From JP: Case Law on pro se litigants

this is for when you’re pro se and screw up a bit.

The courts should help you out, at least a bit.

Due process issue unique to pro se litigants is what role the Rules of Civil Procedure should play. The Rules attempt to define a fair method of procedure, but an unrepresented litigant kindly asks for exceptions because when applied the method of procedure needs to be learned. In effect, courts liberally interpret the Rules to the benefit of pro se litigants. As described above, this is supported by Rule 1, which states that courts should consider the goals of fairness, speed, and cost, and Rule 94, which allows the rules to be relaxed or dispensed with when necessary. Since the plaintiff is attempting proper procedure in good faith, I ask the court to grant this leave to file a proper objection found in prior judgment. However, the Rules also place a premium on uniform treatment. The Alaska Supreme Court has noted that the Rules were promulgated for the “specific purpose of giving fair and reasonable notice to all parties of the appropriate procedural standards that should be uniformly applied when any party, including a pro se litigant, seeks relief in [civil litigation].” Reconciling the preference for efficiency and fairness with the preference for uniformity creates problems when applying the Rules to pro se litigants. Another source of difficulty stems from the diverse population of pro se litigants. For the represented litigant, the judge can rely upon a set of expectations of what the attorney will know. With a pro se litigant, on the other hand, the judge is likely unaware of how much legal knowledge any particular pro se litigant has. Thus, it is unclear what degree of leniency is necessary to permit a fair result for a particular unrepresented party. For this reason the court must allow pro se litigant to correct his prior pleadings.

Non lawyers do not have the same know how as lawyers and are left Technically Challenged:

Even though the pro se litigant took on the court procedure by himself, the plaintiff is not to be held to the same standard as a lawyer. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1959); Picking v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 151 Fed 2nd 240; Pucket v. Cox, 456 2nd 233 Pro se pleadings are to be considered without regard to technicality; pro se litigants’ pleadings are not to be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers. The plaintiff just would like a fair shake at reaching justice since abused by the court.  Maty v. Grasselli Chemical Co., 303 U.S. 197 (1938)

“Pleadings are intended to serve as a means of arriving at fair and just settlements of controversies between litigants. They should not raise barriers which prevent the achievement of that end. Proper pleading is important, but its importance consists in its effectiveness as a means to accomplish the end of a just judgment.” Since the prior error was not intentional, and no party would be prejudiced, this court should grant the relief requested.  Just because Plaintiff is pro se, no punishment come to the plaintiff for that reason alone. Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 2d 946 (1973)

“There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional Rights.”

From Joanne;

I hope this helps some pro se litigants.

I have some more articles on pro se leniency on this blog.

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