So, as a pro se filer, I've noticed that the Judge in my case is very nice to me. She actually goes out of her way to ensure that I understand the proceedings and is always cheerful when addressing me in open court. Well, I learned earlier, but didn't understand until now, that the Court must treat pro se litigants/debtors better than attorneys.

It has been a long-standing rule -- not sure if it's a rule -- since at least 1972 that pro se litigant's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard. Swofford v. Mandrell,969 F.2d 547, 549 (7th Cir. 1992)

The 10th Circuit went on to say that
The rights of pro se litigants require careful protection where highly technical requirements are involved, especially when enforcing those requirements might result in a loss of the opportunity to prosecute or defend a lawsuit on the merits.

District courts must take care to insure that pro se litigants are provided with proper notice regarding the complex procedural issues involved in summary judgment proceedings. (Garaux v. Pulley, 739 F.2d 437, 439 (9th Cir. 1984).
But, in light of that, the 10th Circuit also found that "we do not believe it is the proper function of the district court to assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).

It's a balancing act for sure. While we pro se filers are afforded every caution, we must still be diligent. The court will not forgive procedural issues. For example, my first objection to claim was met with a NOTICE OF DEFICIENT FILING, and notice to cure or be subject to sanctions. Wow. I did not know that I had to serve the objection on every address on the Proof of Claim. I had only served it on the creditor based on the Creditor Matrix. Silly me! (A quick call to the Clerk's office and asking a "procedural question" fixed it. The Clerk's Office is a great resource for procedural questions. They will not answer questions of law. However, some Judge's have a law clerk who will address areas of law, but not offer legal advice.)

The entire gist of my posting today is, we as pro se filers, have some leeway. The court will recognize this and forgive simple things. But, as a practicality, the Court will not forgive procedure errors (see above). I would also add that the Court and the Clerk's Office will never give legal advice. The Trustee's office won't give it either.

This is the real issue with pro se filers. You have no place to really go for legal help. Any lawyer who did help you, and hasn't be noticed by the Court, could be held accountable for ghostwriting and be sanctioned or rebuked by the Court.

In the end, filing pro se is about being able to efficiently file a Bankruptcy and save money. Why else would you do it? I say that anyone who does it just for the sport of it... needs to talk to a lawyer!