Many individuals simply cannot afford to hire an attorney. If you are in a position where you cannot afford to hire an attorney, here are some basic tips and recommendations to assist you in your self-representation:
Make sure all your written forms and statements are complete, neat, and filed on time. Make sure you know the deadlines for filing.
The main way the Judge learns about your case is through the forms that you submit to the Court. Even if you are using a self-help center, make sure all of the forms are correctly filled out and represent your side of the story.
Make sure you attend all court hearings. Even if you feel your case is hopeless and there is no sense in going to Court — do not give up and make sure your attend every hearing.
Arrive to Court on-time. It’s best to get to Court early because sometimes the lines are long for entering through the Court’s scanners.
Make sure you understand the legal aspects of your case. You can find many resources online to better understand your position.
You need to understand that your Court hearing is not like a doctor’s appointment where you can just call up the Court and change the date. If you need to change the date you must follow the Court rules to obtain a continuance. It’s best if you can make a request to change the hearing prior to the actual Court date. Court Clerks or the Self-Help Center staff can assist you with the proper forms to fill out to request a continuance. It’s always best to ask the other party if he or she will agree to a continuance — it makes the process easier for getting the Court’s approval.
Make sure you dress appropriately for Court. Many people ask whether he or she has to put on a suit or dress — which isn’t required. But remember when your mother or father taught you to always put your best foot forward — well not is the time.
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