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Filing Without an Attorney

THE JUDGES, JUDGES’ STAFF, CLERK, OR CLERK'S STAFF are not permitted to provide legal advice, assist you with the preparation of your petition, schedules, or other documents, provide you with attorney recommendations, or speak with you about the substance of your case in an ex parte communication (which means without the other side present). Basic filing information is available on this website on the Filing Requirements page.

Information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided by an attorney. Only individuals (including married couples) can file bankruptcy or appear before the court without a lawyer.
 

Appropriate Courtroom Attire & Conduct


You will be required to present photo identification anytime you enter a federal courthouse. You must always dress in a manner demonstrating respect for the court. Traditional business attire is appropriate; jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not. Electronic devices, including cell phones, are not permitted in the federal courthouses.
 

Requirements Before Filing


Self-represented debtors should review the following before filing anything with the court:

 

Self-represented debtors must also comply with applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Rules and Local Rules of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida, just as if they were represented by an attorney. Failure to do so can result in dismissal of the case or other sanctions:

 

Electronic Filing Policy for Self-Represented Debtors


The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida does not allow self-represented debtors to file documents electronically. Documents must be filed by mailing them to the Tallahassee Division or presenting them at the Tallahassee or Pensacola Intake Counter.  Documents are not accepted for filing at the District Court Clerk’s Offices in Panama City and Gainesville.

Documents may be viewed by anyone online by signing up for a “View” PACER account. Per the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule, “No fee is owed for electronic access to court data or audio files via PACER until an account holder accrues charges of more than $30.00 in a quarterly billing cycle.” Cases may also be accessed for free using computer terminals located in the Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Gainesville courthouse lobbies. In addition to viewing electronic case files, self-represented debtors may receive notices produced by the court electronically by signing up for PACER’s Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (EBN) program. Contact EBN Customer Service at 877-837-3424 if you have questions.
 

Forms


You must use the federal and local required forms that are available from the Clerk's Office, the Court's web site, or by clicking the below links. DO NOT use any other forms; they may be from a different court or may be old forms that have been replaced by updated versions:

 

Where to File Your Documents


You may mail original, signed documents to:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
110 East Park Avenue, Suite 100
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

You may also deliver documents in person during business hours (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Local Time) on days that the court is open to the Tallahassee or Pensacola divisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
110 East Park Avenue, Suite 100
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

U.S. Bankruptcy Court*
100 North Palafox Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502

*The above address for the Pensacola Division is for personal deliveries during business hours only. Mail cannot be processed in Pensacola. Mail must be sent to the Tallahassee divisional office.
 

Retaining an Attorney or Seeking Free Legal Aid


The following resources may assist you in obtaining a lawyer at free or low cost:

 

Informational Handouts


General Information
Filing Fees
Obtaining Legal Assistance
Online Resources
Reaffirmation Agreements
Where to File Your Papers
 

Summary of Information Available on This Page


The information contained in this section is to provide self-represented parties with access to some information about the bankruptcy process and some required local procedures. This page does not contain all information about requirements applicable to bankruptcy cases. Please review all the pages of this Court's website for additional information.