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  • After filing my case, how do I go about getting facts and information from the defendant(s) so that I can prepare for trial?

    The process of getting facts and information is called discovery. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 controls discovery and you should refer to this rule for the methods you can use to obtain facts and information.

  • Are there any services for my family available?

    Pretrial will make appropriate community referrals if requested. However, our office does not provide services to families of those under supervision.

  • Are there refreshments? Where should I go for lunch?

    St. Louis

    There is a full-service cafeteria located on the first floor.

    Vending machines are located in the cafeteria: soda, snacks and candy.

    In the Jury Assembly Room, coffee and a filtered water dispenser are available, along with light snacks. Vending machines (soda/snacks/candy) are located on the first floor. You will be given a list of restaurants located within walking distance when you first report.  The Jury Assembly Room has a refrigerator and microwave available for your use, so you are welcome to bring lunch.

    Cape Girardeau

    In the Jury Assembly Room, coffee and bottled water are available along with light snacks.  The room also has a refrigerator and microwave, so jurors are welcome to bring lunch. There is a list of restaurants within short driving distance in the Jury Assembly Room.


    In the Jury Room, coffee and bottled water are available, along with light snacks.  There are places for lunch located a short drive from the Court.

  • Can Clerk’s Office personnel answer legal questions or provide legal advice?

    No, Clerk’s Office personnel may not give legal advice.  The Clerk’s Office will not be able to advise you on such things as:

    • explaining the meaning of rules
    • answering questions as to whether this is the proper Court in which to file your complaint
    • commenting on your case -recommending how you should proceed
    • predicting a decision a judge  officer might make
    • answering questions as to how long you have to file a complaint in this Court
  • Can I amend my complaint after I file it?

    Refer to Rule 15  of the Federal  Rules  of Civil Procedure regarding when you can file an amended complaint.  You may not amend your complaint by filing separate or supplemental documents. All of the claims you wish to bring must be included in one single complaint form.  When you file an amended complaint, it completely replaces the complaint(s) you filed previously, so it must include all of the claims you wish to bring.

  • Can I file a case on my own behalf without an attorney?

    Yes, filing a case on your own behalf without an attorney is referred to as filing “Pro Se.” You should be aware that if you represent yourself (proceed pro se), you will be required to follow the same Court rules as an attorney.

  • Can I file a case without paying the $402 filing fee?

    Maybe. To seek the Court’s permission to proceed in Court without paying the filing fee, you must file a fully-completed Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (short form).  This form is available on the website and from the Clerk’s Office.

  • Can I file a criminal case against someone?

    You cannot file a criminal case against anyone. The United States Attorney’s Office is responsible for filing federal criminal cases. Allegations of criminal behavior should be brought to the attention of the local police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

  • Can I get a copy of this Court’s Local Rules?

    Copies of specific rules can be provided by the Clerk’s Office. A full copy of all the Court’s Local Rules can be obtained from this Court’s website,

  • Can I pay the $402 filing fee in installments?

    No, you must pay the full $402 filing fee or file an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (short form).  

  • Can someone tell me before I decide to pay the filing fee whether the Court will allow me to proceed without prepaying fees or costs?

    No. Eligibility for proceeding without prepaying fees or costs will be decided only when a Judge rules on your application.

  • Can the needs of disabled persons serving as jurors be accommodated?

    Yes, any juror who requires accommodations for a disability, including special arrangements for parking, should contact the jury clerk so that appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.

  • Could there be additional costs involved in litigating my lawsuit besides paying the $402 filing fee?

    Yes, for example, you may have to pay someone to deliver your complaint. Also there may be costs for getting documents and information from witnesses and the defendant(s). Finally, the losing party may have to pay for some of the winning party’s expenses.

  • How am I enrolled in the program?

    Enrollment in the program occurs after a Pretrial Diversion investigation is completed by the Pretrial Services office. If the investigation reveals the individual is in compliance with the guidelines for referrals to the diversion program, the individual will be contacted to schedule an appointment to sign the diversion agreement. The pretrial diversion agreement is a contract between the government and the individual which states the condition of the diversion program for that individual.

  • How are documents prepared?

    Documents are created and saved in a portable document formal (PDF) prior to being filed.

  • How can I add a secondary e-mail address?

    Log into CM/ECF

    On the blue bar at the top of the screen, click on the word Utilities

    Click on Maintain Your E-mail

    Click on Add new e-mail address under the secondary e-mail addresses

    Submit all changes

    You should receive a page that contains the update was successful

  • How can I change my username or password?

