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Has the court or some individual indicated that you can't represent yourself?
I know of no federal or state law that gives an individual the right to represent the government - especially if you are not an attorney - that would be the unauthorized practice of law.
So, you can file lawsuits representing yourself but to file a lawsuit and represent someone else - you have to be an attorney licensed in the state where you are suing and you must be admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction.
Please feel free to ask me to clarify.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 provides that: "In all courts of the United States the parties may plead and conduct their own cases personally or by counsel as, by the rules of such courts, respectively, are permitted to manage and conduct cases therein." 28 U.S.C. § 1654.
T]he right to proceed pro se under 28 U.S.C. § 1654, is a fundamental statutory right that is afforded the highest degree of protection. It is a right which is deeply rooted in our constitutional heritage, and although statutory in origin, "its constitutional aura is underscored by the proposal the very next day of the Sixth Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution. Reshard v. Britt, 819 F.2d 1573, 1579 (11th Cir. 1987) (vacated on other grounds) (quoting United States v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, 1123 (D.C. Cir. 1972)).
The Supreme Court said in Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), noting that Thomas Paine, arguing in support of the 1776 Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights said: "Either party ... has a natural right to plead its own cause; this right is consistent with safety, therefore it is retained; but the parties may not be able, ... therefore the civil right of pleading by proxy, that is, by a council [sic], is an appendage to the natural right [of self-representation] .... Faretta, 422 U.S. at 830 n.39, quoting Thomas Paine on a Bill of Rights, 1777,reprinted in 1 B. SCHWARTZ, THE BILL OF RIGHTS: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY 316 (1971).
If, as Faretta holds, a criminal defendant has the right to proceed pro se, the right applies with even greater force in a civil context. This is because, while impecunious criminal defendants are entitled to representation by counsel at no charge, Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), no comparable right exists for civil litigants. However, civil litigants, like criminal defendants, often cannot afford counsel. The American Bar Association estimates that thirty-eight million American households are actually denied access to the civil justice system because they cannot afford a lawyer. See American Bar Association Consortium on Legal Services and the Public, Agenda for Access: The American People and Civil Justice - Final Report on the Implications of the Comprehensive Legal Needs Study (1996). For such persons to have access to the courts, their fundamental right to self-representation in civil cases must be afforded the greatest protection.
Because a civil litigant is not afforded an absolute right to counsel, Lassiter
v. Dep't of Soc. Serv., 452 U.S. 18, 26-27 (1981), a pro se litigant in a civil court
must be given an equity of arms or she will be denied any effective opportunity to
vindicate her rights in court. Degan v. United States, 517 U.S. 820 (1996).
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