June 28, 2018

Self-Help Centers

Self-Help Centers

Consumer's Guide to Legal Help on the Internet, American Bar Association.

-- State and Local Self-Help Centers --

Alabama

The Alabama Judicial System’s Forms and Electronic Library  contains fillable forms for child support, small claims and other civil matters.

The Alabama Legal Help website includes legal information, forms and instructions.

Alaska

The Alaska Court System Family Law Self Help Center provides information, forms and instructions on matters relating to family law.

Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court Self-Service Center provides information, self-help guides and forms.

The Coconino County Law Library and Self-Help Center provides information, links to other resources, forms, and videos.

The Pima County Law Library website includes a family law quick guide, links for online legal research, and self-service court forms.

The Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, Self-Service Center provides information, forms and contacts for additional assistance. A listing of lawyers and mediators includes online resumes. Forms and instructions are in English and Spanish.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Judiciary Court Forms website offers circuit court forms and instructions.

The Arkansas Legal Services Partnership website offers interactive legal forms and an online legal library.

California

California Courts Self-Help Center includes forms and instructions, Q&A, links, glossary and other aids.

I-Can Legal Models uses document assembly technology to enable visitors to complete forms by answering online questions. Provided by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (CA). Available in English, Spanish and Viet Nam languages.

The Superior Court Family Law Facilitator Web Site provides information.

The Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento Self-Help Resources Web Site provides information and forms for family law matters.

The Superior Court of California, County of Ventura, Legal Self-Help Web Site provides information and forms.

Colorado

Colorado Judicial Branch Self-Help Center includes forms that can be completed online and printed. Site includes a self-help survey.

Connecticut

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch self help site provides detailed information to the public.

Delaware

Family Court of Delaware site provides information and divorce packets for self-help litigants.

District of Columbia

The DC Bar Pro-Se-Plus Custody Clinic is a two-session workshop conducted each month at D.C. Superior Court to assist unrepresented litigants seeking custody of children.

The DC Bar Pro-Se-Plus Divorce Clinic is a two–session workshop conducted each month at D.C. Superior Court to assist unrepresented litigants in obtaining uncontested divorces.

The District of Columbia Courts Representing Yourself website includes information and links to forms and resources.

The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia website provides information and forms for self-represented debtors. 

Florida

The Florida State Courts website includes a Self-Help Center with information and contacts.

FloridaLawHelp.org provides links, forms, and general information for a variety of categorized legal issues.

The Palm Beach County Self Service Center offers online resources, including video, and offers appointment with licensed attorneys – for a nominal fee – at all branch courthouse locations. 

The Pinellas County Self Help Center offers online resources, including videos, and offers appointments with licensed attorneys – for a nominal fee - at three different locations in Pinellas County.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida website provides family court forms and self help packets.

The Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts website provides FAQ's and links to self-representation forms and information for Brevard and Seminole Counties.

The Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Hillsborough County website provides forms, information on their Family Forms Clinic, and a Guide for Pro Se Litigants.

Georgia

The Cobb County Law Library Self-Help Center includes downloadable forms and links to other resources.

The Fulton County Family Division website offers forms, articles, tip, faqs and other information.

Judicial Branch of Georgia Self Help Resources offers forms, information, video clips and links to self help resources.

Hawaii

Hawai'i State Judiciary Self-Help website includes forms, instruction, tips, and contacts.

Idaho

The Court Assistance Offices Project site includes forms, instructions, an attorney roster, and contact information for 22 court assistance offices.

Illinois

Illinois Legal Aid Online includes forms that can be completed online. The site also offers information, instructions and links to resources.

Southern Illinois University maintains the Self-Help Law Center , with forms, instruction and information about self-help classes.

Indiana

The Indiana Judicial System Self-Service Legal Center offers information, videos, forms and links to resources.

Iowa

The Iowa Judicial Branch Representing Yourself website includes forms, information and tips on preparing for court.

Kansas

The Kansas Legal Services website offers free interactive legal forms for a variety of legal issues.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Court of Justice Forms Library includes forms for name changes, small claims and several other civil matters.

The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky website offers interactive court forms for child support, simple divorces, landlord/tenant issues, living wills, name changes and small claims.

Louisiana

LouisianaLawHelp.org lists programs that offer free legal help, including self-help centers.

Maine

HelpMeLaw.org provides extensive information, forms and contacts on matters of personal legal services.

The Maine Judicial Branch Representing Yourself website includes information and links to other resources.

Maryland

The District Court of Maryland Self-Help Center offers limited legal assistance with landlord/tenant, small claims, debtor/creditor, replevin/detinue, and domestic violence/peace orders.  Services are offered at a walk-in location or via live chat and phone service.

The Maryland Judiciary website offers forms for both the circuit and district courts.

Maryland's Peoples Law Library provides extensive information, including on-line diagnostic tools to determine if an individual is suitable for self-representation. Information is presented in six languages in addition to English.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Court System Self-Help Center provides information of use of the courts.

