I wanted to tell you that there are resources for representing yourself in court. There are lots of resources!
When you represent yourself in court, you are called Pro Se. Pro Se is Latin for “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf”. There are lots of reasons to be Pro Se. If you cant afford a lawyer, Pro Se is an option. If you don’t trust a single lawyer, Pro Se is an option.
Personally, I don’t trust lawyers. It has been my experience that lawyers just want to get paid. They never cared about me or my case. I have never hired a lawyer and thought, “Thank God for my counsel…”
If you want to be in court Pro Se it will take some study on your part. There are many good places to start your studies; none better than your local court. First thing you will want to do is read the local rules. Do not skip this step and appear in court or file any paperwork. You will greatly increase your chance of success if you read the local rules.
The next step I would recommend is to see if the court you are in has any resources available for Pro Se people. Some courts have classes, while others have great resources available to you on the web. Here is a great example from the federal court in Minnesota: Pro Se Civil Guidebook This is great reading if you are in a Federal Court outside of Minnesota as well. You will just want to make sure you read the guide and consider your local rules. They will likely be the same, with a few rules being slightly different.
Another FREE guide to being Pro Se. This one considers the whole process of filing through trial. Remember that we rarely go to trial. Things are usually settled out of court…
Another great guide is Pacer. Pacer gives you Internet access to federal cases. On the main Pacer page is a link to instructional videos on how to use Pacer. I mainly use it for two types of research.
The main research I do with Pacer is to read cases that are similar to mine. What happened? What paperwork was filed? Etc. Pacer is an essential tool to use when being a Pro Se litigant in federal court!
The other research I do with Pacer is to research collection agencies. What cases have been filed against Palisades for example? I can read the whole case. This is great information when you sue Palisades, for example. You can look at an old case and see how long it to to settle. Who was the lawyer they used? Etc. The information on Pacer will have you engrossed for a long time.
Keep in mind that it costs a dime a page to look at Pacer. It can add up if you get OCD online.
Check out the resources I just mentioned and give me some feedback. Your feedback keeps me going.
Fight the Essential Fight,