Self-help court services expand to South County

Now operating every fourth Friday in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Monterey County Superior Court has expanded its self-help services to South County, with the new Self-Help Center operating in Greenfield on the fourth Friday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greenfield Civic Center.

The Self-Help Center provides information and assistance to individuals who do not have a lawyer and explains options without giving legal advice or representing any party. Services are available in family law, child support, custody and visitation, small claims, unlawful detainer (landlord/tenant) as well as to answer general questions in both English and Spanish languages.

According to the Monterey County Superior Court, the expansion of self-help services to Greenfield will “provide greater access to South Monterey County residents who are acting as self-represented litigants and are in need of assistance.”

The Greenfield Self-Help Center services mirror the assistance provided in both Monterey and Salinas, where legal and support staff guide self-represented litigants with document preparation and review. Group clinics and workshops will likely be arranged in the future based on the needs of the community, the court said.

The public is encouraged to make an appointment to ensure service.

“The court is committed to using its resources — staff as well as technology — to serve all of Monterey County,” said Presiding Judge Lydia M. Villarreal.

“We hope this is just the beginning of a much larger presence for the court in South County,” Villarreal added.

The court said the response so far has been “encouraging and robust,” with a fully booked calendar and a waitlist for appointments as South County residents, who would otherwise need to travel up to 100 miles roundtrip, are now able to receive in-person assistance.

The expansion to Greenfield has been assisted by the court’s recently implemented electronic records management system, making it possible for court staff to access case files remotely, which helps to service a greater number of individuals throughout the county.

Self-help services continue to be offered in the Monterey Courthouse on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and in the Salinas Courthouse on Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the fourth Friday of the month when staff is in Greenfield.

For more information on self-help services or to set up an appointment, visit the court’s website

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