You are here

If you decide to represent yourself, what are some basic things to remember?

It is important that you fully understand your obligation to prosecute your case once it is filed or after you have been served.

  • You are required to diligently prosecute your lawsuit. Unless and until you hire an attorney to represent you, it is your responsibility to do everything necessary to prepare your case for trial. This includes, but is not limited to, responding to discovery requests and motions. It is also your responsibility to try your case in court.
  • You are required to provide copies of everything that you file with the court to the attorney representing the opposing party or, if the opposing party has no attorney, to the opposing party directly. Likewise, counsel for the opposing party is required to serve you with copies of everything filed on behalf of the opposing party.
  • Sometimes, pro se parties will attach a certificate of service indicating that the Clerk of Court has been served with copies of pleadings or motions. Absent an agreement to the contrary, this is not appropriate, and the certificate will be disregarded because it does not satisfy service requirements. It is your responsibility to serve the opposing parties, or their attorney, not responsibility of the Clerk's Office.
  • You must keep the court and opposing parties, or their attorney, advised of any change in your address or telephone number. The failure to do so may immediately result in the imposition of sanctions, which may include the dismissal of your case.