    Log into your PACER account by visiting and clicking on "Manage My Account" in the top right corner of the webpage.

    Under the "Settings" tab, click on Change Username or Change Password

    Enter the current password, then your new password, where prompted.  Click submit.

  • How do I add additional attorneys to a case?

    To add an attorney to an existing case, log in using the attorney’s PACER username and password and file an Entry of Appearance

  • How do I change my contact information?

    Log into your PACER account by visiting and clicking on "Manage my Account" in the top right corner of the webpage.

    Under the "Maintenance" tab, click on the item you wish to update, i.e., Update Personal Information, Update Address Information, Update E-Filer Email Noticing and Frequency).

    If changing your personal information, type in your name as you'd like it to be displayed in the court's records and click Submit.

    If changing your address information, update the fields as you'd like them to be displayed in the court's records.  Type in the box "Reason for Update".  Check if the address update applies to the entire firm.  Apply update to "All Cases".  Under Apply Updates to Selected Courts, click the addresses you'd like to be updated, i.e., PACER Billing, all Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy Court in which you are admitted, and then click Submit.

    If changing your E-Filer Email Noticing and Frequency, click the boxes next to the courts you'd like to be updated.  Type in your new e-mail address (or existing e-mail address if all you are updating is the frequency and format).  Select the Frequency with which you'd like to receive NEFs.  Select the Email Format (note that "Text" does not mean you will receive text messages).  Click Submit.

  • How do I contact my supervising officer?

    Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. After hours please leave a message on voice mail.

  • How do I file a case on my own behalf (Self-Represented Litigant)?

    A case is started by filing a complaint. You should refer to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this Court’s Local Rules for information about the proper form of your complaint. The Court requires a civil cover sheet (available from the Clerk’s Office) and a complaint that includes an original signature and your address. You must also either pay the $402 filing fee or request the Court to allow you to file the case without paying the filing fee.

  • How do I file electronically?

    Attorneys log on to the court’s ecf program by using their PACER username and password

    Click on Civil or Criminal

    Choose the event for the document being filed

    Select the party filing the document

    Browse and upload or file the document

    Verify the wording of the docket entry

    Submit the docket entry

  • How do I know my document was filed and how is notification transmitted to the other parties?

    The ecf program sends an electronic receipt (NEF) to the filer verifying the document has been received and filed.

    Electronic notification goes to all parties whoare signed up for cm/ecf (Any party who is not signed up for ecf must be notified by mail by the filing party. The certificate of service on the document must state how the parties are being served).

    The docket sheet is updated and is immediately available to anyone with access to the system.

  • How do I post bond?

    Bonds may be posted with the court for bail as ordered by a judge. Bonds may be ordered to be posted in the form of cash, secured bond through a surety, property, or a combination of forms. All bonds must be ORDERED by the court before being accepted by the clerk’s office. Cash bonds should be tendered to the cashier located in the District Court Clerk’s Office. Bond may be posted by either cash or cashier’s check, payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court. All bail bonds will be receipted by the cashier in the name of the defendant as specified by local rules.

  • How long will I be serving?

    Petit Jurors

    St. Louis – the term of jury service is for a two-week period. Usually jurors only report one time for selection during the term, and trials average 3-4 days long. If you are selected to serve on a trial which exceeds the service period, you will be required to serve until the completion of the trial. You are instructed to call the Automated Jury Information phone (AJIS) or check your Current Status online through eJuror on the date and time indicated on your summons. You will either report on the summons date or be rescheduled to another date during the two-week time period and instructed to call after 4:30 pm on the last business day for further instructions or changes. Usually jury selections are held only on Mondays and Wednesdays. If the Monday is a federal holiday, jurors are scheduled to report on Tuesday.

    Cape Girardeau – Petit jurors are on call for a six-month term.

    Hannibal- Petit jurors are on call for a six-month term.

    On-call means you may be called to serve during that time period. You are not expected to be available every day during the term, and the court can schedule your appearance around vacation dates and other conflicts. You do not need to report until you a notified by mail of a specific reporting date. The court sends out notices to report approximately 10 days to 2 weeks in advance. The written notice will contain information for reporting and calling the automated phone or checking online through eJuror to confirm whether or not you need to appear on the scheduled reporting date.