Massachusetts Legal Help provides legal information and links to resources. Information is available in four languages in addition to English.

Michigan

The Michigan Courts Self Help Center provides forms, instructions and information.

The Michigan Online Legal Help Center includes information and links to self help resources.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Judicial Branch Self Help Center provides information, videos and tutorials. The site also includes forms that can be completed online and offers resources available in several languages including Spanish, Homng and Somali.

Missouri

The Legal Services of Missouri Public Law Library offers information and links to resources.

The Representing Yourself in Missouri Courts website includes forms, information and links to resources on matters relating to family law.

Montana

The State Law Library of Montana offers forms, information and links to other resources.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Judicial Branch Self Help Center includes forms, instructions, information and links to resources.

Nevada

Clark County Family Law Self-Help Center provides instructions in English and Spanish, forms, and information about self-help classes.

The Nevada Judiciary Self Help/Pro Se website offers forms and external resource links.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Judicial Branch Self Help Center provides forms, information, tips on court preparation and links to resources.

New Jersey

NewJerseyCourtsOnline.com provides a variety of packets with information and forms.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Supreme Court website offers forms for the District, Magistrate, Metropolitan, Municipal and Probate Courts.

New Mexico State Judiciary Self Representation Web Site includes family law forms and instruction in both English and Spanish.

New York

New York Court Help includes forms, information and videos in both English and Spanish.

NYCourts.gov has a comprehensive list of Court Help Centers and Community Organizations

 

North Carolina

26th Judicial District Self-Help Center Web Site provides forms, referrals and information about instructional clinics.

The North Carolina Court System website offers a comprehensive list of forms, most available for download.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Supreme Court website provides forms and instructions for self represented parties.

Ohio

The Ohio Legal Services website includes information, videos, links to court forms and other resources.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Courts Network website offers court forms.

Oregon

The Oregon Judicial Department Self-Help website includes information and forms.

The Oregon State Bar Do-It-Yourself Legal Topics website offers information on restraining order hearings, small claims court and summary dissolution.

Pennsylvania

The Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Court Self Help Center offers forms and instructions.

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website offers civil complaint and landlord/tenant forms, as well as various forms for Orphans Court.

Rhode Island

The Judiciary of Rhode Island website offers court forms.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Judicial Department Self Help Resources website offers forms for various court types.

The South Carolina Bar Self-Help Resources website includes forms, instructions and information for self-represented simple divorce proceedings.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Unified Judicial System website provides forms and information.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts website offers legal information and forms in English and Spanish.

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services Web Site provides legal information and links to resources.

Texas

The State Bar of Texas website provides pamphlets, handbooks and videos.

Utah

The Utah State Courts How To Web Site provides information and incorporates Online Court Assistance Programs that use document assembly to determine eligibility and create the necessary paperwork for some legal needs.

Vermont

The Vermont Judiciary Court Information website offers fillable court forms, information and links to other resources.

Virginia

The Virginia Judicial System website includes forms for civil legal matters in the General District, Circuit and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.

Washington

Washington LawHelp includes information and self-help packets in English, Russian and Spanish.

The King County Superior Court website offers information, court forms, and videos.

Washington Courts Forms Web Site includes forms and detailed instructions, with topical search capability.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals website offers forms, information and links to resources.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Court System Self Help Center provides forms in both English and Spanish. The site also offers information, tips and links to resources.

Wyoming

The Wyoming Judicial Branch Self Help Center offers forms, instructions and information.

Articles

Bonnie Hough, Self-Represented Litigants in Family Law: The Response of California’s Courts, California Law Review (January 2010).

Christian Nolan, Website Changes to Help Pro Se Litigants , Connecticut Law Tribune (July 14, 2010).

Andrea Nordick, Leveling the Playing Field for Pro Se Litigants , Hennepin Lawyer (December 2009).

Elizabeth A. Sykes and Sue Allison, Help May Be on the Way for Self-Represented Litigants , Tennessee Bar Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2 (February 2005).

Charles R. Toy, Justice for Whom?, Michigan Bar Journal (May 2010).

Books & Reports

Access Across America: First Report of the Civil Justice Infrasctructure Mapping Project, Rebecca L. Sandefur and Aaron C. Smyth, American Bar Foundation (October 2011).

Addressing the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants in Our Courts: Final Report and Recommendations , Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants (November 21, 2008).

American Judicature Society Pro Se Policy Recommendations (Mar. 2002).

Analysis of Survey of Missouri Circuit Clerks Regarding Pro Se /Pro Bono Services , Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Access to Family Courts (September 30, 2008).

An Analysis of Rules that Enable Lawyers to Serve Self-Represented Litigants, A White Paper, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (August 2014)

A National Conference on Pro Se Litigation – Florida Team Report , Office of the State Courts Administrator, Florida Supreme Court (Jan. 2000).

