Self Help Centers

A Self Help Center is a place where you can find helpful information, services and resources about your legal problem if you are not represented by an attorney. The Self Help Centers assist people who represent themselves in the Minnesota District Courts.
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A Self Help Center is a place where you can find helpful information and services about your legal problem if you are not represented by an attorney. Legal information includes court forms and tools to help you complete court forms, answers to general questions about court process or procedure, and help preparing for your day in court. There are a number of different ways you can get help:
  • Read the information under Help Topics;
  • Watch videos under Help Topics;
  • Call;
  • Email; and/or
  • Visit a walk-in Self Help Center location in person.
 
Please note:
  • Self Help Center staff are court employees. Court employees cannot provide legal advice or conduct legal research. There is no attorney-client privilege or confidentiality of any information between you and the staff at a Self Help Center. Staff must remain neutral and may provide services to other people involved with your legal problem. Self Help staff are not responsible for the outcome of your case. Please read What Court Staff Can and Cannot Do for You.
  • Many legal issues are time sensitive and contain strict deadlines. If you are unsure about whether deadlines apply to your legal problem, you should seek immediate legal advice from an attorney. DO NOT wait for assistance from a Self Help Center.

MN Courts (Statewide) Self Help Center

Phone: (651) 259-3888
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (closed on holidays)
Email: Self-Help Center Contact Form
 

Self Help Center Workstations

Self Help Center workstations are available in all county courthouses except Hennepin and Ramsey. Each workstation has a computer, phone and printer. You may visit the workstation to find legal information, print court forms, access tools to help you complete court forms, and talk with Self Help staff over the phone. Find Your Court.


Walk-In Self Help Center Locations

Some courts have walk-in Self Help Centers where you can receive help in person. Before visiting a walk-in location:

  • Visit Help Topics. You may be able to find the information you need without coming to a Center in person.
  • Arrange for child care. The Self Help Centers do not have a play area or toys for children. You and other people using the Center will need to be able to focus on legal issues without distraction.
  • Expect to spend some time on your legal issues, both on your own and at the Self Help Center. You may not be able to take care of your legal problem in one visit.

Anoka (Tenth District)

10th Judicial District Self-Help Center

Anoka County Courthouse
325 East Main Street, C210
Anoka, MN 55303-2489
The Center is located in the central building on the second level, across from the Jury Assembly Room.  
 

Walk-in Hours

Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. on a first-come first-served basis based on availability.  Note:  Based on staffing, hours/days are subject to change.  If you are planning to visit the Self-Help Center in person, please call (763) 422-6963 (voicemails not currently accepted) to confirm the Center is open the day you plan to visit.
 
The Self-Help Center is closed on Fridays, but will accept telephone calls based on staff availability.
 

Contact Us

10CourtHelp@courts.state.mn.us
(Please note that normal email response time is 2 – 3 business days)

Hennepin (Fourth District)

The Hennepin County District Court has two walk-in Self-Help Centers that offer services to people who are representing themselves in court. The public may also visit the Hennepin County Law Library to find "do-it-yourself" legal materials and get help with legal research.


Self Help Center Hennepin Co. Govt. Center

300 South 6th Street
2nd Floor, PSL
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0421
Map
(612) 348-9399 (recording)
 

Family Court Self Help Center Family Justice Center

110 South 4th Street 
1st Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Map
(612) 596-8519 (recording)
 

Hours for both locations

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Closed holidays
Please arrive at the SHC at least 1.5 hours before closing if you want help filling out court forms.


Learn more about the Hennepin County Self Help Centers

Ramsey (Second District)

Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center

Juvenile and Family Justice Center
25 West 7th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 266-5125
The Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center is located on the first floor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Center.
 

 


Law Libraries

You may also be able to get help with your legal problem, including help with legal research from a law librarian at the MN State Law Library. Other law libraries also have free or low-cost access to legal research databases for the public.
 

IMPORTANT: If you represent yourself in court, you are responsible for knowing the law and rules. Representing yourself is risky because each step in the process may have consequences that you might not think about. You should get legal advice.

What is a "law?"

Constitutions

In the U.S., there is a Federal Constitution and individual State Constitutions. These written documents created the powers, duties and limits of the government, and the rights of people within the U.S. Constitutions are a part of the "law."
 

