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FAQ

  • Why does the Rule 16 Scheduling Order establish a dispositive motion deadline before the end of the period allowed for discovery?
    Litigants before the Court are entitled to careful consideration of the issues by the Court. In order to give non-movants a reasonable time to respond and movants time to reply, final submission is approximately a month after the dispositive motion is filed. The Court must have sufficient time to fully and properly consider issues raised on a motion for summary judgment. The deadlines established in the Court's scheduling order insure achievement of these purposes. The judges try to resolve summary ...
  • Are there any requirements of form for filing summary judgement motions and briefs, such as page limitations or formatting restrictions for briefs or depositions?
    Summary judgment motions are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and the Court's Uniform Scheduling Order. There are no additional requirements.
  • As counsel of record, can I e-file a new case?
    No. The Alabama Middle District does not allow initial pleadings to be filed electronically. All new complaints and notices of removal must be conventionally filed in our court. Please remember that all conventional filings require ink signatures, and not e-signatures.
  • What if there is a severe weather threat on the day I am to report for jury duty?
    Please call the automated jury line at (888) 299-4959 to check your reporting instructions. If the Court delays or cancels reporting due to severe weather, your reporting instructions will be updated accordingly.
  • Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty?
    Yes. Under federal and state law, employers must allow their employees time off for jury duty. An employee cannot be punished in any way for serving as a juror. Anyone who is a full-time employee serving on federal or state jury duty is entitled to his or her "usual compensation received from such employment." Alabama Code § 12-16-8 (1975). Furthermore, 28 U.S.C. § 1875 (a) and (b) state that no employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any ...
  • Do I report my attendance fee on my taxes?
    Yes. The IRS considers juror attendance fees to be Other Income and must be reported. At the end of the year, a 1099 MISC form will be mailed to all jurors who earn $600 or more in attendance fees in the calendar year. This applies only to the "attendance fees" and not for reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • How can I check the status of a federal (CVB) ticket?
    Contact the Central Violations Bureau by calling (800) 827-2982. Use option 4 to hear an automated recording with the status of your ticket.
  • How can I pay a federal (CVB) ticket?
    You can pay online or you may also make a payment by calling the Central Violations Bureau during normal business hours at (800) 827-2982 or mail a check or money order to: Central Violations Bureau P.O. Box 71363 Philadelphia, PA 19176-1363 Make sure to include the location code and violation number on your payment.
  • How do I know if I received a federal ticket?
    If the ticket you received does not say "U.S. District Court Violation Notice" across the top, then you did not receive a federal ticket. Federal tickets are issued by law enforcement personnel from agencies such as the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Department of Defense Police, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Provost Marshal, Airforce, Marines & Navy Security Forces, U.S. Postal Police, U.S. Customs, U.S. Border Police, and V.A. Police. The Central Violations Bureau is designed to allow on-line ...
  • What is the Central Violations Bureau?
    The Central Violations Bureau (CVB) is a national center responsible for processing violation notices (tickets) issued and payments received for petty offenses charged on a federal violation notice. This includes violations that occur on federal property such as federal buildings, national parks, military installations, post offices, Veteran Affairs medical centers, national wildlife refuges, and national forests. The Central Violations Bureau processes violation notices for violations of federal law that occur outside federal property as well. For example, migratory bird offenses ...
  • Where is the office located?
    Our street address: United States District Court Middle District of Alabama One Church Street Montgomery AL 36104
  • What are the hours of operation?
    The Clerk's Office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
  • Where do I file pleadings?
    Pleadings may be filed electronically by attorneys registered with our Court. Electronic filing is not mandatory in our court; all attorneys must be registered for electronic noticing. Pleadings may also be filed conventionally by mail or at our counter. United States District Court Middle District of Alabama One Church Street Montgomery AL 36104
  • Can I file documents/pleadings after the office is closed?
    Registered users in ECF may e-file 24 hours per day. To secure the filing date, the original document must be e-filed prior to midnight, and all other rules of procedure for the Alabama Middle District must also be followed. Documents which are not subject to electronic filing may be filed at the Clerk's Office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
  • What is the ALMD mailing address?
    The mailing address for the Alabama Middle District: United States District Court Middle District of Alabama One Church Street Montgomery AL 36104
  • Does the office accept faxes?
    Gernerally speaking, no. The Middle District of Alabama does not accept filing by fax. Only in very rare circumstances would the Court do so; prior authorization is required by the Clerk of Court to file pleadings by fax.