Evaluation of Law Help Ontario as a Model for Assisting Litigants in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, The Resource for Great Programs, Inc (November 2009).

Best Practices for Court Help Centers and Programs to Assist Unrepresented Litigants, New York State Courts Access to Justice Program (December 2009).

Clearing a Path to Justice: A Report of the Maryland Judiciary Work Group on Self-Representation in Maryland Courts (August 2007).

Commission on the Status of the Legal Profession: Report and Recommendations to the New Hampshire Supreme Court (February 2007).

Committee on Resources for Self-Represented Parties Strategic Planning Initiative: Report to the Judicial Council , Utah Supreme Court (July 25, 2006).

Conference of Chief Judges and Conference of State Court Administrators Joint Task Force on Pro Se Litigation Report (July 29, 2002).

Elkins Family Law Task Force Final Report and Recommendations, California Administrative Office of the Courts (April 2010).

Guidelines for Best Practices in Pro Se Assistance: Task Force on Pro Se Litigation , Louisiana Task Force on Pro Se Litigation of the Judicial Council (October 1, 2004).

Guidelines for the Operation of Self-Help Centers in California Trial Courts, California Administrative Office of the Courts (2008).

Interim Report and Recommendations , Maryland Access to Justice Commission (Fall 2009).

Listening to Ontarians: Report of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project, Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project Steering Committee (May 2010).

Missouri Supreme Court Joint Commission to Review Pro Se Litigation: Report to the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri Bar (September 2003)

Office of the State Court Administrator Report to the Florida Legislature on Family Court Self-Help Programs (Mar. 1, 1999).

Pro Se Implementation Committee Annual Report , Minnesota State Bar Association (2001-2002).

Pro Se Litigation Interim Feasibility Committee Report , Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Bar Association (September 2004).

Pro Se Litigation: Meeting the Challenge of Self-Represented Litigants in Wisconsin , Pro Se Working Group, Wisconsin Supreme Court (December 2000).

Public Service and Trust Commission Strategic Plan: Phase One Implementation Report , Public Service and Trust Commission, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2009).

Recommendations and Report, Minnesota State Bar Association Pro Se Implementation Committee (Jan. 2002).

Report and Recommendations of the Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se & Indigent Litigants, Supreme Court of Ohio (April 2006).

Report and Recommendations, Pro Se Litigation Committee, Judicial Council of Georgia (Dec. 10, 1998).

Report of the Committee on Pro Se Parties and Civil Justice Reform, Final Report of the Governor's Task Force on Civil Justice Reform , Colorado, (1990).

Report of the Joint Iowa Judges Association and Iowa State Bar Association Task Force on Pro Se Litigation (May, 18, 2005).

Report of the Statewide Law Library/Self-Help Center Advisory Workgroup , Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Office (January 17, 2007).

Self-Representation in Oregon’s Family Law Cases: Next Steps , SFLAC’s Self-Represented Legal Services Subcommittee, Oregon Judicial Department (September 2007).

Self-Represented Litigants: Characteristics, Needs, Services, The Results of Two Surveys , Office of the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives (December 2005).

Statewide Action Plan For Serving Self-Represented Litigants in California, Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants, Judicial Council of California (2004).

The Self-Help Center Census: A National Survey, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (August 2014)

The Self-Help Friendly Court: Designed from the Ground Up to Work for People Without Lawyers , Richard Zorza, State Justice Institute (2001).

User Friendly Courts: Customer Service in the Court House, Nathaniel T.W. Folkemer, Coalition for Justice (December 2007).

Court Rules

California

California Rule of Court 10.960 governs the operation of court self-help centers.

Florida

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Rule 12.750, governs the operation of self-help programs within family courts.

Idaho

Idaho Court Administrative Rule 53 creates a statement of policy to ensure access to the courts by all persons, and governs the operation of court assistance services.

Minnesota

Minnesota General Rule of Practice for the District Courts 110  governs the operation of self-help programs.

Missouri

Missouri Rule of Civil Procedure 88.09 requires unrepresented parties to complete a litigant awareness program and to use court approved forms.

New Mexico

New Mexico Supreme Court General Rule 23-113 governs communication between self-represented litigants and court staff, and grants immunity to court staff for any information provided to self-represented litigants.

North Carolina

North Carolina General Statute 50B-2(d) , requires the clerk of superior court in each county to provide pro se litigants with all necessary forms.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 70.41 provides guidelines for court staff when assisting the public.

Guidelines

Iowa

Guidelines & Instructions for Clerks Who Assist Pro Se Litigants in Iowa's Courts

New Jersey

Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees, Canon 1F

New Jersey Judiciary Ombudsmen Program

New York

How Can the Clerk's Office Help?

Tennessee

Guidelines for Tennessee Clerks Who Assist Self Represented Litigants


Washington

How Courthouse Facilitators Can Help

Getting Help in the Court or Clerk's Office