Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a Report and Recommendation?
A District Judge may refer the case to the Magistrate Judge to handle during different parts of the litigation. For instance, a District Judge may refer the case to the Magistrate Judge to handle all pretrial issues relating to discovery. In addition, the parties may consent to have the entire case handled by the magistrate judge. In such cases, the district judge will take no part in the case.
Why can't the Pro Se Office give legal advice?
Legal advice should be given only by lawyers to their clients. The staff of the Pro Se Office consists of court employees and are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.
Why can't the lawyers in the Pro Se Office represent me?
The Staff Attorneys in the Pro Se Office are court employees and as such are prohibited by law from representing litigants, giving legal advice to litigants or doing legal research on behalf of litigants. The Staff Attorneys, like all employees of the Court, must remain neutral in order to preserve the integrity and independence of the Court.
My corporation has been sued, can I file papers in Court on behalf of the corporation?
No. Only individuals can appear pro se In other words, a person who is not an attorney may appear pro se but may not represent a corporation, even if the person is the sole owner of the corporation. The corporation must be represented by a lawyer.
What does it mean to appear pro se?
"Pro se"- Latin for self or "in one’s own behalf." Although the majority of individuals, also known as "litigants" or "parties", appearing before this court, are represented by attorneys, a small percentage appears pro se. Litigants or parties representing themselves in court without the assistance of an attorney are known as pro se litigants.
Do I include claims for transcripts on my CJA 20 voucher?
No. All claims for transcripts must be submitted on a CJA 24 voucher.
My case is now on appeal. Do I continue to submit my vouchers to the District Court for processing?
No. Vouchers for all appellate work should be mailed to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007.
My client was involved in two separate cases. Can I submit one voucher including both case numbers?
No. Separate vouchers/worksheets are required for each case.
I was retained through sentencing, my client has run out of money and I need to be appointed CJA. What do I do?
Pursuant to Rule 24 of the F.R.A.P., you should make a motion to proceed IFP in the district court, then move to be appointed CJA at the circuit level once the IFP is granted. If the district denies the application for IFP, you may make the motion at the USCA.
I discovered that my client has some assets and I want to be retained. What do I do?
Pursuant to the Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures, Vol. VII, Section 2.22 E., no appointed attorney shall accept a payment from or on behalf of the person represented without authorization by the court on a CJA 7 Form. If your client wants to retain you, you must file a motion with the court to be allowed to do this. Your client may also be expected to repay the CJA fund for costs associated with your representation prior to being retained.