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USFLMD's Pro Se Handbook
Section II
Definitions

ITEM 2.01 | ACTION

An action is, collectively, the claims a party asserts in a pleading.

ITEM 2.02 | ANSWER

An answer is the response to a complaint. In that document, the defendant states defenses and, for each allegation in the complaint, admits it, denies it, or states he is without knowledge of it.

ITEM 2.03 | CASE

A case is the content of the docket in an action (for example, if remand occurs, the action returns to state court, but the case remains in federal court).

ITEM 2.04 | CLAIM OR CLAIM FOR RELIEF

A claim or “claim for relief” is the basis for relief a party asserts in a count of a pleading and is similar to the state court term “cause of action.”

ITEM 2.05 | COMPLAINT

A complaint is the document that gets the lawsuit started. In that document, the plaintiff states a claim or claims, a demand specifying the relief sought, the facts supporting the claim or claims, and the bases for the court’s jurisdiction (in other words, the court’s authority to decide the action).

ITEM 2.06 | DEFENDANT

A defendant is the party being sued.

ITEM 2.07 | DISCOVERY

Discovery is the process by which parties collect information from each other and “discover” facts about the dispute.

ITEM 2.08 | DOCKET

The docket is a chronological list of each court event and document in the case.

ITEM 2.09 | JUDGE

The judge is the person who presides over the action. In the Middle District of Florida, each case is randomly assigned a United States District Judge and a United States Magistrate Judge.

ITEM 2.10 | JUDGMENT

A judgment is the final action by the court that ends the case in the district court.

ITEM 2.11 | LAWSUIT

A lawsuit, also called an action, is a legal claim or accusation that one person or entity makes against another in a court to get resolution from the court. Usually, a lawsuit begins when someone files a complaint.

ITEM 2.12 | LITIGANT

A litigant, also known as a party, is a person or entity in the lawsuit.

ITEM 2.13 | MEDIATION

A mediation is a settlement conference. A certified, qualified mediator presides over a mediation. The goal of a mediation is to settle the action. The Local Rules require most litigants to participate in mediation.

ITEM 2.14 | MOTION

A motion is a request to the court for some relief. An example is a motion for an extension of a deadline.

ITEM 2.15 | ORDER

An order is an action by the judge directing someone to do something or deciding a matter.

ITEM 2.16 | PLAINTIFF

A plaintiff is the party suing.

ITEM 2.17 | PRO SE LITIGANT

A pro se litigant is a person who proceeds in court without the help of a lawyer.

Congratulations! You're now booked up on Section II of USFLMD's Pro Se Handbook!

Use these in conjunction with the United States Pro Se Handbook!

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



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