4.3 Filings by Pro Se or In Forma Pauperis Plaintiffs, Pro Se or In Forma Pauperis Removal Defendants and Incarcerated Plaintiffs

(a) Scope

This rule applies to all actions commenced by pro se parties, parties proceeding in forma pauperis or incarcerated parties.

(b) Compliance with Other Rules

All such parties shall comply with these local rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) Filings

Filings by pro se parties shall be on forms provided by the clerk's office or in a format substantially conforming to such forms and LR 5.1.

(d) Responsibilities of Clerk's Office and Preliminary Review by Magistrate Judge

(1) Incarcerated Plaintiffs Suing a Government Agency or Employee

The clerk’s office shall forward to the magistrate judge for preliminary review the initial filings, and any subsequent amendments to those filings, by all incarcerated plaintiffs who have sued a government agency or employee.  After the initial review, the magistrate judge may:  

(A) report and recommend to the court that the filing be dismissed because the allegation of poverty is untrue where the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, or the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief;

(B) grant the party leave to file an amended filing in accordance with the magistrate judge’s directives; or

(C) appoint a person to effect service pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3).

(2) Incarcerated In Forma Pauperis Plaintiffs Not Suing Any Government Agency or Employee, and Filings by Nonincarcerated In Forma Pauperis Parties

The clerk's office shall forward to the magistrate judge for preliminary review the initial filings, and any subsequent amendments to those filings, by all nonincarcerated parties proceeding in forma pauperis including in forma pauperis removal defendants, and by any incarcerated plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis who has not sued a government agency or employee. After preliminary review, the magistrate judge may:

(A) report and recommend to the court that the filing be dismissed because the allegation of poverty is untrue, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, or the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief;           

(B) grant the party leave to file an amended filing in accordance with the magistrate judge’s directives; or

(C) appoint a person to effect service pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3).

(3) Filings by Nonincarcerated Pro Se Parties Who Have Paid the Filing Fee and Incarcerated Pro Se Parties Who Have Paid the Filing Fee and Are Not Suing a Government Agency or Employee

The clerk’s office shall forward initial filings, including actions removed by a pro se defendant, to the magistrate judge for preliminary review to determine whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction. If the magistrate judge determines that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the magistrate judge shall either recommend that the filings be dismissed, recommend that a removed action be remanded, or grant the party leave to file amended filings in accordance with the magistrate judge’s directives.

(4) Petitions for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or 2254

(A)  The clerk’s office shall forward a petition filed pursuant to either 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to the magistrate judge, who must promptly examine it.  After such examination, the magistrate judge may:

(i) report and recommend to the court that the petition be dismissed if, on its face, it fails to demonstrate exhaustion of state court remedies, fails to demonstrate that the petitioner is in custody, or otherwise fails to demonstrate entitlement to relief;

(ii) grant the petitioner leave to file an amended petition in accordance with the magistrate judge’s directives; or

(iii) order the respondent to file an answer, motion, or other response within a fixed time.

(B)  In every case, the clerk must serve a copy of the petition and any order on the respondent and on the attorney general or other appropriate officer of the state involved.              

(e) Pleadings Filed by Represented Parties

Any litigant who is represented by an attorney may not file a pleading in a case unless:

(1) The court grants a motion for leave to file a pro se pleading;  

(2) The litigant is filing a motion related to the status of counsel; or

(3) An attorney has been granted leave to provide limited representation to an otherwise unrepresented party and the filing is outside the scope of the limited representation.

Any pro se pleading that does not comply with this rule shall not be added to the court's docket or presented to a judicial officer for ruling and shall be returned to the filer.

History

(§ (d) amended 1/1/98; §§ (d)(1)(A), (d)(2), and (d)(2)(A)(i) amended 1/1/00; § (d)(1)(A) amended 1/1/03; §§ (d)(1)(B)(iii), (d)(2)(C) amended 1/1/08; §§ (d)(1)(A) and (B) amended, § (e) added 12/1/09; § (d) amended, § (e)(3) added 12/1/13)