  • How do I file pleadings under seal?
    Any document submitted for filing under seal, except a response or reply to a sealed motion, must be accompanied by a motion and proposed order authorizing such filing. The motion to seal will be filed as a public document in civil cases.
  • How can I get a copy of the Local Rules?
    You may download copies of the Local Rules of Practice for the Alabama Middle District for free. They are also available for free at the counter in the Clerk's Office. If you wish them mailed to you, please provide a check for the postage amount in advance, and we will then mail you a copy. Call (334) 954-3600 for more assistance.
  • How do I get copies of a case?
    You may obtain copies of a document from the file either by coming to the Clerk’s Office counter or sending a written request. (If you have access to a PACER account, you may print copies there.) The fee for copies through the Clerk's Office is 50 cents ($0.50) per page. If you need a copy of the docket or an order in a case, it may be available through the public computer terminal in our Clerk’s Office lobby. The charge ...
  • Where do I find information on court statistics?
    Various information is available through the Statistics & Reports section of the United States Courts' website.
  • Does the U.S. District Court provide assistance to the hearing impaired?
    If you are a participant in a court proceeding and you have a communication disorder, please contact the Clerk’s Office for information on: Who is eligible to receive assistance? What assistance is available? Interpreters/Foreign Languages American Sign Language/Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Assisting devices and listening (enhancing) equipment Advance notice is greatly appreciated and will facilitate proper handling of your request.
  • What if I can't afford an attorney?
    Please review this list of legal services organizations. If you are unable to find an attorney to assist in your case, you may file on your own behalf. See Representing Yourself for more assistance.
  • How do I file a complaint on my own behalf (Pro Se)?
    Please refer to the Representing Yourself section for a complete explanation of the procedures. You may also call the Clerk’s office at (334) 954-3600 with further questions.
  • How do I file a Notice of Removal?
    The filing fee is $400.00. The party seeking removal from another court shall file a Notice of Removal (which includes all pleadings filed in the state court). The filing party shall also file a notice to the state court of the removal to federal court.
  • What is the filing fee?
    The filing and administrative fee for a civil action, suit, or proceeding is $400.00. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for a complete list of fees that the Alabama Middle District charges.
  • Is there a charge for an answer/counterclaim?
    No, the United States District Court does not charge a fee for answers/counterclaims. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for a complete list of fees in the Alabama Middle District.
  • How many copies are needed when filing?
    All attorneys are required to electronically file documents through the ECF system unless the document is an exception to electronic filing. Regardless of whether or not an original document is filed electronically, a paper courtesy copy is required for certain electronic filings. To verify electronic filing, a copy of the Notice of Electronic Filing must be appended to the last page of the courtesy copy. The courtesy copy must be either post-marked and mailed directly to the judge or hand-delivered ...
  • How much time do I have to serve a summons?
    Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 4(m) Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served within 90 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 must show good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This ...
  • How do I get a subpoena issued?
    For a complete explanation on how to issue a deposition subpoena in a civil case, please refer to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 45. Trial subpoenas (civil and criminal) may be issued in blank by the Clerk's Office and provided to parties/attorneys for completion and service. Criminal subpoenas for anything other than trial must be issued by the Clerk's Office.
  • What does the case number mean?
    Below are examples of how you may see criminal, miscellaneous and civil case numbers. [division #]:[two-digit year]-xx-[case #]-[presiding Judge's initials] 03-CR-0010-WKW-CSC or 2:03cr0010-WKW-CSC 2 Northern Division CR Criminal Case 03 the year the case was filed 0010 the 10th criminal case filed in that year WKW the case is assigned to Judge W. Keith Watkins CSC the case is assigned to Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody 01-MC-0021-WKW or 3:01mc0021-WKW MC Miscellaneous case 01 the year the case was filed 0021 ...
  • How can the Clerk help me?
    We are happy to help you if we can. However, we are allowed to help you only in certain ways, since we must be fair to everyone. We have a worksheet detailing how our office can and cannot assist you.
  • Where is the Clerk's office located?
    The Clerk’s office is located on the first floor of the new curvilinear building of The Frank M. Johnson Jr Federal Building and Courthouse Complex at One Church Street, Montgomery, Alabama.
  • How can I determine the post-judgment interest rates?