Statutes and Administrative Rules

Statutes and Administrative Rules, also known as “black letter law,” are laws written by the Legislative body of government on many topics. Statutes and Administrative Rules usually direct or command that certain actions be carried out, or that certain actions are prohibited.
 

Case Law

Case law, also known as "common law," refers to decisions put in writing by judges. The written decisions are called court “opinions.” The legal system of the U.S. is based on the common law tradition, and this means that judges usually must rely on case law (prior written decisions) to determine how laws, including statutes and rules, are to be understood and applied to the facts of new cases. Judges in lower courts, such as trial courts, usually have to make decisions that agree with the case law (i.e., opinions) from higher courts, such as the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
 

Court Rules

The Supreme Court writes many kinds of Rules that set out procedures for how courts function and what parties must do to have their cases handled in court.


Legal Research

Other Legal Resources

NOTE: The Minnesota Judicial Branch makes no endorsement or warranty of quality of services by linking to an organization from this website.

1st Judicial District

Select Counties in the 1st District

Family Law Advice by Phone
Low-income people who have a court case in Carver, Dakota or Scott County can get a free 20-minute legal advice consult on family law matters from the Volunteer Lawyers Network. To schedule an appointment, please call the VLN Intake Line at (612) 752-6677 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Dakota County

Legal Assistance of Dakota County offers free legal advice clinics on family law and consumer law topics such as bankruptcy, debt collection, garnishment, mortgages, foreclosures, and Conciliation Court. Volunteer attorneys provide 30-minute consults at the clinics, which are offered at various times and locations. To use the clinics, you must live in Dakota County and schedule an appointment by calling (952) 431-3200. Learn more

Legal Assistance of Dakota County also offers residents of Dakota County free family law consults in Spanish the third Wednesday of the month from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Call (952) 431-3200 for an appointment. Learn more


Scott County

Scott County Law Library Legal Advice Clinic & Workshops
Free family law advice consults with volunteer attorneys available by appointment only on the second Monday of each month from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Call (952) 496-8713 to schedule an appointment. Please visit the Scott County Law Library website for more details on the clinic and other legal workshops.
 

2nd Judicial District

Ramsey County

Criminal Defense Services, Inc.
Low-income defendants in Ramsey County who are not eligible for a Public Defender can see if they qualify for legal help by talking with an attorney from CDSI at their arraignment (first hearing) at the Ramsey County District Court.

Family Law Advice by Phone
Low-income people who have a court case in Ramsey County District Court can get a free 20-minute legal advice consult on family law matters from the Volunteer Lawyers Network. To schedule an appointment, please call the VLN Intake Line at (612) 752-6677 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Criminal Expungement Clinic
A free clinic that describes the criminal expungement process and provides help completing the forms for anyone filing an expungement for a criminal case in Ramsey County. The clinic is on the second and fourth Thursday of each month (except holidays) at 1:00 p.m. in the Ramsey County Law Library on the 18th floor of the Ramsey County courthouse.

Domestic Abuse & Harassment Office (Ramsey County)
Victims can access resources and get help with the process of getting a court Order for Protection.

Housing & Conciliation Court Self-Help Center (brochure)
Free legal advice consults with volunteer attorneys are available on afirst-come, first-served basis on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sign-up starts at 12:00 noon. The advice clinic is located in the Ramsey County Law Library on the 18th floor of the Ramsey County courthouse.
 

3rd Judicial District

Olmsted County

The Olmsted County Law Library - Free Legal Clinics Program is offered in partnership with Legal Assistance of Olmsted County. The free advice clinics are for people representing themselves in court in Olmsted County. People can meet with a volunteer attorney for a brief consult up to 30 minutes. Topic areas may include family Law, financial cases (debtor/creditor, pre-bankruptcy), and criminal expungement. You must schedule an appointment to meet with the volunteer attorney by calling the Law Library at (507) 328-7605.
 

4th Judicial District

Hennepin County

Conciliation Court Legal Advice Clinic
People with low incomes can meet with a volunteer attorney for 15-20 minutes who will answer questions and/or refer you to other places for help. This is a free service.

Domestic Abuse Service Center (Hennepin County)
Victims can access resources and get help with the process of getting a court Order for Protection.

