Legal Help Center
Hours, Location, Services
Legal Help Center (Facilitator’s Office)
Howard G. Gibson Courthouse
Bill Santucci Justice Center
10820 Justice Center Drive, Roseville CA 95678
Recorded Information Line: (916) 408-6446
To schedule an in person appointment with the Legal Help Center, click here to proceed to our appointment reservation system. (Note: You must select “Appointment Legal Self Help” on the appointment page or you will not get to our office!)
About Our Services
The Legal Help Center provides legal and procedural information and assistance with court forms to self represented litigants with cases in or who reside in Placer County. We cannot assist litigants who are represented by attorneys. The Legal Help Center does not represent customers in court. Our services are not confidential. We assist both sides of the case equally. To get legal advice or have a confidential conversation, you must speak with a private attorney. All services of the Legal Help Center are free of charge.
What Types of Cases Do We Help With?
The Legal Help Center will attempt to steer you in the right direction in any type of case. The bulk of the issues we help customers with are family law, child support, evictions and small claims. Our most frequently provided services are listed by type of law, below, and we provide instructions and links if you want to try to do the paperwork yourself. We are happy to provide in-person assistance by appointment at the Self Help Center located at the Gibson Courthouse. If you do not see what you need on this web page and you need assistance, just ask!
Self Help Center Hours and Information
Effective August 1st, 2016, the Self Help Center is open:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Wednesday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Assistance at the Self Help Center is available by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled online in advance or by same day walk-in appointment at the ticket kiosk located at the first floor of the courthouse. Please note, only a limited number of same day walk in appointments are available each day. If you want a same-day appointment, you should arrive at 8:00 a.m. as those appointments can be taken very quickly.
A step by step instruction guide for making appointments can be downloaded by clicking How to Schedule an Appointment with the Legal Help Center
Finish Your Divorce Clinic
This clinic offers one-on-one assistance to Self-Represented litigants with the paperwork necessary to finish a divorce. This is a very popular clinic with limited space. Litigants are assisted by appointment only.
Note: In order to attend the Clinic you must:
- Wait at least 31 days from the date that the Respondent was served with the Petition and Summons, and
- Have filed your Proof of Service of Summons, or bring it for the clinic and
- Have completed your financial disclosures (Income and Expense Declaration and Schedule of Assets and Debts. Click here for instructions). The Petitioner is required to complete disclosures. The Respondent is required to complete disclosures if a Response has been filed or if the parties wish to make a full agreement, and
- The Petitioner must be at the Clinic if the divorce is “uncontested” (no Response has been filed), or
- Both the Petitioner and Respondent must come to the clinic if a Response is filed or if the parties wish to make a full agreement. Both sides must agree on all issues that apply to their case. This includes: child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and division of property.
This clinic is held every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. You may schedule an appointment by clicking the appointment link above. Limited same-day appointments will be available at the Ticket Kiosk on the first floor of the courthouse starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Where: Check in at the second floor Legal Help Center window at 1:00 p.m.
What to bring: Stamps and envelopes (business sized #10 and 9x12 “manila” sized envelopes are recommended) or money to buy them (usually around $3.00 to $5.00 cash only, please). Each person must bring their valid drivers license or other valid government issued photo ID. You must also have the other party’s mailing address with you.
The Legal Help Center has compiled a DVD called “How to do Your Own Divorce in Placer County (Without Shooting Yourself in the Foot).” It is 90 minutes long, and we recommend that anyone going through a divorce watch this video. It gives an overview of the divorce process and issues that may arise during a typical divorce case. It is available for free checkout at all public libraries in Placer County.
If you would like to purchase the DVD for $10.00, you may do so during court hours (Monday – Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm.). Take a number ticket for “Family Law” from the ticket kiosk and when your number is called, inform the clerk you would like to purchase the DVD.
You may also send a check or money order for $13.00 made out to Placer County Superior Court if you would like to purchase a copy by mail. Send it to: Legal Help Center, Placer County Superior Court, PO Box 619072, Roseville CA 95661. Please include your mailing address.
Instruction Sheets and Information
“Start Your Divorce” Instruction Packet.
Child Custody and Support
General information about child custody and support here.
Starting the Proper Court Case to Address Custody and Support
If you want to get child custody or support orders, you must open the right kind of court case, then ask for orders in that case. You can open the court case and ask for orders at the same time by turning in all the papers to the court clerk. There are several kinds of court cases, depending on the circumstances.
If you and the child’s other parent are married:
- If you want to get divorced: file divorce (see above)
- If you do not want to get divorced: File Petition for Custody and Support
If you and the child’s other parent are divorced from each other, or you already have an existing divorce case in Placer County:
- File a Request for Order in your divorce case
If you and the child’s other parent have never been married to each other:
- If the father has been legally established*: File Petition for Custody and Support
- *Legally established: This can happen in different ways—the most common are: the parents signed a “Declaration of Paternity” in the hospital when the child was born (and therefore, the father is listed on the birth certificate), or the Department of Child Support Services is collecting child support for this child.
- The father has not been legally established: File Petition to Establish Parental Relationship
Additional Online Resources
www.courts.ca.gov. This website is maintained by the California Judicial Council and has all of the statewide court forms used in California Courts. It also has an excellent Self-Help section.
Placer County Law Library (www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/LawLib) – The Placer County Law Library, located in Auburn, offers additional free clinics and access to legal information. Hours and services may vary, so please use the link to visit their website for more information.
www.lawhelp.org Provides information on legal issues and local Self Help resources for all fifty states. This can be a helpful starting point for dealing with out of state cases.