Learn about services that may be available at the court, including court clerks, self-help centers, mediation services, ask-a-lawyer programs, and court interpreters.
The clerk of the court files, maintains, and secures all court records and evidence. In addition, the clerk schedules cases and prepares daily court calendars. The clerk's office is where the parties to a case will submit (or "file") their documents or obtain copies of documents that have already been filed in a case.
Your court may have a self-help center with staff who are able to answer questions and point you in the right direction. Self-help center staff cannot give you legal advice, but can explain the court process and provide you with forms you might need.
Your court might have a mediation center to help you and the other party resolve your issues. During mediation, the parties meet with a neutral mediator who tries to help the parties reach an agreement on the issues. Mediation is private and confidential.
Your court may have a partnership with an organization that provides free attorney consultations. Attorneys may come to the court (or law library, or self-help center) on certain days to offer free assistance. Check with your local court to find out if this is available in your area.
If you are non-English speaking, you should let your court staff know at least five days before your hearing that you need an interpreter. The court can arrange for an interpreter to be at your hearing. The interpreter's office provides professional interpreting services for virtually any language.