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FAQs

  • I have a judgment in another district and want to register in your court -- what do I do?

    Counsel must submit an original and two copies of the following (28 U.S.C. § 1963):
     

    • A Certificate of Judgment form (AO 451) from the district court where the judgment originated, or in the alternative, an order from said court directing the Clerk to register such;
    • A certified copy of the judgment from the originating District Court; and,
    • A filing fee of $47.00 made payable to the Clerk, United States District Court.

    If an attorney requests a copy of the judgment registered in our district, he/she will be required to provide the Clerk's Office with an additional copy. The copy will be filed stamped and contain a miscellaneous case number.

  • What is needed to file a petition for removal?

    [See 28 U.S.C. § 1446 et seq.]

    A defendant desiring to remove a civil action from a state court to the U.S. District Court shall file with the Clerk's Office the following documents:

     An original Civil Cover Sheet (JS-44 Form) filled out with the county of the first listed plaintiff, or of the first listed defendant if the U.S. is the plaintiff;
     
    Petition for Removal: an original and two copies of the signed petition for removal;
     
    Note: The petition must bear the U.S. District Court heading and the full style of the original state court complaint (not "et al."). The style is not reversed by a removal action: it remains consistent with the style of the state court action.
     
    Copies of all State Court process, pleadings, and any orders served upon the defendant.
     
    A $400 filing fee.
     
    Note: The attorney is responsible for all service made regarding the petition for removal and for notification of the state court of the removal action.

  • I want to keep a civil pleading under seal, what should I do?

    Documents and cases are sealed when it is determined by a judge that the information contained in them should not be a part of the public record. Parties wishing to file a document under seal must submit to the Clerk's Office:
     
    an original and one copy of the document with the words UNDER SEAL in bold on the front of the pleading;
     
    an original and one copy of the motion to seal such documents (if not previously filed); and
     
    a proposed order should be provided with all sealed motions.

  • Who can serve a summons?

    Service of a summons can be made by (See Fed.R.Cv.P. 4 & Ark.R.Cv.P. 4):

    • the U.S. Marshal (1) in cases brought on behalf of the United States; (2) when ordered by the Court in forma pauperis actions; (3) in actions brought on behalf of seamen (28 U.S.C. 1916); and (4) in any other action in which the Court so directs;
    • a sheriff of the county where the service is to be made, or his / her deputy;
    • any person who is not a party and who is over 18 years of age [Fed.R.Cv.P.4(c)];
    • Service may also be made by any form of mail with a return receipt, by the plaintiff or attorney of record for the plaintiff, in accordance with Rule 4 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure;
    • in cases where the party to be served resides in a foreign country, the summons can be served by the Clerk of the Court pursuant to FRCP 4(f).
  • Who can serve a subpoena?

    Any disinterested party over the age of 18 may serve a subpoena.

  • I am calling from outside the District and need to find out how to take a deposition(s) in the Eastern District of Arkansas. --The case is not in the Eastern District of Arkansas.--What do I do?

    The question pertains to foreign subpoenas that are issued for depositions or for the production of documents in cases not originally filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

    The 1991 amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 revised the procedures concerning subpoenas in several respects. It is no longer necessary that completed subpoenas be issued by the Clerk's Office or issued under the seal of the Court. Instead, the rule gives attorneys the authority to sign and issue subpoenas as officers of the Court. [See Fed.R.Cv.P.45(a)(D)(3)]. Under the rule, the Clerk still has authority to issue subpoenas. Clerk's Office staff will issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service.

    Note: Parties who are not officers of the Court [generally, anyone who is not a licensed attorney] must have the Clerk's Office sign the subpoena for them.

    FOREIGN DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS ISSUED BY COUNSEL

    Attorneys are authorized to issue subpoenas in the name of any court in which they are authorized to practice, and in the case of a deposition taking place in another district, in the name of the court where the deposition is taking place. It is not required that an attorney be a member of the bar or admitted pro hac vice in the district where the subpoena is issued, as long as he/she is authorized to practice in the district where the primary action was filed.

