Self-Represented Litigant Resources

Lawyer in the Library

Self-Represented Litigants may meet with an attorney for no fee at several public libraries in the First Circuit. Patrons must live within the 9 counties of the First Judicial Circuit (Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Williamson) and must not be represented by an attorney in the matter now or previously. Each patron is required to sign a limited representation form, and is provided a copy of the form. Pre-registration is required at some locations. You may call the location for more information.

Anna, Stinson Memorial Public Library - pre-registration required  (618) 833-2521
Carbondale Public Library - call the library for more information (618) 457-0354
Harrisburg District Library - call the library for more information (618) 253-7455
Marion Carnegie Library - pre-registration required (618) 993-5935
Mounds Public Library - walk-in only (618) 745-6610
Metropolis Public Library - pre-registration required  (618) 524-4312
Vienna Public Library - Beginning November 4, 2022 - pre-registration required (618) 658-5051

How to Attend Court by Zoom (videos)

iPhone - click here
Android - click here
Computer - click here

Illinois Lawyer Finder

Finding an ISBA lawyer to help you with your legal problem is easy and often free. The ISBA offers two ways to find a lawyer:

Search for a lawyer Search our online directory for lawyers in your area who practice in the field of law you need.

Call for a referral Call and receive a 30-minute consultation with a lawyer in your area for no more than $25.

Illinois Court Help

Illinois Court Help website

A Better Court Experience

Going to court can be stressful, especially if you don’t have a lawyer. Illinois Court Help makes the court process less confusing – whether you need help with e-filing documents, or you’re facing eviction, getting a divorce, dealing with a DUI or something else.

Our court guides DON’T give legal advice. They CAN connect you to local legal aid and community resources to help you solve your problem.

Lawyers can use Illinois Court Help to find information on courts in every Illinois county.

 

COVID H.E.L.P (Housing & Economic Loss Prevention)

COVID H.E.L.P. is a new resource created by CARPLS Legal Aid, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, and a consortium of other legal aid programs across the state.  

It is an automated, interactive source of free legal information that can assist people with issues related to housing, debt collection, unemployment, probate, and bankruptcy.

COVID H.E.L.P. Fact Sheet with additional information is available here. 

 

Hotspots, Wifi, and Internet Services - Free or Low Cost -click link 

 

Legal Information vs Legal Advice

Legal Information & Legal Advice:  What’s the Difference?
Circuit clerks and court personnel cannot tell you what to do or give any legal advice. They can give you the information you need to make your own decision and share information about other resources in the courthouse and local community. For more information on the difference between legal information and advice, see the Illinois Supreme Court Policy on Assistance to Court Patrons.

Legal Information Is:  General factual information about the law or legal process intended to help a court patron navigate the court system.

  *   Legal information is neutral. It does not give one person an advantage over the other.
  *   Legal information is universal. It is always the same, no matter who is asking.
  *   Legal information is objective. It is always the same, no matter the facts of the case.
  *   Legal information is unrestricted. Non-lawyers, including circuit clerks and court staff, can give legal information.

Legal Advice Is:  Guidance regarding a court patron's legal rights and obligations in light of their unique facts and circumstances.

  *   Legal advice is biased. It is intended to give one person a legal advantage over another.
  *   Legal advice is customized. It will change depending on who is asking and what they want.
  *   Legal advice is subjective. It will change depending on the facts of the case.
  *   Legal advice is restricted. Only lawyers are authorized to give legal advice.

E-Filing Resources

What Is E-Filing? - English

What is E-Filing? - Spanish

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9 - Electronic Filing of Documents

E-Filing Exemption Certificate - English - For use in the event you are unable to e-file civil documents 

E-Filing Exemption Certificate - Spanish

Odyssey eFileIL - E-Filing for Illinois Courts 

 

How to E-File in Odyssey File & Serve

1. Prepare Documents

2. Register

3. Sign In

4. Create New Password

5. Add Payment Account

6. Case Information

7. Party Information

8. Upload Filings

9. Pay Fees

10. Review Summary / Submit

Need Help E-Filing in Odyssey File & Serve? 

 

Approved Parenting Classes

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924 - Parenting Education Requirement, provides that each circuit or county shall create or approve a parenting education program consisting of at least four hours covering the subjects of visitation and custody and their impact on children.

