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Self Help Center (SHC)

About Self Help Center (SHC)

The Superior Court of Sonoma County help people who need legal information but don't have a lawyer at our Self-Help Center (SHC). 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.

Important Notice Regarding Self-Help Services

Services are available via telephone, Monday – Friday, between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm at (707) 521-6534, by email to: selfhelp@sonomacourt.org.

We have an online intake form: online intake form
* You must have a pdf reader to open and fill out this form

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

We provide remote assistance for questions regarding Small Claims, Civil Harassment Restraining Orders, Evictions/Unlawful Detainer, and general Civil Law by phone and e-mail.

  • Our goal is to respond to voicemails and e-mails within 1-2 business days.

Self-Help Services Available

We offer help with most non-criminal legal problems. We have detailed resources on these areas:

  • Small Claims

For instructions and fillable forms go to:
California Courts Civil and Small Claims

  • Name Change

For instructions and fillable forms go to:
SHARP Courts Name Change

  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

For instructions and online fillable forms go to:
Odyssey Guide and File Restraining Order

  • Workplace Violence Restraining Orders

For instructions and online fillable forms go to:
Odyssey Guide and File Restraining Order

  • Evictions/Unlawful Detainer

For instructions and documents on Evictions go to:
Odyssey Guide and File Evictions

  • Collections/Claims of Exemption

  • Information regarding basic civil procedure

  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order Request

For instructions and online fillable forms go to:
Odyssey Guide and File Restraining Order

SHC cannot help with the following cases:

  • 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.

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.
    • Elder Abuse Restraining Orders.
    • Evictions/Unlawful Detainer.
    • Debt Collections.
    • Name Change.

See the SHC services FAQs and answers below.

Due to the on-going Public Health Emergency resulting from COVID-19, in-person assistance is not available at this time.

Help is available:

  • By Telephone: (707) 521-6534

Or

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.

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 1-2 business days.

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.

Legal Aid of Sonoma County

General: (707) 542-1290
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: (707) 595-6295
Elder Abuse Restraining Orders (707) 340-5610

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 & Resources

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