    Grand Jurors – Grand jurors serve for one year and may be extended if necessary.

    • St. Louis grand jurors normally meet 1-2 days every other week
    • Cape Girardeau grand jurors usually convene once a month.
    • Grand jurors scheduled vacations can be accommodated.


  • I don’t drive in the city – can I be excused?

    If you have a valid driver’s license, the Court does not excuse jurors who are unfamiliar with the Court location since you would not have been issued a driver’s license if you were incapable of driving where you needed. If it is due to a medical condition, the Court requires a note from your doctor stating that you should be excused from service due to health reasons.

  • I don’t live in the city/county where I am being summoned. Why do I have to serve?

    You have been summoned for the United States District Court, and jurors come from a number of counties to serve.

    For the Eastern Division, the Courthouse is located in the city of St Louis but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the City of St. Louis and the following 13 counties: Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Maries, Phelps, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Warren, and Washington.

    For the Southeastern Division, the Courthouse is located in Cape Girardeau, but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the following 18 counties: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, and Wayne.

    For the Northern Division, the Courthouse is located in Hannibal, but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the following 17 counties: Adair, Audrain, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, and Shelby. For grand juries serving in St. Louis, jurors are summoned from both the Eastern and Northern Divisions.

  • I tried to file a motion with the Court but it was returned to me because it did not contain a certificate of service . What is a certificate of service?

    Each document that you file with the Court must contain your signature and a certificate of service. A certificate of service indicates to the Court that you have delivered a copy of the document to the other parties. The certificate of service states the name and address of the attorney or party served with the document, the manner of service, and the date of service.

  • I was granted leave to file my complaint IFP and now I want to appeal, do I need to file another IFP motion for appeal?

    No, if the Court previously granted your motion to proceed IFP, you only have to file a notice of appeal.

  • If I file a case and request to proceed without prepaying fees or costs, will that stop the running of the statute of limitations or other deadlines?

    Yes, if your complaint is accompanied by a fully completed Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (short form). 

  • Is there anyone who can assist me with my legal problems?

    Yes, you can contact the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (314-534-4200) or Gateway Legal Services (314-534-0404).

  • I’m not a registered voter. Why was I summoned or sent a Juror Qualification notice?

    You do not need to be a registered voter to serve as a juror. This is just one of the source lists used for gathering names at random for prospective jury service. Juror names are also randomly drawn from drivers’ license records and non-driver identification holders.

  • Must I fully complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire even if I feel like I have a reason to be excused?

    Federal law requires that you fully complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire even though you may be exempted or are seeking to be excused.  The Court may determine that you be excused from service, for example, if you have moved out of the district or you are not a citizen of the United States.  Regardless of your circumstances, however, the Questionnaire must be completed as directed in the instructions.

  • My case has been assigned to a Magistrate Judge. What is a Magistrate Judge?

    Magistrate Judges are judicial officers appointed by the Court to assist in the work of the Court. They can also decide civil cases when both parties agree to have the case heard by a Magistrate Judge instead of a District Judge. If your case is assigned to a Magistrate Judge, you will receive a form that gives you the option to have your case heard by the Magistrate Judge. If you decide not to have your case heard by a Magistrate Judge, it will be reassigned to a District Court Judge.

  • My spouse (child, brother, etc) is a police officer (attorney, legal secretary). Am I excused?

    Since the Federal Court has a wide range of civil and criminal cases, your relationship to someone in the legal or law enforcement field may or may not have any bearing on the trial you are sent to for jury selection. Those relationships are not grounds for being excused.

  • Once the defendant(s) receives a copy of the complaint, how long does he/she have to reply?

    The defendant(s) has twenty (20) days to respond if the plaintiff delivers the complaint with a notice that a lawsuit has been filed. This notice is called a summons. If the defendant(s) agrees that the complaint can be delivered without a summons, then he/she has sixty (60) days from the date of mailing to respond.

  • Sex Offender Registration

    Defendants with a prior conviction for an offense requiring registration with the State Sex Offenders registry MUST register to avoid a violation of his/her conditions of pretrial release. If a defendant is unclear on this matter, they are to seek direction from the Pretrial Services Office.

  • Viewing Restricted documents

    You must be logged in to CM/ECF when viewing restricted documents. If you do not log in with your PACER credentials, CM/ECF will not know who you are and will not recognize you as a authorized user.

  • What are conditions of release?