The Chief Judge of the First Judicial Circuit has approved the following parent education program providers for Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson Counties:

 

Southern Illinois University (SIU) - Putting Children First - online live interactive class

Class is taught by Dr. Stacy Thompson, Professor in Child Development, and Dr. Holly Cormier, Director of SIU Clinical Center, Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

Click here for more information or to register for the SIU Putting Children First Class

 

Children In Between - online class

Click here for more information about the Children In Between online class

 

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice

The ATJ Commission focuses on improvements, resources, and programs within the judicial system that help self-represented litigants and limited English proficient litigants access our courts, assist legal aid and pro bono attorneys in representing their clients, and support the judiciary and other court staff in ensuring justice for all.

https://atjil.org/

 

Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) Resources

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/

Legal Self-Help Centers

How to find court forms on IllinoisLegalAid.org 

ILAO Form Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Questions and Answers - chat with us

Legal Information 

 

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.

http://lollaf.org/

 

Veterans/Military Services

Free Legal Aid for Illinois Service Members and Veterans
Low and moderate-income service members and their families are eligible for free legal services.
Free Statewide Legal Aid Hotline 855-IL-AFLAN (452-3526)
Visit www.pili.org/il-aflan for more information.

Directory of Legal Programs for Military Families in Illinois

 

Approved Statewide Standardized Forms

The following forms have been approved for use by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and are required to be accepted in all Illinois courts.

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Forms/approved/Circuit.asp

 

If You Need A Legal Question Answered (and cannot afford an attorney)

Free Legal Answers - Ask our volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue. 

 

Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Civil Appeals 

 

If You Need An Interpreter in Court

You may have the right to a court-appointed interpreter in a court case. - all languages

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - ENG

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - SP

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - ARB

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - KO

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - POL

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - RUS

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - TCH

 

Additional Resources on this Website

To find information on Language Access, Court Disability Access, or Parenting Classes, please click on Community Directory on the Home page.

 

First Judicial Circuit Legal Self-Help Centers

The internet-based centers provide legal information to individuals who are not able or do not wish to retain the services of an attorney to represent them in court. By providing accurate and current information on Illinois law and court operations, including legal pleadings in some cases, the centers are intended to help alleviate some of the problems which the courts and self-represented litigants are experiencing.

The location and hours of operation of each center are listed on the front page of the respective websites. Illinois Legal Aid Online’s website is located at www.illinoislegalaid.org.

Alexander County

http://alexander.illinoislegalaid.org

Cairo Public Library
618.734.1840
1609 Washington Avenue
Cairo, IL 62914

Jackson County

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/counties/jackson 

Carbondale Public Library
618.457.0354
405 West Main St.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Rick Warren Memorial Public Library District
618.568.1843
114 S 4th Street
​Elkville, IL 62932

SIU Law Library
618.453.3217
Lesar Law Building
1150 Douglas Drive, Room 182
Carbondale, IL 62901

Office of the City Attorney
618.457.3215
Carbondale Civic Center, City Attorney's Office
200 South Illinois Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901

Jackson County Courthouse
618.687.7300
1001 Walnut Street
Circuit Clerk's Office
Murphysboro, IL 62966

Johnson County

http://johnson.illinoislegalaid.org

Vienna Carnegie Library
618.658.5051
401 Poplar St.
Vienna, IL 62995

Massac County

http://massac.illinoislegalaid.org

Metropolis Public Library
618.524.4312
313 Metropolis St.
Metropolis, IL 62960

Pope County

http://pope.illinoislegalaid.org

Golconda Public Library
618.683.6531
126 W. Main Street
Golconda, IL 62938

Pulaski County

http://pulaski.illinoislegalaid.org

Mounds Public Library
618.745.6610
418 First Street
Mounds, IL 62964

Saline County

http://saline.illinoislegalaid.org

Galatia Public Library
618.268.9200
217 S Main Cross Street
Galatia, IL 62935

Harrisburg Public Library
618.253.7455
2 W. Walnut Street
Harrisburg, IL 62946

Eldorado Public Library
618.273.7922
1001 Grant St.
Eldorado, IL 62930

Union County

http://union.illinoislegalaid.org

Stinson Memorial Public Library District
618.833.2521
409 South Main Street
Anna, IL 62906

Williamson County

http://williamson.illinoislegalaid.org

Johnston City Public Library
618.983.6359
506 Washington Avenue
Johnson City, IL 62951

Crab Orchard Public Library
618.982.2141
20012 Crab Orchard Road
Marion, IL 62959

Marion Carnegie Library
618.993.5935
206 South Market St.
Marion, IL 62959

 
 

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Questions? Need more information? 

Brenda Sprague
b.sprague.fjc@gmail.com
618-997-1301 x1267

Illinois First Judicial Circuit Court

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