UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRO SE LITIGANTS FILING AN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq., (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) OR 42 U.S.C. § 12112, et seq., (Americans with Disabilities Act) Explanation and Instructions - Read Carefully
1. This pack et includes a com plaint form which should be com pleted as instructe d below. A lso includ ed is a n in form a pa upe ris application which you m ust c om plete if you can not pay the filing fee. 2. Your complaint must be legibly handwritten, typewritten, or com puter generated . An sw er all questions on the complaint form. You must furnish your full and correct name as Plaintiff. W hen listing Defendants, provide nam e and add ress for eac h Defen dant. If you need additional space to answ er a question, you may use additional blank pages, but do not write on the reverse side of any page. You must sign the complaint on the last page of the complaint form. ANY FALSE STATEMENT MADE ON THIS FORM MAY RESULT IN SANCTIONS AND MAY ALSO SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR PROSECUTION FOR PERJ URY. You mus t file the complaint with your original signature, and you must keep a copy of the complaint for your records . Do n ot send s ervice co pies of the com plaint until directe d to do so by the C ourt. 3. State the facts which sup port your claims in Section III of the complaint form. Each statement of fact should be listed in separately numbered paragraphs, the contents of which sh all be lim ited as far as practica ble to a statement of a sin gle set of circumstances. W hen presenting the facts, do not mak e legal argu m ents or provide ca se citations. If you desire to mak e a legal argument, you should do so by filing a sep arate mem orandum of law. Such arg um ent is unnecessary at the initiation of a case, howe ver. Yo u will be a dvise d wh en the su bm ission of evidence o r argum ent in s upp ort of your claim is app ropriate. 4. In submitting an employment discrimination complaint, you must have been given notice of your right to sue by the Equ al Em ploym ent O ppo rtunity Com mission. This notice, called a "right-to-sue lette r," w ill state that you have 90 days in which to file suit in the fe dera l courts. That notice must be attached as an exh ibit to the com plaint. Failure to attach the notice cou ld result in dism issal of your c om plaint. 5. If you are financially able to do so, you must submit the court's filing fee of $350.00 at the same tim e you su bm it your com plaint in ord er fo r the complaint to be filed. If you can pay the fee, you are also responsible for the costs of service of the complaint upon the Defendants, although you may seek assistance from the Court. If you are unable to pay the filing fee and service costs for this action, you may petition the Court to proceed in forma pauperis using the form s included in this pack et. T he form s (consistin g of an in form a pa upe ris m otion a nd financ ial affidavit) m ust be su bm itted sim ultane ous ly with your com plaint. 6. Those who are allowed to proceed in forma pauperis are entitled to service of the complaint upon De fendan ts by the United States Mars hal. If you are granted leave to pro ceed in fo rm a pauperis, you should not attempt to effect service of the complaint by yourself, nor should you mail to any Defendant a request for waiver of formal service pursuant to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court will order the Marshal to serve the complaint on the Defendants at the appropriate time. 7. After receiving notice from the C lerk of your case number, you must include the case number on all documents you file with the Court. Keep a copy of every docum ent you send to the Co urt (including a copy of the complaint) as yo u are not e ntitled to free copies from the Clerk even if you are procee ding in forma pauperis. After servic e of the com plaint, a ll docum ents filed in the C ourt m ust co nta in a "certificate of service" indicating when and how the document was provided to the Defendants or to counsel for the Defendants.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ACTIONS COMMENCED BY PRO SE LITIGANTS PAGE 2
8. You must imm ediately advise the Court of any chan ge of addres s by filing a "Notice to the Court of Change of Address." This notice must contain the address change , effective date, and must be signed. Failure to notify the court of any change of address could result in the dismissal of your case! 9. After service of the complaint, the Defendants m ay file either an Answ er to the com plaint or a m otion. You d o no t need to respo nd to a m otion filed by Defenda nts until directe d to do so by the C ourt. 10. The co m plaint will be pros ecu ted in e ither the Gain esville, Panama City, Pensacola, or Tallahassee Division of the Court, depending on the county of residence of one or m ore of the Defendan ts or the place whe re the events fo rm ing the bas is of the com plaint occu rred. You should name the app ropriate division of the Co urt in the spac e provided at the top of the com plaint form. The following counties comprise the Gainesville Division: Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, and Levy. The following counties comprise the Pana ma City Division: Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and W ashington. The following counties comprise the Pensacola Division: Escam bia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and W alton. The following counties comprise the Tallahassee Division: Fra nklin, Gadsd en, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and W akulla.
Cases to be filed in the Tallahassee Division should be mailed to: CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT 111 N. ADAMS STREET SUITE 322 TALLAHAS SEE, FLORIDA 32301-7730
Cases to be filed in the Gainesville Division should be mailed to: CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT 401 S.E. FIRST AVENUE ROO M 243 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA 32601-6895
Cases to be filed in the Pensaco la Division should be mailed to: CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT 1 NORTH PALAFOX STREET ROO M 226 PENSAC OLA, FLORIDA 32502-5658
Cases to be filed in the Panama City Division should be mailed to: CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT 30 GOVERNM ENT STREET PANAM A CITY, FLORIDA 32401-2758