    Accordingly, when an out-of-state attorney wishes to take a foreign deposition in the Eastern District of Arkansas, he/she should:
     

    • properly complete the subpoena (Form AO-88A) and (1) state the title of the action, (2) list the civil action number of the originating district (i.e., the district where the civil action was filed), (3) list at the top of the subpoena the Eastern District of Arkansas (i.e., the name of the district where the deposition or production of documents will be made); and,
    • sign and issue the subpoena as an Officer of the Court.

    Proof of service is not required to be filed with the Clerk unless there is a dispute or upon order of the Court. When necessary, the subpoena should be filed in the court who issued the subpoena. The proof of service should include (1) a statement of the date and manner of service, (2) names of the persons serviced, and (3) certification by the person who made service.

    FOREIGN DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS ISSUED BY CLERK'S OFFICE

    In some instances, counsel may request that a foreign deposition subpoena be issued by the Clerk's Office. When so requested, counsel must bring the following documents to the Clerk's Office:

    • An original Notice of Deposition signed by the attorney with a Certificate of Service attached;
    • Properly complete the deposition subpoena and (1) state the title of the action, (2) list the civil action number of the originating district (i.e., the district where the civil action was filed), (3) list at the top of the subpoena the Eastern District of Arkansas (i.e., the name of the district where the deposition or production of documents will be made); and,
    • A $47.00 fee for each Notice of Deposition (not each subpoena).

    IF A MOTION TO QUASH THE SUBPOENA IS FILED, A $47.00 FILING FEE IS REQUIRED AND A MISCELLANEOUS CIVIL NUMBER IS ASSIGNED.

  • How long do I have to serve my complaint?

    The plaintiff has 90 days from the filing date of the complaint in which to serve the defendant [see Fed.R.Cv.P 4(m)].
     

  • What are the witness fees for a court hearing, trial or deposition?

    The witness attendance fee is $40.00 per day plus a mileage fee of $0.535 per mile, round trip, for each day of attendance. [See 28 U.S.C 1821(b) and (c)(2)]
     

  • As the prevailing party how do I recover costs?

    A request to recover costs should be made by filing a motion. Items that are taxable as costs are set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. The Court will determine which costs will be permitted.

  • How do I retrieve a record/file from the Federal Records Center?

    Court records can be retrieved from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) - Federal Records Center in Fort Worth three ways:

    Option 1 - Ordering From the Clerk's Office

    Court records can be retrieved through the Clerk's office for the United States District Court. The Clerk's office is required to charge a fee of $53 for retrieving any record from the Federal Records Center (28 U.S.C. § 1914). This fee must be paid to the Clerk, U. S. District Court, before your request will be processed.

    Option 2 - Ordering Online Directly From NARA

    To avoid having to pay the $53 retrieval fee, you can order court records online from NARA. Listed below are the steps you will need to follow:
     

    Visit the National Archives "Order Online" page (https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline).

    Click on "Order Reproductions," then "Court Records."

    Select the appropriate type of case (e.g., civil or criminal).

    Follow the onscreen prompts to set up an account and place your order.

     

    To order a civil case or criminal case, the following information is required: 

    State in which the court is located

    City in which the court is located

    Case name(s)

    Transfer number

    Box number

    Location number

    Customers can obtain the information listed above from the Clerk's office for the Federal Court in which the case was filed and closed. Option 3 - Ordering Via Mail/Fax/E-mail Directly From NARA

    Visit the National Archives "Order Online" page (http://www.archives.gov/research/court-records).

    Click on "Records from the Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Courts and the Courts of Appeals."

    Download and complete the appropriate request form (civil or criminal).

    Note: These request forms also can be downloaded from the "Forms Menu" on our Internet web site under the title Federal Records Center Retrieval Form.

    Mail/fax/e-mail the form to the appropriate NARA facility (see page 2 of the request form for contact information).

    Please note that fees apply for obtaining copies of court records directly from NARA's Federal Records Centers.
     

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