    In nearly all cases, the Court will order conditions of release as part of the bond requirements. Pretrial supervision is ordered in nearly all instances, as are travel restrictions. Additionally, no defendant may possess firearms or other dangerous devices, including ammunition, while the case is pending.

    Other conditions may be ordered and could include any or all of the following:

    • Avoid contact with any persons who are or may become a victim or potential witness
    • Report all contact with law enforcement
    • Surrender passport and obtain no passport
    • Electronic Monitoring
    • House Arrest
    • Curfew
    • Substance abuse testing and/or treatment
    • Mental health evaluation and/or counseling
    • Residence at a Community Corrections Center
    • Maintain employment or attend school
    • Other conditions may be ordered by the U.S. Magistrate Judge
  • What are the ecf filing requirements for attorneys?

    Attorneys must be admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Missouri or otherwise granted e-filing access through PACER.  Click here for more information

  • What are the types of bond ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judges?

    There are a variety of bond types ordered in the Federal Courts. They include:

    • Personal recognizance bond: Defendant is released on his/her written promise to appear at all Court proceedings.
    • Unsecured bond: Defendant is released on his/her written promise to appear at all Court proceedings AND to pay the Court the full bond amount in the event he/she fails to appear.
    • Secured bond: Defendant’s release requires cash or collateral (property) be posted with the Court prior to the Defendant’s release from custody.
    • Surety bond: Defendant’s release requires a bondsman, attorney, or similar party, to post surety prior to the defendant’s release from custody. All sureties used must be on the Department of the Treasury’s Listing of Approved Sureties. The surety must have a current certificate of Authority from the State of Missouri on file with the Court. The agent appointed by the surety must have a valid power of attorney filed with the Court.
    • Release with Conditions: In addition to the above-mentioned bonds, the Court typically orders pretrial supervision and reporting as a condition of release for all defendants. Other special conditions may be ordered, including, but not limited to: travel restrictions, electronic monitoring (see separate section on this), substance abuse counseling and testing, and employment. Additionally, all defendants are ordered to not possess any firearm or dangerous device while on pretrial release.
  • What can I do if the Court dismisses my case?

    If you are dissatisfied with the Court’s decision to dismiss your case, you may appeal your case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. You must file your notice of appeal in the District Court Clerk’s Office.  The filing fee for a notice of appeal is $505 and is paid to the Clerk of the District Court.

  • What does it mean when someone is a third party custodian?

    This is a condition of release that designates an individual who agrees to assume supervision of the defendant and report any violations of release conditions to the Court. The custodian must inform the Court if they believe the defendant will fail to appear or, if the defendant’s behavior becomes a danger to the community.

  • What does my participation in a substance abuse program cost?

    Services for substance abuse counseling/testing and mental health counseling are provided by the Pretrial Services office unless otherwise determined by the Court.

  • What happens after I am assigned a case number?

    If you paid the filing fee, you will need to have a copy of the complaint delivered to each person you have named as a defendant. The way in which a copy of the complaint is delivered to the defendant(s) is called “service.” The Clerk’s Office can provide assistance on how to do this. If you did not pay the filing fee, the Court will review your Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (short  form) and decide if you can proceed without prepaying the filing fee. The Court will also review your complaint to determine whether a copy of the complaint should be delivered to the defendant(s). If the Court decides that you do not have to pay the filing fee and determines that the complaint should be delivered to the defendant(s), the Clerk’s Office will have a copy of your complaint delivered to the defendant(s).

  • What happens if I am out of range?

    This issue will be discussed with the court.

  • What happens if my phone service is disconnected?

    If services are not re-connected, alternative sites (home plan) will be explored.

  • What happens if the bond is revoked?

    Forfeiture of bond may occur if the defendant fails to appear and bond is revoked. The Judge may issue a bench warrant and declare a revocation of the bail bond or appearance bond.

  • What if a defendant lives in another District - how does he/she report?

    If a defendant is charged in the Eastern District of Missouri, but lives in another area, the Pretrial Services Office will make arrangements for the Pretrial Services Office in the District of residence to provide supervision. The Officer will provide specific instructions on how to make contact with the supervising office prior to the defendant leaving the Eastern District of Missouri.

    Each time the defendant travels to the Eastern District of Missouri, he/she should report - in person - to the Pretrial Services Office and meet with the Pretrial Officer monitoring the case.

  • What if I have a serious hardship? What if I have a medical issue and want to be excused?