    The post-judgment interest rate is the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield for the calendar week preceding the date of entry of the judgment. Effective December 21, 2000, the rate of interest that may be added to a judgment, subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3612, 28 U.S.C. §1961, and 40 U.S.C. §258(e)(1), shall be equal to the weekly average 1-year constant maturity Treasury yield. To obtain the most recent rate, the Federal Reserve provides a table of ...
  • Is there a referral service for local attorneys?
    If you are unable to find an attorney on your own, you are encouraged to contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral and Information Service. You may also reach this service by telephone at 800-354-6154 or (334) 269-1515.
  • Will the court appoint a lawyer to represent me?
    Unlike criminal cases where there is a right to counsel, a person involved in a civil case has no legal right to have the court appoint a lawyer to assist him or her. You may file a motion with the court for appointment of counsel but such requests are rarely granted.
  • How do I bring criminal charges against someone?
    Only the United States Attorney's Office may file criminal charges in this court. If you believe you have been the victim of a crime or if you have knowledge that a crime has been committed, you should contact your local police or the appropriate federal law enforcement agency. Examples of federal law enforcement agencies are: Federal Bureau of Investigation (bank robbery, kidnapping); Drug Enforcement Agency (drug crimes); Secret Service (credit card fraud); and Postal Inspector (postal fraud).
  • Is there special information about employment discrimination cases?
    Yes. A very common action filed by pro se litigants in federal court is alleged employment discrimination. Prior to filing an employment discrimination complaint, the plaintiff is required to follow specific administrative procedures. NOTE: This is not a complete statement of the law or the administrative procedures to follow in an employment discrimination case. The procedures are complicated, and it is the pro se litigant's responsibility to make sure that all procedures are followed correctly and within the applicable time ...
  • What is a Magistrate Judge and why has my case been referred to a Magistrate Judge?
    In this district, Magistrate Judges hold scheduling conferences, issue pretrial scheduling orders, and hear and determine most pretrial matters. The District Judge may refer motions to dismiss or summary judgment motions to the Magistrate Judge who will issue a Report and Recommendation. The District Judge will issue a decision after reviewing the Report and Recommendation and any objections filed. A Magistrate Judge may determine dispositive motions without the need for a Report and Recommendation if the parties consent to have ...
  • Is it possible for you to speak directly to a judge or judge's staff about your case?
    You are prohibited from all private, or ex parte, communication with the Judge to whom your case is assigned. Ex parte communication occurs when one of the parties to a lawsuit, or when that party's attorney, exchanges information with the assigned Judge without the opposing party, or his or her attorney, being present or without the knowledge and consent of the opposing party or his or her attorney. Because of this prohibition, a judge will refuse, with very few exceptions ...
  • How is the Clerk's Office able to assist you?
    Because the Clerk's Office cannot offer legal advice, we have constructed a worksheet that will remind you what our office can and cannot do to assist you. We have a worksheet detailing how our office can and cannot assist you..
  • If you call, may you speak with the Clerk of Court?
    Yes, but typically, questions can be answered by a deputy clerk. When you call with a question, it is best to be prepared with your case number so that you can be directed to the appropriate deputy clerk most familiar with your case.
  • Why can't the Clerk's Office give legal advice?
    Court employees cannot give legal advice because they must remain neutral to protect the integrity and independence of our federal courts. Court employees can answer general questions about court procedures, and you may contact the Clerk's Office for such assistance.
  • Why do I have to include my name, address and telephone number and sign everything I submit to the court?
    Rule 11(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that every document filed with the court be signed by the person filing the document. Rule 11(a) also requires that every document filed with the court must state the name, address and telephone number of the person who signed the document.
  • If you wish to appeal the court's decision on any order entered in your case, what steps should you take?
    There may be times during the pendency of your case in which the Judge issues an order with which you disagree and which you may think an appellate court should review immediately. You should be aware, however, that most orders issued while a case is still ongoing cannot be appealed immediately. You will have to wait until a final judgment has been entered in your case before the order(s) can be considered by an appellate court. The Federal Rules of ...
  • How can one view a case's docket activity?
    The Clerk's Office maintains an automated record, or docket, for every case. This docket is a chronological summary of all significant events in the history of the case. For example, each time you file a document or appear for a hearing, an entry summarizing the event is added to the case docket. You may view the docket (and specific documents) on the public access terminal located in the Clerk's Office at the public computer desk. The Clerk's Office is prepared ...
  • Can I use the court's electronic filing system?
