The pro se information on this website is specifically for individuals who are representing themselves in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan without the assistance of an attorney. It is intended as an informative and practical resource for understanding the basic procedures of this court. The information is not substitute for legal advice from an experienced attorney. The statements do not constitute legal advice and may not be cited as legal authority. This webpage does not take the place of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the local court rules, or the individual practices of the judges of this court. All parties using this webpage are responsible for complying with all applicable rule of procedure. If there is any conflict between the information on this webpage and the applicable rules, the rules govern.
When you do not have an attorney, you are proceeding "pro se". If you represent yourself in this court, you are called a "pro se litigant" or a "self-represented litigant". "Pro se" is a Latin term meaning "on one's own behalf". The right to proceed pro se in a civil case in federal court is provided by federal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Thus, anyone can proceed pro se. There are, however, certain limitations to self-representation, such as:
- Corporations and partnerships must be represented by an attorney
- A pro se litigant may not represent a class in a class action
- A non-attorney parent may not appear pro se on behalf of a child, except to appeal the denial of the child's social security benefits
This webpage contains links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience. By linking to the websites of other organizations, the court is neither endorsing those organizations nor making any representation about the quality of service provided by those organizations. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan cannot guarantee the accuracy, relevance, reliability or completeness of the information you may find on other websites.