    During your term of service, if you have a scheduled vacation or other specific dates you will be unable to serve, please notify:

    For St. Louis or Hannibal-the jury clerks at (314) 244-7850 or toll free (866)510-1925.

    For Cape Girardeau-the jury clerk at (573)331-8800.


    You may write these dates on the Juror Information form which you return to the Court or submit a Partial Excuse request through eJuror after completing the Juror Information Form.

    If you have a compelling reason to be excused from jury service or deferred to a later term, you must submit your request in writing along with your completed Juror Information Form. The request to be excused must detail the hardship.

    If you have a physical or mental impairment which you believe would prevent you from serving as a juror, the Court requires a recent statement from your doctor stating your inability to serve as a juror, signed by a D.O., M.D., Nurse Practitioner, or Audiologist. Even if you are requesting to be excused for medical reasons, you must complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire or if summoned, the Juror Information Form. The doctor’s note can be faxed to 314-244-7859, emailed to, or mailed to the Court.

    Please do NOT wait until you are to appear to submit a request to be excused or deferred from your term of service.

  • What if I test positive for an illegal substance?

    Testing positive for drug use is a violation of conditions of release and as such, a violation would be submitted to the Court which could result in revocation of release.

  • What if I want to stay in town for the night while serving?

    Jurors who live 100 miles or more one way from the Court have the option of spending the night at a local hotel while serving on a jury and coming in the night before service. The subsistence allowance for meals and lodging for jurors in St. Louis is $205.00 per night and the subsistence allowance for jurors serving in Cape Girardeau and Hannibal is $155.00 per night. Jurors must provide a copy of the hotel receipt in order to be reimbursed. The subsistence allowance is a set allowance regardless of the exact cost of the hotel. Try to negotiate the best rate to ensure that you will not pay more than the amount that can be reimbursed. Ask for the federal government rate and if the hotel honors it for jurors, the hotel may require proof, such as your Summons at check-in. For more information, please contact the jury clerks.

  • What if my Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Short form) is denied?

    The Court will notify you in a written order that your application has been denied and you may be given additional time to pay the filing fee.

  • What if the assigned Pretrial Services Officer is not available on call-in day or for office visits?

    If the assigned Officer is not available when a defendant calls in, a voice mail message is accepted. The message should provide a telephone number where the defendant may be contacted and leave a brief message stating there are no problems and no change in residence, job, or employment status.

    If a defendant reports to the office and the assigned Pretrial Services Officer is unavailable, the Officer of the Day will be called. There is no need for a defendant to return to see the assigned Officer, unless directed to do so.

  • What is a Detention Hearing?

    Detention hearings are conducted when the U.S. Attorney’s Office, or the Court on its own motion, requests that the defendant be detained without bail. At the detention hearing, the Government must prove there is reason to detain the defendant.

  • What is a home visit?

    Home visits are unannounced visits by the assigned Pretrial Services Officer, with another Officer. The Officer will tour the residence and visit with the defendant and any family members at home during the visit. If a defendant is not home at the time of the visit, the Officer will leave a business card or note. The defendant is to call the office to confirm receipt of the note.

  • What is a monthly reporting form?

    Upon an individual’s enrollment in the diversion program, they will receive instructions on how to complete and mail in a monthly reporting form which reports the subject’s current address, current employment, and other relevant information.

  • What is a Presentence Report?

    The Court will order a presentence report following a verdict of guilty at trial or the entrance of a guilty plea. While the probation office compiles this report, defendants continue to report to and be supervised by the Pretrial Services Office. All previously ordered conditions of release remain in effect.

  • What is an Appointed Attorney?

    All defendants have the right to an attorney’s representation in their defense. If the U.S. Magistrate Judge finds the defendant is unable to afford an attorney, an Order will be entered appointing an attorney. Defendants are not required to remit payment to an appointed attorney.

  • What is an Arraignment?

    Arraignments are conducted in open court and consist of the reading of the indictment or the information to the defendant or stating the substance of the charge. The defendant must enter a plea to the charge(s) at that time. A trial date is then set.

  • What is an Initial Appearance?

