E.D. Tex.

Federal Judicial Center Guides as to Litigants Without Legal Representation (Pro Se)

Access to Justice: Are Federal courts meeting the litigation needs of court users and a fair hearing? LIT maintains they fail on both counts.


The main question in the following article is based from The Strategic Plan for the Federal Judiciary, originally released by the Judicial Conference of the United States in 2010 and reaffirmed and updated in 2015. One of the key questions it asks is:

How can federal courts remain comprehensible, accessible, and affordable for people who participate in the judicial process while responding to demographic and socioeconomic changes?

The Answer is straightforward:

End lifetime appointments, judicial immunity and remove the current mob of corrupt outlaws in robes.

Pro Se Case Management for “Nonprisoner” Civil Litigation

United States Courts are obligated to be open and accessible to anyone who initiates or is drawn into federal litigation, including litigants, lawyers, jurors, and witnesses. The federal courts must consider carefully whether they are continuing to meet the litigation needs of court users.

Jefri Wood
September 28, 2016
In Print: Available for Distribution

This manual provides a practical guide to steps that courts can take before and during litigation to manage nonprisoner pro se litigation more efficiently, steps that may also help pro se litigants better navigate the complexities of federal civil litigation. Part I discusses the concept of procedural fairness and the goal of increasing access to justice; it also addresses some of the potential ethical concerns about providing assistance to pro se litigants. Part II examines specific case-management techniques that federal courts have applied or that have been recommended as potentially useful in pro se cases. Part III provides a more in-depth look at many of the legal issues that can arise during pro se litigation, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and case law, in order to give judges a better understanding of the scope of their authority and discretion in pro se matters.

FJC Directions, No. 9: Special Issue on Pro Se Litigation

Rya W. Zobel, David E. Rauma, William W Schwarzer, Marie Leary,
Genevra Kay Loveland, Charles P. Sutelan
June 1, 1996
In Print: Available for Distribution

Articles in this issue of FJC Directions describe federal courts’ experiences with pro se actions. Included are an analysis of data from a Center study of nearly 60,000 pro se cases filed in ten district courts, a report on the District of Nevada’s use of early case-evaluation telephonic hearings for prisoner pro se civil rights complaints, and discussions of developments in videoconferencing and other types of telecommunications for pretrial proceedings and trials. In this issue of FJC Directions:

  • New Statutes Add to Challenges Posed by Pro Se Cases in the Federal Courts, by Rya W. Zobel, page 1
  • Analysis of Pro Se Case Filings in Ten U.S. District Courts Yields New Information, by David Rauma and Charles P. Sutelan, page 5
  • Let’s Try a Pro Se & Small-Stakes Civil Calendar in the Federal Courts, by William W Schwarzer, page 14
  • District of Nevada Uses Early Hearings to Cope with State Prisoner Pro Se Civil Rights Caseload, by Marie Cordisco (Leary), page 18
  • Congress & Judicial Conference Endorse Videoconferencing in Prisoner Civil Rights Pretrial Proceedings, by Genevra Kay Loveland, page 22
  • Judges Find Videoconferencing Cuts Down on Risks & Costs of Prisoner Litigation, page 25
  • Pre-PLRA Survey Reflects Courts’ Experiences with Assessing Partial Filing Fees in In Forma Pauperis Cases, by Marie Cordisco (Leary), page 25
  • Pro Se Issues & Answers: An On-Line Forum, page 33
  • Pro Se Debtors & Creditors in Bankruptcy Cases, page 37


Texas Lawyer Mary Lou Serafine Labeled a Vexatious Litigant in 2021

Mary Lou Serafine is a lawyer in Austin, Texas. Serafine commenced litigation under federal civil rights law, Section 1983, against five Texas judges – two at the district court in Austin, and three at the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. She’s now been labeled a vexatious litigant.

It’s Not Only a Manifest Injustice, It’s a Perversion of Justice

Here, this Judicial Council has an opportunity to correct not only a manifest injustice, but perversion of justice. It should do so and reverse the Chief Judges’ erroneous order and proceed with a special committee investigation.

A Hunter or a Howler? Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Unlawfully Implements Threat Management Process Against Elder Victims of Judicial Misconduct

For the Chief Judge to claim the Burkes complaint is merit-based, conclusory and issue a warning violates the Judicial rules as well as in contradiction of Supreme court precedent and in conflict with  ‘The Breyer Report’ standards.

Federal Judicial Center Reports & Studies

“Below is a list of past published studies conducted by the Research Division. Some Center reports ARE NOT PUBLISHED OR MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE due to restrictions in place from the source of the research request.”
Federal Judicial Center Guides as to Litigants Without Legal Representation (Pro Se)
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