No E-Filing for Plaintiff Representing Himself

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By Melissa Heelan Stanzione

A man who wanted to file his case electronically with the Sixth Circuit can’t because local rules forbid it ( Greene v. Frost Brown Todd, LLC , 6th Cir., No. 16-6761, 5/9/17 ).

Even though Douglas Walter Greene “has demonstrated an historic ability to navigate” the electronic filing system, Sixth Circuit Rule 45(c) does not permit him to file electronically, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said May 9.

The court denied Greene’s motion to reconsider its earlier order denying him e-filing privileges.

Judge Richard Allen Griffin concurred in the result only and called on the court to amend its rules.

The rule—which requires only those litigants representing themselves to file “in paper form"—is “unbending,” Griffin said.

It “irrationally treats pro se litigants differently” and is at odds with most other circuit courts, he said.

Only the Eleventh Circuit and two district courts in the Sixth Circuit prohibit pro se litigants from e-filing, Griffin said.

Furthermore, Greene has shown good cause to be allowed to e-file, he said.

He lives abroad in remote locations and competently filed his case with the district court online, Griffin said.

“I would allow him to file electronically in this case,” he said.

Judges Eugene E. Siler Jr. and Alice M. Batchelder also took part in the case.

Greene represented himself.

Middleton Reutlinger represented the defendants.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at

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