Coronavirus Announcement

The United States District Court for the Central District of California continues to closely monitor the national response to the respiratory illness caused by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We would like to assure the public that we are following all recommended guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure the safety and health of our customers and staff.

Please see General Orders regarding access to court facilities, jury trials and other proceedings.

Refer to the COVID-19 Notice for important information on courthouse access, court hearings, filing information and mandatory chambers copies.

Effective immediately and until further notice, the Court grants to mediators the authority to excuse a party, a party’s representative, or an attorney from in-person attendance at a mediation conducted under General Order No. 11-10. At the discretion of the assigned mediator, mediations held through the Court’s ADR Program may be conducted by video or telephone conference.

Welcome

Welcome! This website is designed to provide information to people who are representing themselves in civil cases in the Central District of California.

When you are without an attorney, you are "proceeding pro se." If you represent yourself in Court, you are called a "pro se litigant" or a "self-represented litigant." "Pro se" is a Latin, legal term meaning "for himself," and a "litigant" is someone who is either suing someone or is being sued in court.

A civil case is any case other than a criminal case. A civil case is the only type of case you can start without an attorney. It is different from a criminal case, which can only be started by government officials. In a civil case, you do not have a constitutional right to a lawyer appointed by the Court. Therefore, if you start a civil case as a "pro se litigant," you should be prepared to pursue it to completion on your own. The Court appoints a lawyer to assist you in civil cases only under rare circumstances that may not be met in your situation.