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State courts' program expands to 7th District

The state courts office has expanded the self-help center services to the 7th Judicial District.

The center assists individuals who are representing themselves in civil cases in court to better understand the legal processes.

The program was launched in December 2007 in the 2nd and 8th Judicial District as part of a pilot project, indicated Nancy Volmer, public information officer for the state office.

The center staff provides legal information via a toll-free telephone help line

The toll-free telephone number is 888-683-0009. Help line hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Carbon County residents with Internet access may also receive legal assistance by contacting the center staff at selfhelp@email.utcourts or visiting website

Self-help center services are available to all local residents who have court cases in the 7th Judicial District, pointed out Volmer.

The 7th Judicial District encompasses Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan counties.

According to Volmer, the center staff will be available to provide residents with information about:

•What to do before going to court.

•How to prepare paperwork for court.

•How to represent themselves in court.

•What to do with an order issued by the court.

Assistance is available in all civil matters, noted Volmer.

Examples of civil matters processed through the court system include the areas of family law as well as domestic violence, guardianship and conservatorship, probate, landlord-tenant disputes and small claims.

Family law matters include such subjects as adoption, paternity, divorce, custody and child support.

The center staff will also refer individuals to appropriate legal services providers and other community resources.

"The self-help center services are not a substitute for an attorney," explained Salt Lake City Justice Court Judge John Baxter. "Center staff can explain how the courts work and provide forms and referrals; however, the staff cannot provide legal advice."

Judge Baxter chairs the courts standing committee on resources for self-represented parties.

The standing committee initiated the self-help center pilot project, concluded Volmer.                                       

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