Documents Needed for Filing
- Application to Proceed without Prepaying Fees or Costs (In Forma Pauperis - IFP) - AO 240
- Civil Cover Sheet (3 Stapled Pages)
- Complaint (see sample)
* You will need the original plus, one copy for each defendant, one copy for each of the U.S. Attorneys (if applicable), and a copy for yourself.
- Summonses (2 for each named defendant)(see sample)
* if a U.S. Government agency or officer is sued, you must also provide summonses for the U.S. Attorney General (Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20044) and the U.S. Attorney, N.D. Ohio (801 West Superior Avenue, Suite 400, Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1852).
- U.S. Marshal Forms (1 for each named defendant)(see sample)
* if a U.S. Government agency or officer is sued, you must also provide U.S. Marshal Forms for the U.S. Attorney General and the local U.S. Attorney.
Procedure for Filing
- File all of the above by mailing it to the court or by bringing it personally.
- The court will decide whether to grant your IFP and will notify you of its decision by means of a signed order. (Note: if it is denied, your case will not proceed unless you pay the $400 filing fee.)
- If you are granted IFP status, your complaint will be reviewed by a judge to determine if it must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. If it is dismissed, you will be notified by means of a signed order from the judge stating the reasons for dismissal.
- If the case is not dismissed, the U.S. Marshal will be directed to serve the defendant(s) with the summons(es) and your complaint. The defendant(s) will be directed to respond your complaint and serve you with a copy of the response.