Three-fifths of people nationally go to civil court without a lawyer representing them. In Illinois, half of all cases in family court, and just over half of domestic violence cases involve at least one pro se party. Navigating the court system as a pro se (acting on one’s own behalf without being represented by an attorney) party can be daunting. With in-person assistance severely restricted due to Covid, Illinoisans now have an additional online resource to help them. Illinois Court Help launched this week as a much-needed resource for self-represented parties. Anyone can call or text 833-411-1121 and be connected with a trained court guide who can answer questions, point people to the proper forms they need to fill out, explain how to attend a court hearing via Zoom, and more. The site also contains links to legal aid organizations that can further assist people in need. Initial hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am – 2 pm to access court guides, but plans to expand that time are already underway.

For further information, read the Illinois Supreme Court’s full press release about the new Illinois Court Help website here.