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Are there rules I have to follow, and where can I find them?
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, often abbreviated Fed. R. Civ. P., are rules that control every civil case filed in every federal courts across the country. They can be found at the law library or on many websites including: www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp and www.uscourts.gov
The Local Rules, often abbreviated L.R., are rules that apply to every case filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Copies of the Local Rules can be obtained at the Clerk of Court’s office or by clicking here. The Local Rules are divided into three sections: (1) General Rules that apply to all cases; (2) Civil Rules that apply only in civil cases; and (3) Criminal Rules that apply only in criminal cases.
Like everyone else, pro se litigants MUST comply with these rules. Failure to comply with these rules may have serious consequences. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible that you might lose your case if you do not comply with all of the rules.
What do all of these legal terms mean?
Courts and lawyers often use terms that have special meanings when used in the legal setting. Simple definitions of some of the most common terms can be found in the guide “Answers to Pro Se Litigants’ Common Questions,” which can be found here. Additional information can be found by consulting a legal dictionary or at various websites such as www.uscourts.gov/common/glossary.aspx
Where can I find legal decisions and legal resources?
Please refer to the Legal Resources page found here.
When will the judge rule on my motion? Can I get a status update?
If a motion is filed, the Clerk of Court’s office will mail you a copy of the judge’s decision once it is finalized and enter the decision on the docket of the case. You can call the Clerk of Court’s office to check on the status of your case. You may also request a copy of the docket for a fee.
The judge dismissed my lawsuit. How do I appeal?
You may appeal a decision to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by filing in the district court a notice of appeal within 30 days after the entry of judgment. See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3, 4. The judge may extend this deadline if you request an extension and show good cause or excusable neglect for not being able to meet the 30-day deadline. See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(A).
Under certain circumstances, you may ask the judge to alter or amend its judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or ask for relief from judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Any motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) must be filed within 28 days of the entry of judgment. The judge cannot extend this deadline. See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b)(2). Any motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) must be filed within a reasonable time, generally no more than one year after the entry of the judgment. The judge cannot extend this deadline. See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b)(2).
What is the megabyte limit?
Currently the megabyte limit is 45 megabytes. You can verify this by clicking on the CM/ECF logo at the top left.
What if I make a mistake e-filing a document?
Do not attempt to re-file your document. Call the Clerk's Office 414-297-3372 and ask for assistance.
How can I get a copy of my name change petition?
If you changed your name during the naturalization process in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Clerk's Office can provide a certified copy of the court order granting name change. Please send a written request to the US District Court Clerk's Office, attn: Naturalization, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave, Rm. 362, Milwaukee, WI 53202. You will need to include the following information with your request:
- Exact date of naturalization ceremony
- Previous Name
- New Name
- Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope
- Please refer to the Fee Schedule for the current certified copy fee.
- Check payable to Clerk, US District Court. Please do not send cash.
If you did not change your name during the naturalization process, please contact your local county clerk's office for name change information.
I lost my Certification of Naturalization. How do I get a copy?
Contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to request a replacemement certificate of naturalization.
I am a naturalized citizen and would like to change my name. What is the procedure?
Name changes are granted to new citizens who complete a name change petition during the naturalization process. If your name was not changed during your naturalization process, please contact your local county clerk's office.