    The Alabama Middle District does not allow pro se litigants to file using the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system.
  • What is the procedure for submitting documents to the court?
    You should submit for filing with the Clerk of Court an original of motions or pleadings. It is your responsibility to maintain copies of whatever you have filed with the court for your own records. If you should need copies of a document you have filed, the cost is $.50 a page. Any costs must be paid in advance. You may file pleadings with the court in person or by mail. The Clerk's Office is open to the public from ...
  • Should one mail or bring filings to the Clerk's Office?
    It is not necessary to file your documents in person. If you wish to mail your documents via U.S. Mail or have them delivered by messenger, or by express service (UPS, FedEx), please use this address: United States District Court Middle District of Alabama One Church Street Montgomery AL 36104
  • What must a certificate of service show?
    The certificate of service must show the name and address of each attorney and/or party on whom the pleading, motion or other paper was served.
  • Are forms and sample formats available for filing Pro Se?
    The court has many forms and samples that pro se litigants may use.
  • Does the court require a specific format for documents that are filed?
    The first page of any document you file with the court should always contain a case caption. Rule 10(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explains how the caption should look. Basically, you name the plaintiff(s) (you and any other persons bringing the suit or another party who has brought a suit against you) and the defendant(s) (if you are the person being sued, this is you, or if you are initiating the lawsuit, the persons you believe have ...
  • Can a complaint or any other pleading to the Judge be in the form of a letter?
    The Alabama Middle District does not allow letter pleadings. Please be sure to use proper formats for your pleadings.
  • What fees or costs are covered under the application to proceed in forma pauperis?
    The application to proceed in forma pauperis only applies to the filing fee. Generally, all other costs, for example, attorney fees, transcript fees, etc., will still be your responsibility.
  • If you cannot afford the costs for filing a new case, how do you proceed?
    If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, you may be allowed to pay the filing fee on a payment plan if you file (1) a motion to proceed IFP, (2) fill out an application to proceed in forma pauperis, and (3) file them with the court (typically filed with the complaint). The Financial Affidavit is required so that the assigned Judge can make a determination of your inability to pay the entire filing fee at one time. Bear ...
  • Does the court accept personal checks?
    The court does not accept personal checks. The Clerk's Office accepts money orders, cashiers' checks, and cash. Please note that the Clerk's Office does NOT make or keep change for case payments. Please do not send cash through the mail.
  • Are there costs involved in filing a new case or for other services?
    Yes, there are costs involved. There is a filing fee for new cases, a fee to get copies, and fees for witnessess and mileage, for instance. To see the current fees and other court costs, see the court's fee schedule. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prohibits filing lawsuits that are clearly frivolous or filed merely to harass an individual. If after reviewing your complaint, the court determines that you have filed a lawsuit for an improper ...
  • What happens once the defendant(s) has been served?
    Once the defendant has been served with a copy of the complaint, the defendant must file with the court an answer or some response within a specified number of days. Under the rules governing service of process, each defendant is required to provide a copy of the response to the plaintiff.
  • When must a new case be served on the defendant(s) and who can serve my complaint?
    Plaintiffs may not serve the complaint and related documents until the court has issued an order directing the pro se plaintiff to do so. You must consult Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 4 to determine how to serve each defendant. Rule 4 outlines different rules for serving certain types of defendants, such as business entities, government officials, and minors. Generally, anyone over the age of 18 years, who is not a party to the lawsuit, can serve the complaint ...
  • What do I do after filing the complaint?
    After filing the complaint, you should wait to receive instructions from the court about your next steps. You should not serve your complaint on the defendants unless the court tells you to do so. The requirements for serving the complaint are explained in detail in the Simple Guide to Filing a Civil Action.
  • How do you establish (file) your case in our court?
    The plaintiff, or person bringing the lawsuit to court, files a complaint. The complaint outlines a problem or reason for the lawsuit, also known as a cause of action. Your complaint should be prepared in English and should be either typewritten or legibly handwritten in black ink using white 8½" x 11" (letter size) paper. The contents must include the following: A short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends. A short and plain statement ...
  • Is there a simple, step-by-step guide that can help you get started in filing a case?
    Yes, we have the Simple Guide to Filing a Civil Action. This may answer many of your initial questions. You may download it, or you can come to the Clerk’s Office for a copy.
  • How long will it take to go to trial?
    The length of time it takes for each case to prepare for trial varies and will depend on a number of factors.
  • Is this the appropriate court to hear your dispute?
