This question is about the Rights of Pro Se Litigants. The following is a copy of several excerpts of rulings made about Pro se litigants. They seem to suggest that Pro se litigants are not held to the same high standards as an attorney and that courts often give procedural leniency to pro se. In an existing case COUNTY COURT case where I am the plaintiff in a landlord-tenant dispute, the attorney I am dealing with is attempting every low handed trick in the book, outright fabricating lies in written motions to the court, failing to comply with disclosure request, etc. My question is about how the Colorado county court will treat me as a pro se litigant if I do not follow each procedure exactly as if i was an educated licensed attorney. Please read a couple of the following excerpts and give me your opinion upon the leeway or lack thereof for a pro se litigant:
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.My apologies but I would very politely disagree with your assessment. Pro-se litigants are held to the exact same standard as an attorney. Some judges may choose, at their discretion, to allow pro-se litigants to be less formal but that is not just an exception to the rule, it is also an exception to the rule. Some courts, such as small claims, are generally built for pro-se clients, and some courtrooms, typically family and landlord-tenant, tend to be more pro-se friendly, but that is simply by general custom and not by rule--if a judge within the courtroom wishes to hold pro-litigants to the same standard, he is free to do so. The county court may simply educate you if you are in front of a more friendly judge, or a judge may instead hold you as responsible, which may include dismissal and setting aside of your motions and petitions if not done correctly, and potentially contempt charges also if you fail to fix the mistakes in front of the court. Both are potentially possible.Good luck.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX i have not done anything wrong. One last question, in District Court the rules state that the "responsible attorney" is the defendants attorney if the plaintiff is pro se. However, the colorado county court does not state a rule about who is to be the responsible attorney. Is there a responsible attorney in county court and who is it? If there is no rule, is it the plaintiff even if pro se?
Thank you for your follow-up, Chris. You are most welcome!There is no 'responsible attorney'--it is the plaintiff's responsibility, whether pro se or represented, to ensure that court rules and deadlines are followed. I have likewise double-checked the rules and I was not able to confirm that a responsible attorney is designated.Good luck.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).