    The initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge is in most cases the defendant’s first contact with the Court and usually is the point where pretrial release or detention is addressed. An initial appearance will occur in one of the following situations:

    • an arrest on a warrant issued on a complaint an appearance on a summons issued in lieu of a warrant an arrest by an officer without a warrant (in which case the complaint is issued immediately by the U.S. Magistrate Judge) an arrest on a warrant issued following the return of an indictment of the Grand Jury an information is filed by the U.S. Attorney an appearance on a citation or violation notice in a misdemeanor offense
    • an appearance in response to an informal agreement between the U.S. Attorney and Defense Counsel

    The defendant will be read the charges being filed or the complaint against them during the initial appearance. Additionally, they will be provided a copy of the charges. The Court will determine if there is a need for an appointed attorney at this time.

  • What is Electronic Monitoring?

    Electronic monitoring is a system used to increase effectiveness in supervising defendants who are required to abide by curfew or remain in their homes as a condition of pretrial release.

    The Home Monitoring Unit is part of an electronic monitoring system designed to increase the effectiveness of supervising clients who are required to abide by curfew restrictions or stay at home as part of pretrial release. The home monitoring unit monitors a client to determine whether he/she is at home.

  • What is inpatient treatment?

    Inpatient treatment is necessary for defendant’s who have continually tested positive for the presence of illicit substances and who are struggling with their substance abuse programs. An appropriate inpatient facility will be determined by the defendant’s supervising officer should it become apparent that intensive treatment is necessary.

    A defendant could also be referred to inpatient treatment when released on bond.

  • What is involved in pretrial supervision?

    Typically, a pretrial services officer will require a defendant to adhere to a specific reporting schedule, which may include telephone and/or personal contact with the assigned pretrial services officer. The officer will monitor the defendant’s compliance with the conditions of release. Home visits will be conducted throughout bond supervision. Additional instructions may be given to a defendant, based on the conditions of release ordered by the U.S. Magistrate Judge.

  • What is needed to post a property bond?

    The property owner posting the bond must provide the following items to the Court:

    • Copy of the deed to the property,
    • The most recent paid real estate tax receipt,
    • Copy of the property insurance policy; and,
    • A statement of the balance due on the mortgage (shown on a payment book, monthly statement or letter from the mortgage company.)

    The property bond MUST be signed by all parties named on the deed. Anyone posting a property bond with the Court should check with the Judge ordering the release for additional requirements. Property bonds are handled directly by the Judge’s chamber’s staff.

  • What is NEF?

    NEF stands for Notice of Electronic Filing.  It is the notice that is generated and e-mailed when an entry is made on the docket.

  • What is pretrial diversion?

    The pretrial diversion program is a tool utilized by the U.S. attorney in deferring prosecution of individuals who appear to have been involved in prosecutable offenses. The pretrial services office receives referrals, collects and verifies information and prepares a report under an agreement with the U.S. attorney for the district. The Chief Pretrial Services Officer is authorized under Title 18 USC 3154(10) to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement with the U.S. attorney for the district.

  • What is required for Electronic Monitoring in a home?

    The EM specialist must verify that a private telephone line exists within the home and there are no party lines. If the telephone has call forwarding, call waiting, or caller ID., they must be removed prior to installation of the home monitoring unit. Cordless telephones should be a desk type model and not a wall mount. The wall mount telephone may not be functional after the unit is installed. Verification of the types of telephone services may be done through the security office of Southwestern Bell Telephone. The in-home part of the monitoring system consists of the monitoring unit, telephone cables, power pack and an ankle transmitter. The ankle transmitter attached to the client sends a continuous coded signal that identifies the individual participant and contains a security circuitry that is able to detect tampers or removal, and sends a special signal to the monitoring center when either occurs. The home monitoring unit is connected to the participant’s telephone line (in-house). This unit is designed to receive the signal emitted by the corresponding ankle transmitter within a pre-set range (50' - 75'). The home monitoring unit determines when the participant enters or leaves the residence by recording the time when the ankle transmitter comes into or goes out of range. Electronic monitoring is also appropriate for use with defendants who have violated the terms of previously imposed release conditions. Community and familial stability are important given the potential for long term enforced togetherness. Persons residing with the participant must be willing to make sacrifices demanded by the electronic monitoring program.

    Participants must have a residence and a telephone.

  • What is restitution?

    Restitution may be collected from an individual based on the nature of their original offense. If restitution is to be collected, money should be submitted to the Pretrial Services Office via money order or cashier’s check, payable to the victim. No cash or personal checks are accepted as payment.

  • What is substance abuse counseling?

    Typically, substance abuse counseling will consist half hour sessions between the individual and their counselor at the vendor’s location. The supervising Pretrial Services Officer can allocate up to four individual sessions per month for any defendant.