    Federal courts can only hear certain types of cases. Like all other federal trial courts, this court is only authorized to hear disputes that fall into the following categories: Those that deal with a question involving the United States Constitution; Those that involve questions of federal law, as opposed to state law; Those that involve the United States of America as a party, whether plaintiff or defendant; or, Those that involve a dispute among citizens of different states with an ...
  • How am I selected for jury duty?
    Your name is selected randomly from voter registration lists in your county. The Court then mails you a qualification questionnaire form which you complete and return.
  • After receipt of the Summons from your office, when should I return the enclosed Juror Questionnaire?
    Return the completed Questionnaire within five (5) days to the Court.
  • How do I notify the Court if jury service will result in undue hardship or extreme inconvenience?
    If you have already returned your questionnaire, submit your request in writing to the Jury Clerk. Please refer to your information letter for more information.
  • How will I be notified of the status of my hardship excuse request?
    Prior to your appearance date you may call our automated phone system at (888) 299-4959 to find out the status of your excuse request.
  • How will I be notified of my appearance date?
    It is your responsibility to call our automated telephone system at (888) 299-4959 on the weekend indicated on your summons and follow the instructions you receive. If you are told to report for jury duty, you must then check the night before you are to report for further instructions.
  • How long will I have to call in?
    The date to begin checking your reporting status can be found on your Summons and the information letter that was mailed to you. Once you have made an appearance and/or served as a juror, you are no longer on call.
  • What kind of personal information would I need to provide over the telephone?
    The U. S. District Court will never ask for personal information over the telephone. Most contact between the court and a prospective juror takes place through the U. S. Mail. Any telephone contact initiated by the court will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other personal or sensitive information.
  • I live a long distance away. Do I need to report?
    Yes. Jurors who live over 80 miles from the Courthouse may travel the night before and will be eligible to receive a per diem allowance to assist in covering any lodging and meal expenses. It is recommended that jurors who reside 80 or more miles from the courthouse come prepared with clothing and personal items to last through the end of the week in the event they are selected as a trial juror and elect not to commute.
  • What should I bring with me when I report for jury duty?
    Please bring your Jury Summons with you when you report. You may also want to bring books, magazines or study materials with you. Since the courtrooms tend to be cool, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you. Please be advised that cell phones, laptops, and other electronics are not allowed in the Courthouse.
  • How much time will it take until I know if I am selected?
    The selection time varies so you should plan on staying until 5:00 p.m.
  • If I am selected, what are the hours I would be expected to spend at the Courthouse?
    Trials are usually held between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • If I have to stay overnight in a hotel, how does that work?
    If you live more than 80 miles one way from the courthouse, then you are entitled to stay overnight in a hotel. The hotel would be one of your choosing, but you should let them know you are a federal court juror and ask if they have a government rate. A hotel receipt must be submitted to the jury office in order to be reimbursed. You also need to take into consideration the subsistence rate which is intended to cover ...
  • After a trial is over, am I finished or am I still on call?
    Once you have served as a juror for a trial, your jury service is finished for the reporting period.
  • May I be late?
    It is important that you report promptly for jury duty. If an emergency arises, please notify the jury office of the circumstances and when you expect to arrive. Montgomery: (334) 954-3600 Dothan/Opelika: Please call the Montgomery courthouse. Your message will be sent on for you.
  • What if my employer wants proof that I was serving on jury duty?
    There will be a Certificate of Attendance available at the end of your jury service.
  • What happens if I don't report for jury duty?
    An Order to Show Cause may be served on any juror who fails to report for jury duty. The juror may be required to appear before a judge to show adequate cause for their absence from jury duty and may be held in contempt of court under the Jury Selection Act (18 U.S.C. § 1866(g)). Penalties range from a fine of $1,000, three days in jail, community service, or any combination thereof.
  • Will I serve on civil or criminal trials?
    While the U.S. District Court conducts trials in both civil and criminal cases, there is no way to know what type of case a juror might be assigned to until the day they report for service.
  • Will the Court pay for my parking?
    Yes. Please refer to your Jury Instruction letter for more information regarding juror parking.
  • What should I wear for jury duty?
    Jurors must wear appropriate attire. Shorts, halter or tank tops, and thong sandals are not appropriate. Business casual is encouraged. As many people struggle with allergies and other breathing conditions, please be considerate when using perfumes and colognes. Since the courtrooms tend to be cool, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket. As you will be passing through a metal detector, you may wish to leave excess metal and jewelry at home, to speed up your ...
