This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Do State Courts Have to Comply with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)?

Question from DTD, Do State Courts Have to Comply with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)?

Answer from AI:

Understanding 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) is a federal statute that allows federal courts to request an attorney to represent an indigent (poor) litigant in civil cases. This statute is part of the broader framework that governs in forma pauperis (IFP) proceedings, which enable individuals who cannot afford court fees to proceed without paying them.

Applicability to State Courts

State courts are generally not required to comply with federal statutes unless there is a specific mandate or incorporation into state law. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) is a federal statute that applies to federal courts, not state courts. Therefore, state courts do not have to comply with this specific federal statute.

State Court Procedures for Indigent Litigants

While state courts are not bound by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), many states have their own provisions for assisting indigent litigants. These provisions can vary significantly from state to state. Here are some common elements:

  • State In Forma Pauperis Statutes: Many states have their own IFP statutes that allow indigent litigants to proceed without paying court fees.
  • Pro Bono Programs: Some states have programs that encourage or require attorneys to provide free legal services to indigent clients.
  • Legal Aid Organizations: Non-profit organizations often provide free legal assistance to those who cannot afford it.

When Legal Advice is Necessary

If you are an indigent litigant seeking legal representation or fee waivers in a state court, it is crucial to understand the specific laws and procedures in your state. Consulting with a legal professional can provide personalized advice tailored to your situation.

Steps to Take

  1. Research State Laws: Look up your state’s specific statutes and rules regarding indigent litigants and IFP proceedings.
  2. Contact Legal Aid: Reach out to local legal aid organizations for assistance.
  3. Consult an Attorney: If possible, consult with an attorney who can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances.


For more information, you can refer to the following resources:

Remember, while this information provides a general overview, it is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal issues.

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