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Pro Se Guidelines
Court Staff and Judges cannot give you any legal advice. Court Staff will not be able to tell you how to fill out paperwork or how to answer questions on the paperwork. The Court always recommends that if you have a legal question or have a complicated legal case you should seek out an Attorney.
All parties appearing in Court must follow the rules. If you are entering pro-se you must follow the same rules and procedures as a licensed Attorney. You may find the basic laws, rules, and statutes online at the Supreme Court Law Library.
A complete mailing address, phone number and email should be provided when submitting paperwork. Failure to do so could result in your case being closed or not receiving proper court records.
To file a case or re-open an existing case you must pay a docket fee to the Clerk’s Office. You must pay with cash, cashier’s check or money order payable to the Tenth Judicial District Court Clerk. Personal Checks are not accepted. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may request free process or a reduced fee. Free Process forms can be obtained at the Clerk’s office.
Requests to the Court
Put all requests to the Court in the form of a written Petition or Motion. The court has limited forms available. If forms are unavailable then it is your responsibility to either do the form yourself or hire an attorney. Court staff cannot assist you in preparing a form.
You are responsible for “serving” the opposing party. A Petition and Summons must be served by the Sheriff or by a person over eighteen who is not party to the suit. All Motions in ongoing cases and correspondence must be mailed to the other party or the attorney. You must comply with service requirements.
It will be your responsibility to bring your case before the Judge by submitting a Request for Hearing. Cases not acted upon are subject to be dismissed.
In the Courthouse
The Tenth Judicial District Court has courthouses in Quay, De Baca and Harding Counties. Be sure to check your paperwork for the time and location of your hearings. Allow yourself adequate travel time to appear fifteen minutes before your hearing time.
Matters before the Court are often scheduled on a “trailing docket,” which means a number of cases are set for hearings at the same time. The Court will deal with each case one at a time. You may have to be in Court for several hours before your case is called.
It is important to appear at all scheduled hearings. If you are requesting relief and you do not appear, your case may be dismissed. If the other party is asking for relief and you do not appear, they will normally get the relief they are asking for.
At hearings you will be speaking to the Judge, do not interrupt the opposing party or witnesses. You will be given a chance to be heard and must wait your turn to speak.
Bring enough copies of any exhibits or documents you intend to offer into evidence at your hearing.
Children are not allowed in the courtroom unless they are called as witnesses. You should make child care arrangements for the time you will be in Court.
Purses or bags of any kind are not allowed in the Courtroom. Cell phones are not allowed in the courtroom at anytime. Please make arrangements to not bring them with you. The Court Staff cannot store any of these items for you.
Family members attending your hearings cannot participate in the hearing unless they are called as a witness.
Telephonic appearances are allowed only if requested in writing for good cause and approved by the Court in advance of the hearing.
Speaking to the Court
The Judge cannot speak to you in private or about your case. All parties must be present when the Judge is spoken to about the case.
Appropriate dress is required when appearing before the Court.
If you need an interpreter to help understand the hearing, you should inform the District Court Clerk at least five days before the hearing with the appropriate Request for an Interpreter Form. If you have any other special needs, please inform the District Court Clerk as soon as possible.
Service animals are allowed in the Courtroom.
Hearing Devices will be provided upon request.