PRO-PER – IN PROPRIA PERSONA Latin, in ones own proper person.
To appear as yourself as a natural man or woman (a non fiction) in court without the assistance or the liability of an attorney.

PRO-SE – Latin – For himself – on one’s own behalf.
To appear for yourself as a legal fiction. A person who “represents” himself but is not in court as himself. An imaginary person in court without the assistance or the liability of an attorney.

“It is more important to out think your enemy, than to out fight him.” – Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’

Have you ever asked why it is, that no one is allowed to enter a courtroom, as plaintiff or defendant, in Propria Persona or Pro-Per?

Propria Persona, commonly abbreviated as Pro-Per, simply means that you are entering the court as the real person in the case. That is, in the flesh and blood, as the man or woman named in the complaint.

The court may reluctantly allow you to enter the court Pro-Se, representing the fictional person in the case, or the court will allow an attorney to represent the fictional person in the case.

But, the court will go crazy if you insist on appearing as a real person in Pro-Per.  Why is this ?

The reason is because you (the human) are not the same person that is actually named in the case.

How could an imaginary legal fiction person ever appear in court in the flesh?

The cause of action, or the case, is always between the two legal fictions, the plaintiff and the defendant. The state is also a fictional person that exists only on paper. The fictional person of the state court can only have jurisdiction over other fictions and not over living human beings. Let me make this clear, THE COURT HAS NO AUTHORITY OVER ANY LIVING MAN OR WOMAN. The judge is YOUR public servant, you are the master….. 

When you file any motions or papers into the court, they must be filed ONLY in PROPRIA PERSONA, because, if pleaded by attorney, they admit the jurisdiction of the court over you. An attorney is an officer of the court, and he is permitted to plead your case only after having obtained permission from the court, which admits the courts’ jurisdiction over you.

Therefore, your appearance MUST always be in Pro-Per, and never with or by an attorney.

This is evident by the way your name is spelled in the court’s documents in all capital letters. All courts today in the U.S. are legal fictions, they are military courts acting against civilians, under the Emergency War Powers Act of March 9, 1933.

The courts of today are no longer under the judicial branch of government. They are under the executive branch of government. This is evident by the gold fringed flag in every courtroom. A gold fringed flag is a military flag (See Title 4, USC 1).


This flag serves as notice to all, that they are entering a military court. The Courts can only prosecute another legal fiction, except in cases of Common Law crimes that actually injure a real person such as rape, murder, robbery, and other trespasses.

The United States Supreme Court observed in its unanimous decision in the case Kay v. Ehrler 499 U.S. 432, that a lawmaking body may instead prefer to discourage attorneys from electing to appear in propria persona because such self-representation may often conflict with the general public and legislative policy favoring the effective and successful prosecution of meritorious claims.

The high court observed that “Even a skilled lawyer who represents himself is at a disadvantage in contested litigation. Ethical considerations may make it inappropriate for him to appear as a witness. He is deprived of the judgment of an independent third party in framing the theory of the case, evaluating alternative methods of presenting the evidence, cross-examining hostile witnesses, formulating legal arguments, and in making sure that reason, rather than emotion, dictates the proper tactical response to unforeseen developments in the courtroom.

The adage that “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client” is the product of years of experience by seasoned litigators. However, what they neglect to say is that a lawyer who hires another lawyer, still is a fool as a client.

If you are a pro-se litigant facing a motion to dismiss or some other ruling because of a minor technicality or because of an error found in your paperwork, you are not without considerable precedent to protect your position.

There are four major federal decisions which offer you considerable protection. In your opposition to such motions, you may do well to cite these cases:

Picking v. Pennsylvania Railway (151 F2d. 240) Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In Picking, the plaintiffs civil rights claim was 150 pages and described by a federal judge as “inept.”

Nevertheless, it was held:

“Where a plaintiff pleads pro-se in a suit for protection of civil rights, the court should endeavor to construe plaintiffs pleading without regard to technicalities.”

Walter Process Equipment v. Food Machinery 382 U.S. 172 (1965) it was held that in a “motion to dismiss, the material allegations of the complaint are taken as admitted.” From this vantage point, courts are reluctant to dismiss complaints unless it appears the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief (see Conley vs. Gibson below).

Puckett v. Cox (456 F2d 233 (1972 Sixth Circuit USCA), it was held that a pro-se complaint requires a less stringent reading than one drafted by a lawyer

Conley v. Gibson 355 U.S. 41 at 48(1957) Justice Black said, “The Federal Rules rejects the approach that pleading is a game of skill in which one misstep by counsel may be decisive to the outcome and accept the principle that the purpose of pleading is to facilitate a proper decision on the merits.” According to rule 8(f) FRCP all pleadings shall be construed to do substantial justice.”

It should also be argued that to dismiss a civil rights action or other lawsuit in which a serious factual pattern or allegation of a cause of action has been made would itself be violative of procedural due process as it would deprive a pro-per or pro-se litigant of equal protection of the law compared to a party who is represented by counsel.

LEGAL SELF HELP BOOK – This PDF handbook will help you decide if you have a legal claim and will tell you how to file the papers to start a lawsuit. It explains how to conduct discovery if there is going to be a trial. This handbook helps you to get started, but it only has case citations for Washington D.C.  You MUST change these citations to which ever state you are located in. This Handbook is available here for free download for everybody.

JAILHOUSE LAWYER HANDBOOK – This PDF handbook is a resource for prisoners or anybody who wishes to file a federal lawsuit using Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code. The U.S. Congress passed Section 1983 to allow anyone to sue in federal court when a state or local official violates their federal rights. Even if you are a prisoner you can also file a complaint in federal court regarding poor conditions in prison and / or abuse by prison staff. This handbook also contains limited information about legal research and the American legal system. This handbook is available here for free download for everyone: prisoners, lawyers, families, friends, activists and others.

LEGAL DEFINITIONS – Here are the common legal phrases and the Latin phrases used in law books and case briefs. These will greatly help your understanding of all legal writings. Click the other buttons for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments