Providing pro se litigants with the necessary knowledge to participate effectively in the trial process is important. Moore v. Agency for Int'l Dev., 994 F.2d 874, 876 (D.C. Cir. 1993). Although district courts need not provide detailed guidance to pro se litigants, they should provide minimal notice of the consequences of not complying with procedural rules. Id. In particular, where a party files a dispositive motion against a pro se litigant such that failure to comply with procedural rules would produce a final judgment to the detriment of the pro se litigant, the D.C. Circuit has instructed courts to notify the pro se litigant of the consequences of non-compliance. Neal v. Kelly, 963 F.2d 453, 456 (D.C. Cir. 1992); Fox v. Strickland, 837 F.2d 507, 509 (D.C. Cir. 1988); Ham v. Smith, 653 F.2d 628 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
Here, prior to granting the plaintiff's motion to strike and motions for default judgment and a decree of forfeiture, the court did not notify the claimant that her failure to respond to these motions could result in a final judgment against the claimant. Given this circuit's requirement that courts provide pro se litigants with notice of the consequences of not complying with procedural rules — especially where non-compliance will result in a final judgment — this court determines that setting aside its June 18, 2002 ruling under Rule 59(e) is necessary to prevent "manifest injustice." Firestone, 76 F.3d at 1208. Accordingly, the court grants the claimant's motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e).
C. The Court Grants the Claimant Leave to Respond to the Motion to Strike
Having determined that the default judgment must be set aside, the court must now identify the relevant pleading to which the claimant may respond. Because the plaintiff's initial motion to strike the claimant's claim is the foundational motion upon which the plaintiff premises its subsequent motions asking the court to treat as conceded its motion to strike and to grant default judgment, the court will allow the claimant to respond to the plaintiff's motion to strike as filed on May 1, 2001.
Accordingly, the court grants the claimant leave to file a response to the plaintiff's motion to strike by no later than March 10, 2003. The claimant should understand that her failure to respond to the plaintiff's motion to strike may result in the court granting that motion as conceded, thereby possibly resolving the entire case in favor of the plaintiff. LCvR 7.1(b); Neal, 963 F.2d at 456; Fox, 837 F.2d at 509. The court further instructs the claimant that her response must include "a verified statement identifying the interest or right" that she has in the defendant funds. FED. R. CIV. P. C(6).
For the foregoing reasons, the court grants the claimant's motion to alter or amend the court's June 18, 2001 judgment and allows the claimant to file a response to the plaintiff's motion to strike. An order directing the parties in a manner consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is separately and contemporaneously issued this ___ day of February 2003.
GRANTING THE CLAIMANT'S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT AND
GRANTING THE CLAIMANT LEAVE TO RESPOND TO THE PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION TO STRIKE