  • What is substance abuse testing?

    Substance abuse testing consists of a defendant submitting to randomly announced urine collections which are observed by employees of the vendor providing the service or by a Pretrial Services officer if the test is required during an office visit. The supervising Pretrial Services Office can allocate up to four random urine tests per month for any defendant in a substance abuse testing program.

  • What is termination from the diversion program contingent upon?

    Termination from the diversion program is contingent upon a subject repaying any and all restitution to the victim owed if restitution was ordered. It is also contingent upon the subject remaining in full compliance throughout the twelve month period of supervision which includes contacting the supervising officer as directed and submitting monthly reporting forms as instructed.

  • What is the Court doing during the COVID-19 outbreak to keep jurors safe?

    The Court has implemented 6-foot social distance seating in the Jury Assembly Room and Courtrooms, will provide you with a mask or you can bring your own, and has gloves available for your use. There are hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas, and hand sanitizer is available inside the jury assembly room. Daily sanitizing of common areas is also being performed.

  • What is the number I call for ECF assistance?

    The Help Desk Telephone number is 314-244-7650 and is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also call the Clerk’s Office at 314-244-7900.

  • What is the penalty for not responding to a summons?

    Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than 3 days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.

  • What is the term of supervision?

    The term of supervision in the diversion program commences the day the diversion agreement is signed and continues for a period of twelve months but not to exceed eighteen months. At the conclusion of that twelve month period, the supervising officer will evaluate the subject’s success in the program. If restitution is still outstanding or other matters are still unresolved, the subject will be extended an additional six months in the program for a total of eighteen months of supervision.

  • What is Voluntary Surrender or Self-Surrender?

    At sentencing, if a defendant is not remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Judge may allow the defendant to self-surrender for his/her term of incarceration. A defendant remains under Pretrial Services supervision until he reports to the Bureau of Prisons facility designated by the U.S. Marshals Service. Defendants are notified by mail of the surrender information 4 - 6 weeks in advance.

  • What kinds of cases are tried in Federal Court?

    Both civil and criminal cases are tried in Federal Court. Civil cases can include personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims, claims for breach of contract, and claims for the violation of civil rights. Criminal cases can include drug charges and fraud.

  • What protects my employment while serving on jury duty?

    Jurors are protected by federal statute, Title 28 U.S.C. 1875 which states “No employer shall discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee’s jury service or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States”.

  • What should I bring with me when I report? What items are prohibited?

    You will need to bring a valid photo ID to go through security at the Courthouse. Please be sure to bring your summons for check-in. Cell phones and laptops are permitted in the building, but they MUST be completely turned off when you are in the Courtroom and during juror orientation. You may bring food, books, and magazines. Items not permitted in the Courthouse include firearms, knitting needles, scissors, sewing needles, mace, fingernail clippers and knives of any kind.

  • What should I wear?

    Shorts, tank tops, and sweatpants are NOT permitted in the Courtroom. You will be sent home without being paid or directed to return home and change at your expense if inappropriate attire is worn. You may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket to wear if needed in the Courtroom.

  • What type of civil action can be filed in the District Court?

    Federal District Courts can only hear certain types of cases. Generally, only civil cases that involve diversity of citizenship (parties in the case live in different states and the amount in controversy is greater than $75,000), a federal question (lawsuits that have been authorized by Congress), or have the United States as a party can be filed in Federal Court.

  • What will I be paid for serving? Are juror attendance fees reportable income?

    A $50.00 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to and do report for duty, whether or not you are selected to serve on a trial. You will be paid 65.5 cents per mile round trip from your home to the Courthouse as reimbursement for your travel expense. The Court has an automated program to determine the miles from your address to the Courthouse, so you do not need to track your mileage. Checks are mailed to jurors twice a month. The jury payment files are sent to a central check facility in Kansas City on the 15th and the last day of the month and checks usually issue about 3 business days later. Federal employees receive attendance fees only on their regularly scheduled day(s) off.

    Juror attendance fees are considered income and should be reported to the IRS on your tax form. The Court issues a 1099 MISC tax form to all jurors who have earned $600.00 or more in jury service fees during a calendar year. However, if you earned less than $600.00 in fees, this income should be reported on your tax form. Payments for mileage, parking, and subsistence are not considered income, but expense reimbursements and are not taxable.

  • When should documents be filed in paper form by attorneys?