  • May I leave the Jury Assembly Room or Courtroom?
    If you need to leave the Jury Room, please notify someone in the Jury Office. Once you are in the courtroom, you may only leave when the Judge allows for a break.
  • May I smoke?
    Smoking is prohibited within the confines of the courthouse. Smoking is only permitted outside of the building.
  • May I bring a friend or members of my family?
    It is best to leave family, friends and children at home while you serve on jury duty.
  • Can I bring a cell phone, laptop, or other electronics into the Courthouse?
    Cell phones, laptops, and other electronics (for example, kindles and e-readers) are not allowed in the Courthouse.
  • If I served on jury duty for state/county court, do I have to serve for federal court?
    In order to be excused from jury duty in Federal Court, you must have served on an actual jury that rendered a verdict within the last two years.
  • Is there a time limit for filing my complaint (statute of limitations)?
    There is a time limit, called a statute of limitations, which is a deadline to bring a claim in a civil lawsuit. Each alleged violation of a law has its own statute of limitations. In other words, if you allege more than one violation of law, each claim has its own statute of limitations, which may be different from each other. The Clerk's Office cannot tell you the deadline for filing claims in your lawsuit because this information is legal ...
  • What are motions?
    Either party, the plaintiff or the defendant, may request that the court take specific action related to the case. To do so, the party prepares a formal request or what is referred to as a motion. The party then signs the motion, submits it, with a certificate of service, and files it with the Clerk of Court and sends a copy to the opposing party, or the opposing party's attorney. The opposing party, or his or her attorney, may then ...
  • Can I get back any documents I file with the Clerk's Office?
    No. All documents that are filed with the Clerk's Office become part of the court record and usually are not returned. If you attach any exhibits to your filings or other court documents, you should file a copy of the exhibit and keep the original for your records. You should also keep a copy of anything you file with the court for your records.
  • How long do I have to answer once I have been served with a lawsuit?
    You should read the summons that was served on you when you received the complaint. The summons will let you know how many days you have to answer. Remember, the Clerk's Office cannot interpret the language in the complaint for you or give legal advice; however, Clerk's Office staff can tell you how many days you have to respond to a complaint and possibly help with the computation of an answer date. You must also send a copy of your ...
  • 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 ...
  • Can you work things out with the persons you think are responsible for your injury?
    Consider talking to the people you think might be responsible for causing the problem. People may respond in a positive way if they are approached respectfully and given a real opportunity to talk. They are certain to be less likely to respond positively after being served with a formal complaint.
  • Are you sure you've been wronged?
    Things are not always what they seem at first. Acts that appear to have been done on purpose may have been done unintentionally. Better information may help you decide whether a lawsuit is advisable.
  • Will I be paid for my jury service?
    You will be paid $40/day for each day of jury attendance or travel, and the current per diem for mileage (calculated based on your zip code) for your round-trip travel. If you are a federal government employee, you are not entitled to the attendance fee but you will be paid for your mileage. Juror payment checks are mailed approximately two (2) weeks following your service.
  • Are jurors given breaks?
    Breaks are given. There are several restaurants within walking distance of the Courthouse. Jurors are also welcome to bring their own lunch. See Where to Dine for some suggestions within walking distance of our facility.
  • How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?
    Your cell phone will not be allowed in the courthouse. However, you will be able to check your messages during breaks or lunch. Your family may contact the Clerk's Office at (334) 954-3600 or the Jury Administrator at (334) 954-3950 in case of an extreme emergency, and a jury clerk will deliver the message to you. (Please have the caller specify that you are on jury duty.)
  • Why do we spend so much time sitting around before the actual selection process occurs?
    While many jurors may see this time as wasted, it is time being used by the Judge and attorneys on unexpected events that must be dealt with outside the presence of the jury.
  • What is the difference between a petit jury and a grand jury?
    A petit jury is a trial for civil and criminal cases. The petit jury listens to evidence presented by both parties during a trial and returns a verdict. A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the ...
  • What kind of cases are heard in federal court?
    Federal court jurisdiction is limited to certain kinds of cases listed in the Constitution. For the most part, federal courts only hear cases in which the United States is a party, cases involving violations of the Constitution or federal law, crimes on federal land, and bankruptcy cases. Federal courts also hear cases based on state laws that involve parties from different states. While federal courts hear fewer cases than the state courts, the cases they do hear tend to be ...
