Jul 03, 2020

Civil Self Help Center (SHC)

Location: Hall of Justice
Office Hours: 9am-12pm Mon-Thurs
Remote Services Phone Number (707) 521-6534 *See Telephone Instructions Below

Thank you for visiting the Sonoma County Court Civil Self-Help Center. We know that the legal process can seem overwhelming and stressful at times, but we are here to offer support with a team of committed legal professionals who aspire to provide exceptional, accessible, and fair justice services to all.

The Self-Help Center offers in-person services Monday-Thursday 9am-12pm in the Civil Clerk’s Office at the Hall of Justice located at 600 Administration Drive, # 107-J, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CIVIL SELF-HELP SERVICES

If you have an attorney of record, the Self-Help Center cannot assist you.
Staff at the SHC can provide legal assistance to help you represent yourself in your civil court case.

  • They are not your attorneys.
  • They cannot give you legal advice.
  • They do not go to court with you.
  • They are not responsible for the outcome of your case.

Services at the SHC are not confidential. There is no attorney-client relationship between you and any staff member.
Services at the SHC are neutral. Staff may assist both sides of a case.
You should obtain your own attorney if you want legal advice or strategy, to have a confidential conversation or to be represented by an attorney in court.

SELF-HELP CENTER GUIDE TO REMOTE SERVICES

The Self-Help Center offers in-person services Monday-Thursday 9am-12pm in the Civil Clerk’s Office at the Hall of Justice located at 600 Administration Drive, # 107-J, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

We are also providing remote assistance limited to questions regarding Small Claims, Civil Harassment Restraining Orders, Evictions/Unlawful Detainer, and Debt Collections by phone and e-mail.

  • Our goal is to respond to voicemails and e-mails within 2-3 business days.
  • Do not submit questions about legal issues that need to be handled immediately.
  • Other issues may be time-sensitive, even though they are not emergencies. Your legal rights may “expire” while you are waiting for an answer from the Self-Help Center.

SELF-HELP SERVICES AVAILABLE:

SHC CANNOT HELP WITH

  • • Family Court issues such as divorce, child custody, or support.
  • • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
  • • Criminal cases.
  • • Complex civil litigation.
  • • Medical or legal malpractice.
  • • Any matter where you are represented by an attorney.
  • • Appeals

If you are in need of assistance for Family Court issues or Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, please contact the Sonoma County Family Law Facilitator.

WHAT KIND OF HELP IS AVAILABLE?

Self-Help Center staff can:

  • • Answer general questions regarding civil cases.
  • • Send you blank forms and filing instructions for most Small Claims, Civil Harassment, and Evictions/Unlawful Detainer issues.
  • • Help you complete forms for the following civil law issues:
    • • Small Claims.
    • • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders.
    • • Workplace Violence Restraining Orders.
    • • Evictions/Unlawful Detainer.
    • • Debt Collections.

HOW CAN I GET HELP?

Due to the on-going Public Health Emergency resulting from COVID-19, in-person assistance is limited at this time. The Self-Help Center offers in-person services Monday-Thursday 9am-12pm in the Civil Clerk’s Office at the Hall of Justice located at 600 Administration Drive, # 107-J, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

By Voicemail: (707) 521-6534 You will be asked to leave a message. Calls are returned within 48-72 hours depending on volume and scheduling. Please speak clearly, spell your name, leave your case number, leave your telephone number, and specific questions. Priority is given to messages with specific questions. For general information, see the self-help page at the website www.courts.ca.gov. For general questions about the status of your case filing, call the Civil Clerk at 707-521-6610 for civil filings.

By Email: selfhelpcenter@sonomacourt.org

Please provide the following information with your request:

  • • Your Case Number (if you have one)
  • • Your Name
  • • Your Zip Code
  • • Your Question(s)

Please be as detailed as possible. We will not open any attachments sent with your request.

Fill out our online intake form and a staff member will contact you by e-mail.
*You must have Adobe Reader or a similar PDF document reader to fill in the intake form.
*To save the filled out intake form right click on the filled out form, select "save as" and select a location on your computer to save the document to.
*Select the filled out intake form from your computer and attach that document on an email to the facilitator.

It is our goal to respond to any requests within 48-72 hours.

WHERE CAN I GET FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS RIGHT NOW?

You can download forms at the following web sites. Click on the links below:

  1. Sonoma County Forms Packets: The Sonoma County Superior Court provides fillable forms that can be printed after you complete them on your computer. Scroll down to “Family Law Forms Packets” and select the appropriate packet from the list.
  2. Judicial Council Forms: The Judicial Council of California provides fillable forms that can be printed after you complete them on your computer.
  3. Self-Help Assistance and Referral Program: Court Supported Self-Help Center that provides free assistance to self-represented people (litigants) who do not have attorneys.
  4. Odyssey Guide & File: This is a free online forms preparation program. Answer a series of questions and forms are generated at the end of the interview.

WHERE ELSE CAN I GET FREE OR LOW-COST FAMILY LAW LEGAL ASSISTANCE?

Legal Aid of Sonoma County
General: (707) 542-1290
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: (707) 595-6295
Elder Abuse Restraining Orders (707) 340-5610

Free Legal Services – Information, legal advice and assistance with applications for restraining orders. Assistance with other family law forms may be available to those who qualify.

California Rural Legal Assistance
General: (707) 528-9941

Free Legal Services – Information, legal advice and assistance for low-income individuials

Sonoma County Bar Association
(707) 546-5297

Lawyer Referral Services – For a $50 fee, you will receive a 30-minute consultation with an experienced attorney. There is no obligation to retain the attorney following that consultation, but if you choose to do so, the fee for representation is negotiated directly between you and that attorney.

HELPFUL WEBSITES

http://www.211wc.org
Detailed information on hundreds of agencies and programs that serve the residents of Sonoma County, or call 707-565-2108.

www.sonoma.courts.ca.gov
Sonoma County Superior Court website. Contains information regarding legal forms, court schedules, court holidays, court rules,community resources.

www.courts.ca.gov
Self-help resources for various types of legal issues. Judicial Council forms which can be completed online.

www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
California Codes.

www.childsupport.ca.gov
California Department of Child Support Services. See the Guideline Calculator section to estimate the amount of child support that can be ordered in a case.

www.sonoma-county.org/dcss
Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services.

www.icandocs.org
Allows completion of forms for various legal processes including family law, small claims, unlawful detainer, domestic violence, guardianship - with step-by-step instructions.

www.sucorte.ca.gov
Self-help resources in Spanish.

www.lawhelp.org
Links to legal information.

www.nolo.com
Self-help legal books. (The books are also available at the law library or can be purchased at local book stores.)

© 2020 Superior Court of Sonoma County