List of Assistance Available at the Clerk's Office
The Clerk’s Office is prohibited from giving legal advice.1 You may, however, examine copies of the following materials at the Clerk’s Office:
- the Bankruptcy Code (title 11, U.S. Code);
- the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure;
- the Local Bankruptcy Rules;
- the Official Bankruptcy Forms;
- the court’s Local Forms;
- the Bankruptcy Fee Compendium;
- Bankruptcy Basics;
- a list of credit counseling agencies authorized by the U.S. Trustee to provide prepetition credit counseling in the District of Columbia;
- a list of organizations that may be able to provide pro bono legal advice to you in connection with your bankruptcy; and
- computers which you may use to retrieve the electronic docket sheet for each bankruptcy case and adversary proceeding as well as to review papers filed in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings.
1 As mentioned elsewhere on this website, the court has prohibited the Clerk’s Office and the chambers staff of the court’s judges from giving legal advice. For example, they cannot:
- Explain the meaning of a particular statutory provision or rule;
- Give an interpretation of case law;
- Explain the result of taking or not taking action in a case;
- Help you complete forms, or advise you regarding what is legally required when a form elicits information from you;
- Tell you whether jurisdiction is proper in a case;
- Tell you whether a complaint properly presents a claim;
- Provide advice on the best procedure to accomplish a particular goal;
- Apply a rule or statute;
- Explain who should receive proper notice or service.
The judge cannot give you legal advice or assist you. The judge’s job is to supervise and administer the entire case and to resolve disputes between the parties. The judge must remain impartial (not lean in favor of one side). You cannot engage in ex parte communications with the judge (meaning only you communicating with the judge). This means that you cannot contact the judge to have a conversation about your case.