Legal Self Help Center Print this Page
Phone: (415) 444-7130
Email: selfhelp@marincourt.org
Location: Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room C-44
Office Hours: Varied (See Below)


Free Legal Self Help Services Available to the Public, in English and Spanish

Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30am to 12:00pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00pm. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we do NOT have in person, drop-in services. However, we are available via email (selfhelp@marincourt.org) and telephone ((415)444-7130). We are also scheduling one-on-one appointments via Zoom.

Legal Self Help Center (LSHC) provides free assistance to those who do not have attorneys. Services include: intake, information and referral to legal services partners, individual assistance with legal document preparation; bilingual assistance and legal reference materials for non-English speakers; assistance in conducting self-guided legal research; and coordination of volunteers and interns who provide direct customer services.

LSHC offers one-on-one assistance to self-represented litigants via email, telephone, and Zoom appointments. LSHC utilizes a variety of web-based tools, available in multiple languages, to help litigants prepare their legal documents. There are numerous self-help resources in easy-to-understand legal publications and on the internet for Californians.

Staff are also available to provide information on how to file various kinds of legal documents, serve opposing parties, and explain court procedures and legal terminology, as well as giving the public tips on how to prepare for and what to bring to court appearances.

Primary Areas of Legal Assistance are:

  • Child Custody & Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Small Claims
  • Divorce/Dissolutions
  • Domestic Violence
  • Guardianship
  • Harassment Restraining Orders
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Mediation
  • Name Changes
  • Paternity

Legal Self Help Resources Available on the Internet

Over the past several years, numerous legal self-help programs have become available over the Internet. Several California law web-based tools are available at LSHC or may be accessed from any location. Here are links to some of the tools used in the LSHC:

California Courts Self Help Center - This is the Judicial Council of California’s self help services website. Information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese. This tool provides assistance with family law, small claims, domestic violence, elder issues, traffic matters, evictions, bankruptcy, conservatorships, guardianships and many more types of cases. Click here



Overview and History of Legal Self Help Center

Many years ago, as a result of the increasing number of self-represented litigants using the legal system, the leaders of the California Court, under the direction of the Chief Justice, began to implement programs to establish Legal Self-Help Centers in every court throughout the State of California.

In Marin County, legal assistance for self-represented litigants is provided by Legal Self Help Center (LSHC), a division of the Marin Superior Court. This program was established in 2003 and was conceived by the Court working together with numerous legal service providers and other community agencies. Over the course of those years, tens of thousands of Marin residents have received assistance with their legal matters.

LSHC provides a variety of services including assistance with form preparation, provision of legal information, and referrals to governmental and community-based legal and social organizations. At LSHC, we believe that educating litigants about the court process and basic legal principles can help minimize their stress, improve their ability to settle out-of-court, and ultimately obtain a timely and equitable resolution of their legal matters.

 
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