Tips & Helpful Information

What the Clerk's Office Can/Cannot Do

What We Can Do   What We Cannot Do
  • Answer questions about how the court works
  • Tell you whether you should file a case
  • Provide you with telephone numbers and addresses for legal aid services, lawyer referral services and law libraries
  • Give you legal advice or an opinion about what will happen if you file your case in this court
  • Give you general information about court rules, practices, and policies
  • Tell you what to write in court documents or what to say in court hearings
  • Provide you with information from your case file and enable you to access that information from a public computer work station
  • Talk to the judge on your behalf or let you talk to the judge outside of court
  • Provide court schedules
  • Compute deadlines in your case
  • Provide forms and instructions
  • Tell you what you should do next in your case
  • Answer most questions about court deadlines
  • Provide you with a copy of an order before it has been filed in the Clerk's Office


Privacy Notice for Pro Se Filers

All documents that you file with the court will be available to the public on the Internet through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) and the court's electronic case filing system (CM/ECF). CERTAIN PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN OR SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ALL DOCUMENTS BEFORE YOU SUBMIT THE DOCUMENTS TO THE COURT FOR FILING.

Rule 5.2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for privacy protection of electronic or paper filings made with the court. Rule 5.2 applies to ALL documents for filing, including pleadings, exhibits to pleadings, discovery responses, and any other document submitted by any party or nonparty for filing. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a party or nonparty filer should not put certain types of an individual's personal identifying information in documents submitted for filing to any United States District Court. If it is necessary to file a document that already contains personal identifying information, the personal identifying information should be blacked out or redacted prior to submitting the document to the Office of the Clerk of Court for filing. A person filing any document containing their own personal identifying information waives the protection of Rule 5.2(a) by filing the information without redaction and not under seal.

Personal information protected by Rule 5.2(a)

  • Social Security and Taxpayer Identification Numbers. If an individual's social security number or a taxpayer identification number must be included in a document, the filer may include only the last four digits of that number.
  • Names of Minor Children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, the filer may include only the initials of that child.
  • Dates of Birth. If an individual's date of birth must be included in a document, the filer may include only the year of birth.
  • Financial Account Numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, the filer may include only the last four digits of these numbers.

Protection of other sensitive personal information - such as driver's license numbers and alien registration numbers - may be sought under Rule 5.2(a) (Filings Made Under Seal) and (e) (Protective Orders).

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