Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, August 26, 2011


Page 3


AOC Launches Redesigned Online Self-Help Center


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Administrative Office of the Courts yesterday announced the launch of its redesigned self-help website for the estimated 4.3 million Californians who represent themselves in court each year.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye remarked that this “updated website will make the legal process more accessible to the many Californians who go to court without an attorney because of economic reasons,” although the resource is also useful to represented litigants to “get more information about the court process and work more effectively with their chosen attorney.”

She said that more informed litigants “ensure a more just and efficient process for both the litigants and the courts.”

The California Courts online self-help center provides information and education about the justice process, basic court procedures, and referrals to legal service programs and lawyer referral services.

Both the English-language version and its Spanish-language counterpart, Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California, are free to use, and have been redesigned to be easier to use and feature expanded information, branch officials said.

New sections on foreclosure, bankruptcy, and consumer debt, as well as limited and unlimited civil lawsuits have been added, as well as a detailed overview section on the court system, working with an attorney, using court forms, researching the law, and preparing for court.

How-to guides on asking for, responding to, and enforcing all types of civil restraining orders, including domestic violence, elder/dependent cases, civil harassment, and workplace violence, are available, along with guides on asking for, responding to, changing, and terminating child and spousal/partner support orders; starting, responding to, and completing a divorce or legal separation; and changing an adult or child’s name.

Information on how to divide property and debt in a divorce or legal separation, alternate dispute resolution, and administrative agency issues is also available.

The California Courts Online Self-Help Center is located at, and the Spanish-language version is at


Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company