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CAN ANYONE EMAIL A JUDGE IN A FEDERAL CASE?

Fairfield, OH |

The Defendant attorney, emails the judge and copies me, when she needs an extension of time, this is not fair, should I complaint or can I also email the Judge regarding an extension? When I file extensions, with the clerk of court they never get answered by the judge why does the attorney get a quick response through emailing the Judge?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    It generally depends on the specific circumstances and the local rules for that court, but substantive ex parte communications with the court are usually inappropriate.

    It sounds like you are describing motions or stipulations for an extension of time which are electronically filed, and the "Defendant attorney" then serves you a copy because you are not on the Court's electronic filings system (or ECF). Electronic filings are now the norm in federal court, and the court may handle electronic filings more quickly than manual paper filings through the clerk (which may require that the clerk scan a copy for the court's electronic docket). You should also review the local rules because some courts require that you email a copy of the proposed order (in Word or WordPerfect) to the judge.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all of the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Federal litigation is not for do-it-yourselfers. Lots of lawyers avoid it because the procedures are exacting and sometimes confusing to those who do not regularly practice there. I assume you are pro se and the other side has a lawyer. Therefore you will almost certainly lose your case. That said, Federal courts have an electronic filing system and the parties handle many procedural matters such as adjournments and discovery issues by letter which is usually electronically filed, or by email. There are Federal rules that apply in all Federal courts, each Federal district has its own rules and some of the judges have individual rules, too. One of the things lawyers need to do when assigned to a Federal judge is to become thoroughly familiar with the judge's rules. Failure to comply with the rules can have unpleasant consequences. The judges are usually more lenient of pro se litigants in terms of compliance with the rules, but not always.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  3. Is the attorney actually emailing the judge, which would seem peculiar, or using the court's electronic filing system, which is not only permitted but in most cases required? I am guessing that it is the second.


  4. To summarize, if you want to play in the game, know the rules !

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