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Courts launch Spanish language self-help Web site

The California courts have launched a website offering free legal information for self-represented Spanish-speaking litigants, who make up a large portion of the estimated 4.3 million people who represent themselves in court each year.

Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California, the Spanish-language version of the courts' online self-help center, can be found at www.sucorte. The site offers access to information about court procedures, forms, referrals to legal services and other assistance for self-represented Spanish-speaking litigants.

The Web site provides information on small claims court, traffic violations, child and spousal support, domestic violence issues, handling a divorce, changing one's name and children and the law.

It also lists resources for free and low-cost legal help, provides answers to common legal questions and guides users in filling out court forms and documents.

Although the site provides a wealth of information, it makes no attempt to interpret the law, predict results or provide legal advice on individual cases.

"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. "Even those individuals who have an attorney will find that using this new Web site will help them become more knowledgeable and informed."

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