Category Archives: Free Legal Help

Child Support Services and Information

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Child support isn’t always an easy subject for divorced parents. Information about how the process works can help ease some of the pain of paying, and of collecting. Every state has an agency that sets up and manages the child support process, but many local courts and county attorneys are part of that process. The obvious role of the court is in setting the amount of child support payments (although in many jurisdictions this is accomplished by alternative disupte resolution without going before a judge). But many local agencies, courts, and county attorneys (or district attorneys, depending on the jurisdiction) … Read More

State Attorneys General Provide Legal Resources and Legal Research for Free

Generally when we hear about state attorneys general in the news, it is because they are suing tobacco companies, or defending high-profile state laws in court. But state attorneys general (“SAGs”) can also be a good resource for guidance on everyday legal issues. SAGs are tasked with providing legal protection to their state’s residents, which means pursuing big lawsuits sometimes, but also providing guidance on issues such as consumer fraud, elder abuse, and victims’ rights.

The websites of various SAGs provide a variety of resources. The Arizona SAG site, has a section on what to do about annoying telemarketers … Read More

Do You Need a Lawyer?

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Since most people go through most of their lives without interacting with the court system, it can be confusing when one is suddenly forced to interact with that system. Imagine that tomorrow you discover you have a legal problem. “Do I need a lawyer?” may well be your first reaction. The easy answer for any legal problem is yes, you should talk to a lawyer, even if the lawyer then says you don’t really need a lawyer. But you don’t know any lawyers – this being your first encounter with a legal problem – and lawyers cost money. Maybe you … Read More

CourtReference: Your Guide to Free Legal Help

Are you experiencing legal trouble and unsure of how to proceed? Do you need a lawyer but think you cannot afford one? You might be surprised at the number of free or low-cost legal services available in your state and how easy it is to find them through CourtReference.

Legal aid and legal referral services may be offered by state government, county government, or private organizations. Some agencies offer general legal services, such as help with most non-criminal matters. Others offer specialized services for a group of people, such as senior citizens or victims of domestic violence, or a … Read More

Law Libraries for You

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Need to do some legal research? Look up a case, a statute, books on a particular legal topic, or a specific legal document? Try the law library; it’s easier than you think. There is at least one law library in your state that is open to the public; in some states, there is one in every county. And like public libraries, law libraries are putting their catalogs and other resources online.

Check your state’s CourtReference guide’s Self Help and Legal Research resource category and look for the word “library” on the page. You’ll find the closest law library and links … Read More

Legal Self-Help Tools

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In this day and age, there are any number of circumstances that may force one to be involved with the legal system. The involvement may range from a simple traffic ticket to felony charges and, obviously, the more serious the situation, the more likely that an attorney will be necessary. Navigating the court system, and even finding an attorney, can be a daunting process. Where to go? What to do?

Luckily, there is a great deal of information available online and a number of good self-help resources. These resources range from how to pay traffic tickets to attorney referral services, … Read More

Foreclosure Mediation

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As if going through foreclosure wasn’t difficult enough, those facing this life hurdle now must also ward off those seeking to take advantage of their situation. A recent news release from the attorney general in Connecticut warned about foreclosure rescue companies masquerading as law firms, taking badly needed monies from these homeowners and providing no assistance.

Foreclosure assistance and mediation is often provided free by the court system.  For example, sticking with Connecticut, the State of Connecticut Judical Branch offers a free Foreclosure Mediation Program that provides homeowners with free mediation services to assist the homeowner and the lender in … Read More

Paying Court Fines Online

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As our society and our everyday activities, including paying bills, move more and more online, it becomes natural to expect the ease of online access to apply to that most frustrating of chores – paying a traffic ticket. As consumers, we desire the ease and speed of paying tickets online and our courts reap the benefits of not having court personnel tied up with processing these payments. 

The ability to pay these tickets, and other court fees, online varies greatly from state to state and even county to county. Some states and counties have a wide range of court functions … Read More

Discover Your Rights with Self-Help Resources

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Do you know how to file a lawsuit with a court, the correct way to perform service of process, or how to create a parental plan in a divorce and custody case?  An attorney is not necessarily the only person who can effectively answer this question.  Although it is very advisable to seek legal advise from a professional, especially for complicated matters, there may be self help options you can also turn to.  Even in circumstances where you enlist the help of a qualified legal professional, using self-help services can provide you with an arsenal of knowledge to help you … Read More

Understanding Court Documents

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To begin a legal proceeding, the initiating party (plaintiff) must file a pleading called a Summons and Complaint.  In that one sentence, there is a lot of legal jargon which many people may not understand the full meaning of.  If you are representing yourself in a lawsuit, or if you are just interesting in understanding court document, it is important to start at the beginning.

Starting The Lawsuit
A Pleading is a document that in a legal proceeding which asserts or responds to an allegation, defense, denial, or claim.  When a lawsuit is initiated, one party must go to court … Read More