Form To Be Used By Prisoner In Filing Complaint Under Civil Rights Act | Pdf Fpdf Doc Docx | Iowa

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Form To Be Used By Prisoner In Filing Complaint Under Civil Rights Act | Pdf Fpdf Doc Docx | Iowa

Form To Be Used By Prisoner In Filing Complaint Under Civil Rights Act

This is a Iowa form that can be used for Civil within Federal, USDC Northern.

Alternate TextLast updated: 5/29/2015

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INSTRUCTIONS You should use this packet if: (1) (2) (3) (4) You are a prisoner; and You believe your federal constitutional rights have been violated; and You wish to file a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa; and You do not have a licensed attorney to help you with your complaint. This packet contains: (1) (2) (3) This 4-page sheet of INSTRUCTIONS; Form A (§ 1983 complaint form); and Form B (Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and declaration). § 1983 or Habeas Corpus? Sometimes prisoners do not know whether they should file a 1983 action § or a habeas corpus action. Both§ 1983 and the writ of habeas corpus can help persons who have been deprived of federal constitutional rights. However, if you will be asking the co urt for any kind of release from custody, or if you will b e asking the court to restore good and honor time that was taken from you, you should file a habeas corpus action. (The court cannot do those things for you in a § 1983 action.) In a habeas corpus action, you must ask the state courts to help you before you ask for the federal court's help. This is not required for a § 1983 action. DO NOT USE THE FORMS IN THIS PACKET TO APPLY FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS. A separate form is available for that purpose. The Clerk of Court can send you a copy upon request. The Correct Court and the Correct Defendants Your complaint can be filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa only if one or more of the defendants is located in this district, or if the facts of your complaint took place in this district. A defendant in a § 1983 action must be a perso n who acted "under color of" state law. This generally means that the person is either a state official, a state employee, or someone else who acted for the state or under some power given to him by the state. (This is not a complete statement of the law on this subject, but is intended only as guidance.) In order for the warden or some othersupervisory official to be a proper defendant, you must have some proof that such person either: (1) personally did some act that harmed you, or (2) harmed you by personally failing to do something he should have done, or (3) authorized (in words or otherwise) someone else's conduct which harmed you, or (4) was aware of someone else's conduct which harmed you, and acquiesced in (went along with) that conduct in some way. It is important that you give the known, of each person you name as correct name and work address, if a defendant, so that each of those 1 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com persons can be notified of your complaint. Filling Out the Forms Your forms may be filled out by hand or by typewriter. If handwriting is used, it must be clear and readable. If printing would be easier for the court to read, please print. Every question on the forms should be answered, even if your answer is "None," "Don't Know," or "N/A" (not applicable). Your complaint will be most effective if you (1) state your claim briefly and plainly, and (2) tell the court only about the claim or claims you truly believe to be important. Stick to the FACTS (who, what, where, when, how). THE COMPLAINT SHOULD NOT CONTAIN LEGAL ARGUMENTS OR CASE CITATIONS. If you need more space to answer a question, you may use the back side of the form or an extra blank page. However, if you keep your answers brief and to the point, as recommended above, extra space should not be needed in most cases. You, the plaintiff, must personally sign the complaint, and if there is more than one plaintiff, each of you must sign. If a person other than a named plaintiff helped you with your complaint, that person must sign in the place indicated under Part VII. Additional Claims If, in addition to your § 1983 claim, you have other claims against one or more of the defendants, you may state those claims on a separate sheet of paper which you attach to the complaint form. Write the heading ADDITIONAL CLAIMS at the top of the sheet. If you happen to know the name or number of a statute that you think applies to your additional claim, you may state it. It is not necessary, however, that you do so. If you just state the facts, the court will determine what federal or state laws, if any, apply. The court will also determine whether any state law claims can be decided in federal court. Do NOT include any habeas corpus claims with this complaint. Those claims should be filed separately on a special habeas corpus form which the Clerk of Court can send you. Other Instructions There is a fee for filing your complaint(see fee schedule) and you are required to pay the cost of notifying each defendant on your complaint. In prisoner cases, this is usually done by certified mail, which costs relatively little. If you feel you cannot pay the full filing fee and service costs for this action, you should fill out Form B: APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DECLARATION IN SUPPORT THEREOF. If there is more than one plaintiff, each plaintiff must complete a separate Form B. The completed form(s) must be signed and returned to the Clerk of Court with your Form A Complaint. Mail your Form A complaint to the address below. With your complaint you must send either a money order or completed and signed Form B. When all forms have been received, the Clerk of Court will assign them to a judge. Mailing address: US District Court Clerk District of Northernof Court Iowa Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse 111 Seventh Ave SE Box 12 313 101 1st Street SE, Room Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-2101 Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 NOTE: YOUR COMPLAINT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY THE COURT UNLESS YOU HAVE FOLLOWED THESE INSTRUCTIONS AND THOSE ON THE FORMS THEMSELVES. 2 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PRISONERS FILING AN ACTION UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 On April 26, 1996, the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was signed into law. This Act substantially affects the filing of civil rights actions by prisoners. Aspects of the new Prisoner Litigation Reform Act of which any prisoner filing a § 1983 action must be aware include the following: (A) You must exhaust available administrative remedies, including any grievance system, before filing an action challenging prison conditions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or any other federal law. Regardless of your financial status, you are required to pay the full filing fee. If you cannot submit the fee in full

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