Published by: Judicial Council of California Administrative Office of the Courts. Published in May 2013
This plan states that court-based staffed self-help centers, supervised by attorneys, are the optimum way for courts to facilitate the timely and cost-effective processing of cases involving self-represented litigants, to increase access to the courts and improve delivery of justice to the public. In addition, they write that it is imperative for the efficient operation of today’s courts that well-designed strategies to serve self-represented litigants, and to effectively manage their cases at all stages, are incorporated and budgeted as core court functions. And also, partnerships between the courts and other governmental and community-based legal and social service organizations are critical to providing the comprehensive field of services required for success.
- Self-Help Centers: Effective self-help services and management of cases involving self-represented litigants should be budgeted consistently.
- Support for Self-Help Centers: Materials that have been developed to assist self-represented litigants with obtaining and enforcing court orders should be collected and maintained. Examples include: Web site designs, videos, brochures, translations, and informational packets
- Administrative materials such as partnership agreements, memorandums of understanding, and volunteer training guides
- Detailed information on self-represented litigant efforts that have been recognized by California court or other awards.
- Allocation of Existing Resources: The assignment of experienced, talented, and energetic judicial officers with a comprehensive knowledge of the substantive law to departments with high numbers of self-represented litigants—such as family law, small claims, traffic, or unlawful detainer—should be encouraged.