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USFLMD's Pro Se Handbook
Section III
Things to Know before Representing Yourself


Representing yourself carries a lot of responsibilities and some risks. You should carefully consider them. Here are some:

• If you miss a deadline, submit a document that is false, make a false statement, disregard a court order, refuse to follow a court rule, or ask for something to which you know you are not entitled, you may lose on that ground alone and the court may impose a fine against you or hold you in contempt.

• Lying in a court document is perjury and is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prohibits anyone from bringing a claim that is clearly frivolous or meant only to harass someone. If the court determines that you have brought a claim for an improper or unnecessary purpose, the court may impose a sanction against you, including ordering you to pay the other side’s attorney’s fee.

• If you are not a licensed lawyer, you may represent only yourself. Representing anyone but yourself is illegal.

• If you lose your action, you likely will have to pay some costs that the winning party incurred during the lawsuit. Costs can be expensive.

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

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

Please get the justice you deserve.


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