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NEW Representing Yourself

Representing Yourself

This information is provided for individuals who are representing themselves in civil actions in the Eastern District of New York. The Brooklyn Courthouse handles cases arising in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. The Central Islip Courthouse handles most cases arising in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

When you are representing yourself without the assistance of an attorney, you are proceeding "pro se," and you are called a "pro se litigant" or a "self-represented litigant." "Pro se" is a Latin term meaning "on one's own behalf," and a "litigant" is someone who is suing someone or is being sued in court. If you are a pro se litigant, you can only represent yourself. You cannot represent anybody else, including corporations or organizations, a class in a class action, or your child (except to appeal the denial of the child's social security benefits).

The Pro Se Office can help you by accepting your papers for filing and providing procedural advice.

We can
We cannot
Answer general questions about how the court works.
Give legal advice.
Provide forms for filing some types of complaints and motions.
Recommend a course of action.
Provide general information about court policies and procedures.
Interpret court orders or court rules.
Look up docket numbers.
Talk to the judge for you or let you talk to the judge outside of the courtroom.
Determine when a decision will be made or predict a judge’s decision.

All of the information you need is available on this website. You may also contact the Clerk’s Office at the Eastern District of New York at these locations:

Clerk's Office Locations

United States District Court
Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 613-2665

United States District Court
Eastern District of New York
100 Federal Plaza
Central Islip, NY 11722
(631) 712-6060

Litigants may also seek free, confidential, limited-scope legal assistance by contacting the Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinics funded and operated by the New York City Bar Justice Center and Hofstra University

Visiting the Courthouse: All visitors to the courthouses in the Eastern District of New York will be screened for security purposes. All bags will be x-rayed. No weapons of any kind are permitted. Cameras, phones, and recording device are not permitted in the courtrooms and may be checked with the Court’s security officers. Individuals displaying aggressive or disrespectful conduct will be escorted from the courthouse.