  • Does the Court accept pleadings via facsimile or email?
    The Court does not accept pleadings via facsimile or email. You may file electronically through the ECF program, or conventionally. Only in very rare circumstances does the Court accept pleadings via facsimile or email, and before that is approved, either the Clerk of Court or the Chief Deputy Clerk must have authorized such a pleading. (See M.D. Ala. LR 5.3(d))
  • How can I file conventionally when the Clerk’s Office is closed?
    After 5:00pm and before 8:00am, pleadings may be filed conventionally at the Court’s drop box. The box is located on Church Street. Be sure to use the time stamp before placing your documents in the drop box. Pleadings may also be mailed to the Clerk’s Office, but they will not be time stamped until the documents are received by the Clerk’s Office.
  • Can I electronically file a new complaint or other initial pleading?
    No. The Alabama Middle District does not allow electronic case opening at this time. Please bring (or mail) your initial pleadings to the Clerk’s Office.
  • Where should pleadings be filed?
    Pleadings are electronically or conventionally filed. Pleadings can be conventionally filed over the counter in the Clerk’s Office at One Church Street. Pleadings cannot be filed in our Dothan or Opelika locations.
  • What are the costs for filing?
    Please refer to the fee schedule for a listing of our Court's fees.
  • Is pro hac vice admission required if my case will become an MDL action?
    Yes. Pursuant to Local Rule 83(1)(b)(4), attorneys who appear as counsel by filing any pleading, document or other papers in any case pending in this Court shall, contemporaneously with the filings of such papers, apply for admission pro hac vice.
  • How do I file pro hac vice?
    ECF unregistered attorneys applying to appear pro hac vice must file a motion/application for pro hac vice. This motion should include an original Certificate of Good Standing (less than six (6) months old) from another United States District Court where the attorney is admitted to practice, and the registration fee. The documents, along with payment of the requisite fee, must be delivered to the Clerk's Office in Montgomery. ECF-registered attorneys who wish to enter a new pro hac vice appearance ...
  • How does one substitute, withdraw, or remove an attorney from a case?
    Pursuant to our Court’s practice, any attorney wishing to be substituted, withdrawn, or removed from a case in our court should file an appropriate motion. In the event the attorney in question is unable to file this motion on their own behalf, please contact the Clerk’s office for more specific instruction.
  • How do I notify the court of a change in name, address, firm, and/or email address?
    Pursuant to the ALMD Civil Administrative Procedures, attorneys must file a written notice of any name, address, or e-mail address changes in each active case in which they have appeared. Additionally, any ECF filer must also update their user account in the ECF system. This update must be effected prior to the electronic filing of the Notice(s) of Change of Address. If the attorney does not have any active cases pending in this court, but has previously registered with the ...
  • How do I obtain a certificate of good standing?
    A request for a Certificate of Good Standing must be made in writing and be accompanied by an $19 fee made payable to the Clerk, United States District Court. The Clerk will verify the attorney's status as a member in good standing with the Bar of this Court and, if appropriate, will prepare a Certificate of Good Standing. The Certificate will be mailed to the requester, or can be obtained directly from the Clerk's Office. Please note, a Certificate of ...
  • How does an attorney get admitted to practice in the District?
    Any attorney who is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Alabama may be admitted to the Bar of this Court upon the submission of an application, payment of the prescribed admission fee, and (A) the order of a district judge of this Court (on oral or written motion by a member of the Bar of this Court or on the Court's own motion), and the administering of the prescribed oath before any judge (or other designee) of this ...
  • Where is the nearest staffed Immigration Office?
    The USCI's field office in Montgomery (AL) is the nearest immigration office that services the Middle District of Alabama. You can email the Montgomery Office, or call them. The phone numbers for the Montgomery (AL) office are: Regular Toll-free (800) 375-5283 TDD for hearing impaired (800) 767-1833 Toll-free for Military (877) 247-4645 (These are automated systems -- if you need to speak with a person you will be given an option to do so.)
  • How does the court accept Motions for PHV admission?
    In hard copy form (with an ORIGINAL INK signature), attached with the fee and a Certificate of Good Standing (less than six months old) from another federal court where the attorney is admitted to practice, OR The attorney may E-file the Motion for PHV (with the certificate of good standing attached) and send the fee via Overnight mail with a copy of the E-Filed Motion for PHV.
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