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Free Online Legal Information for Spanish-Speaking Californians

Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California debuts.

by / August 20, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO -- Spanish-speaking Californians, who are a significant part of the estimated 4.3 million who represent themselves in court each year, can now get free legal information on the Internet through the Spanish-language edition of the California Courts Online Self-Help Center, Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California.

The newly launched Web site is a comprehensive Spanish-language resource for information about the California courts. Self-represented, Spanish-speaking litigants, who are often unfamiliar with court procedures and forms, now have available information and resources in Spanish that will help them navigate the court system. Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California provides quick access to information about court procedures, forms, referrals to legal services, and other assistance.

Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California provides information on:
-- Small claims court
-- Traffic violations
-- Child and spousal support
-- Domestic violence issues
-- Handling a divorce
-- Changing one's name
-- Children and the law

The site also:
-- Lists resources for free and low-cost legal help
-- Provides answers to common legal questions
-- Guides users in filling out court forms and documents

"The new Spanish Self-Help Center will make the legal process more accessible to those members of our growing Spanish-speaking population who go to court without an attorney," said Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Chair of the Judicial Council. "Even those individuals who have an attorney will find that using this new Web site will help them become more knowledgeable and informed. Informed litigants ensure a more just and efficient process for both the litigants and the courts."

The Judicial Council of California, the policy-making body of the California court system, has made improved public access a top priority of the judicial branch. The council's staff agency, the Administrative Office of the Courts, maintains the online center.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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