached to your complaint.

You must provide an original, 1 copy for the assigned judge, and 1 copy for each defendant named in your complaint. If you are suing the federal government or one of its agencies, you need to provide 3 extra copies.

Civil Cover Sheet (JS-44)

This is a form used by the Court in preparing the docket for your case.

Instructions for completing this form appear on the reverse side of the JS-44.

Only the original is required.

Appearance

The appearance form is used to designate who will be acting as the attorney for a party.

If you do not have an attorney and will be proceeding without counsel, fill in the appearance form in accordance with the instructions found on the reverse side of the form, supplying your name and address. Add the words “pro se” next to your name.

Only the original is required.

Filing fees

There is a fee of $350 for the filing of a civil case other than a writ of habeas corpus. If you are unable to afford the fee, see the information below about in forma pauperis petitions.

NA

In Forma Pauperis Petition

This petition is used by a plaintiff who requests approval by the court for a civil case to proceed without the prepayment of the filing fee.

Complete all appropriate sections of the petition, sign and date.

You must provide an original and 1 copy for the assigned judge.

Motion for Appointment of Counsel

This motion is a request that the court appoint an attorney.

Complete the motion form in accordance with the instructions attached to the form.

You must provide an original and 1 copy for the assigned judge.

Summons

Complete the original and one copy for service to each defendant. Your own name and address should appear under the heading labeled “Plaintiff’s Attorney.”

You must provide an original and 1 copy for each defendant named in your complaint. If you are suing the federal government or one of its agencies, you need to provide 3 extra copies.

58

§ One Response to A GUIDE FOR THE PRO SE LITIGANT FILING A CIVIL CASE WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY

  • hjmservices says:

    Looking for other fit Fathers/parents that are doing these actions in federal court. As I am a fit parent and in 2006 the state of Conn did not find me when Mother ID me as the father. The State actors/Players had better plans for my child other than Letting me be his parent and protecting the Our Family Unit, then the state actor turned custody of child over to a 3rd party over this fit parent. Frauds.

    Again I am fit parent. I do have Full custody of child and the mother rights are terminated in 2011.
    But I am suffering still toady from the 3rd party action of frauds to this fit parent (troxel). And they are will to jail me over this because I refuse to turn my Autistic child over to them.. Meaning once jail they can take my child..
    The state judges are help to cover up Frauds on to parent and Frauds by all. They have not given any Due process right at all. They just give Denials.
    They have place all burdens on me.. Because I never appealed them in 2008.. Wrong they were Mandates to Protect My rights and Give and Protect the Father and child Family Rights Plus we are protected under the ADA( Americans disability act of 1990 ,, Title 2 and 3 Obligations of the state services ) with No Showing OF HARMS BY me at All And 7 years of Passing All their test on my family. When does it stop? I am going nut here and have question I am ¾ way of Building the removal to federal court but have to make sure it done right as the state judge are going to get me if the federal court send back to state courts .. Henry

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