    Attorneys must have prior approval from the Clerk or the Chief Deputy Clerk before filing documents in paper form. (Any document or exhibit filed in paper form must be served on all parties in paper form and the certificate of service must state how service was made)

  • Where can I find general information about the court’s policies and other law-related services?

    Visit the Self-Help Resource Center in the Clerk’s Office.

  • Where can I find legal materials such as case law and rules of civil procedure?

    You can find legal materials at local law and public libraries.  Also, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit maintains a law library in the Eagleton Courthouse on the twenty-second floor. This library is open to the public.  Please check with the library for its policies regarding public use.  You can also find links to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and Federal Rules of Evidence on this Court’s website.

  • Where do I report? / How do I get there?

    St. Louis

    The Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse is located at 111 South Tenth Street in St. Louis. The Courthouse is easily accessible from Highways 40, 44, 55 and 70.

    Public transportation is also available: Bi-State MetroBus has stops near the Courthouse, and the MetroLink Busch Stadium stop leaves you at 8th Street, between Spruce and Clark Streets. The Court reimburses for mileage from you home to the Courthouse by the shortest practical route, regardless of your means of transportation. Distance from your home to Court is not a valid excuse for not serving as a juror. If you are prevented from driving to Court due to a health condition, you will need to send a note from your doctor regarding your inability to serve. You will report to Jury Assembly Room 1.300 which is located on the first floor, unless otherwise directed.

    Cape Girardeau

    The Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse is located at 555 Independence Street, at the intersection of Frederick and Independence Streets, in Cape Girardeau. It is accessible from Highway 61 and Interstate 55. The Jury Assembly Room is located on the first floor of the Courthouse.


    The Court is located in the Federal Building (Post Office) at 801 Broadway in Hannibal (8th Street and Broadway). You will report to Room 346, unless otherwise directed.

  • Where is my mental health provider located?

    Every attempt is made to locate a vendor near the defendant’s residence or place of employment to facilitate the defendant’s successful participation in their mental health program. Should a defendant require directions or additional information regarding their program plan and/or location, they should contact their supervising officer immediately.

  • Where is my substance abuse provider located?

    Every attempt is made to locate a vendor near the defendant’s residence or place of employment to facilitate the defendant’s successful participation in their substance abuse program. Should a defendant require directions or additional information regarding their program plan and/or location, they should contact their supervising officer immediately.

  • Who do I contact to schedule an appointment for treatment?

    If a substance abuse counseling and treatment or mental health treatment is ordered as a condition of a defendant’s release, the supervising pretrial services officer will direct the individual as to when to call the treatment center and who to talk to. If the defendant misplaces this information, they should contact their supervising officer immediately.

  • Who gets fingerprinted?

    All pretrial diversion candidates are fingerprinted upon their enrollment into the program.

  • Who is referred for the diversion program?

    Individuals who are not:Accused of an offense which, under existing department guidelines, should be referred to the state for prosecution; A person with two or more felony convictions; (the one acceptable prior felony convictions must be a non-drug, non-violent offense and must have "special exception" of the U.S. Attorney’s Office); An addict;

    A public official or former public official accused of an offense arising out of an alleged violation of public trust.

  • Why do I have to wait until 4:30pm to call/check online for reporting instructions?

    Trials in this Court have up until 4:30p.m. on the last business day before trial to be settled, disposed, or continued. This Court only summons the number of jurors needed for the cases that are actually going to trial. In this way the Court can avoid having jurors report who will not go to a Courtroom for jury selection.

  • Will being on pretrial supervision jeopardize employment?

    Pretrial supervision will not usually jeopardize employment. However, if a defendant’s employment is related to the alleged instant offense, the pretrial services officer may require a defendant to notify the employer of the arrest and pending charges or seek alternative employment.

  • Will I be sequestered?

    It is extremely rare that jurors in this Court are sequestered. If this would occur, your hotel and meals would be provided by the Court.

  • Will I receive proof of attendance?

    If an employer requires written verification of your attendance for jury service, you may obtain a Certificate of Attendance for each day you are required to report.

  • Will the Court provide me with an attorney?

    There is no right to appointed counsel in civil cases.  You can, however, ask the Court to appoint you counsel by filing a motion for appointment of counsel (form motions are available from the Clerk’s Office).  If you file a motion for appointment of counsel, you must still proceed with your case while you wait for the Court to make its decision on your motion.