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UTAH STATE COURTS LAUNCH SELF-HELP CENTER

Center Serves Second and Eighth Districts as Part of a Pilot Project

Salt Lake City, Utah— The Utah State Courts has launched a Self-Help Center in the second and eighth judicial districts to assist individuals who are representing themselves in court to better understand court processes. The Self-Help Center is part of a pilot project the court is conducting through June 30, 2008.

Center staff will provide legal information via a toll-free telephone help line as well as e-mail.

The toll-free phone number is 888-683-0009 and is available to anyone calling from a land line phone in Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Morgan, Uintah, and Weber counties. Help line hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Individuals can also receive assistance by
e-mailing the center staff at selfhelp@email.utcourts.gov or going to the court’s Web site at www.utcourts.gov/howto.

The Self-Help Center’s services are available only to residents in the Second Judicial District, which includes Davis, Weber, and Morgan counties, as well as the Eighth Judicial District, which includes Daggett, Duchesne, and Uintah counties.

The center’s staff is available to provide information about what to do before going to court, how to prepare paperwork for court, how to represent oneself in court, and what to do with an order issued by the court. Assistance is available in the areas of family law such as adoption, paternity, divorce, custody and child support, as well as domestic violence, guardianship/conservatorship, probate, landlord-tenant disputes, and small claims. 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 court’s Standing Committee on Resources for Self-represented Parties, which initiated the pilot project.

The Utah State Courts is working together with the Utah State Bar, legal service agencies, and public libraries to create a network of resources for individuals who choose to represent themselves in court.

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