Family Law Advice by Phone
Low-income people who have a court case in Hennepin County can get a free 20-minute legal advice consult on family law matters from the Volunteer Lawyers Network. To schedule an appointment, please call the VLN Intake Line at (612) 752-6677 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Housing Court Project (Hennepin County)
Free walk-in legal advice for low-income tenants and landlords. Income must be less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
 

5th Judicial District

All Counties in the 5th District

Westbrook Legal Self-Help Center (.pdf)
Free legal advice clinic with a volunteer attorney is available the second Thursday of the month from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted as time allows. For appointments, please call (507) 822-5735 or email vbarronlawoffice@gmail.com. The advice clinic is located in the Westbrook Public Library, at 556 1st Ave., Westbrook, MN.
 

6th Judicial District

All Counties in the 6th District

Volunteer Attorney Program offers a free "Ask an Attorney" service located in the 6th District Courthouses listed below. People can get legal advice and get help completing court forms. Services are available on a first-come, first-served basis unless noted. For more in-depth help, contact the "Ask an Attorney" program.
 
Location Date / Time
closed holidays
Carlton County courthouse
in the Law Library
4th Thursday of each month at 12:00 noon
Cook County courthouse By appointment only. Call (218)723-4005.
Lake County courthouse By appointment only. Call (218)723-4005.
St. Louis County courthouse (Duluth)
in the Jury Room on the 4th floor
By appointment only. Call (218)723-4005.
St. Louis County courthouse (Hibbing) First Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon
St. Louis County courthouse (Virginia) Second and Fourth Thursday of each month at 12:00 noon
 

Carlton County

Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota offers a free legal advice clinic on the second Wednesday of each month from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The clinic is located on the 4th floor of the Carlton County courthouse. Advice is available for landlord/tenant, family law, and government assistance cases.
 

7th Judicial District

Select Counties in the 7th District

Online Legal Advice - Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota offers free legal advice online for low-income residents in select counties in the 7th District. For details, visit their LION website.


Becker County

The Becker County Law Library hosts a Self-Help Clinic with an attorney or paralegal on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m - 3:00 p.m. Help is available on a first come, first served basis, or you can schedule an appointment by calling Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota at (800) 450-8585 or (218) 233-8585. The law library is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is located in the basement of the Becker County courthouse in Detroit Lakes.


Stearns County

Stearns County Court Service Center - Links to self-help information.
The Stearns County Law Library and Central Minnesota Legal Services provide a Self-Help Program which is staffed by a full-time attorney and a part-time paralegal who are employed by CMLS. The Program is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and is located in the law library in the Stearns County courthouse.

The St. Cloud Public Library hosts a free legal advice clinic with a volunteer attorney from Central Minnesota Legal Services who offers advice on family law, probate, and real property matters the fourth Tuesday of the month (except legal holidays), from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Please call (320) 257-4872 to pre-register and for more details.
 

8th Judicial District

Select Counties in the 8th District

Online Legal Advice - Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota offers free legal advice online for low-income residents in select counties in the 8th District. For details, visit their LION website.


Kandiyohi County

Kandiyohi County Court Self-Help Links - Click the links on the right side of their website.
 

9th Judicial District

Select Counties in the 9th District

Online Legal Advice - Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota offers free legal advice online for low-income residents in select counties in the 9th District. For details, visit their LION website.


Aitkin County

Volunteer Attorney Program offers general legal advice and help completing court forms the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon in the Aitkin County courthouse. This is a first-come, first-served program. No appointments are scheduled. NOTE: Residents from any Minnesota county may use this legal advice clinic.

Crow Wing County


Divorce Law Clinic
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern Minnesota is offering a legal education clinic on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon in the Crow Wing County Law Library. These 1-hour classes include information on dealing with custody and property issues as well as court forms and procedures. Legal advice is not provided on individual cases. Learn more

Legal Advice Clinic
Volunteer Attorney Program offers general legal advice and help completing court forms the second Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in the Crow Wing County courthouse. This is a first-come, first-served program. No appointments are scheduled. NOTE: Residents from any Minnesota county may use this legal advice clinic.


Itasca County

Volunteer Attorney Program offers general legal advice and help completing court forms the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon in the Itasca County courthouse. This is a first-come, first-served program. No appointments are scheduled. NOTE: Residents from any Minnesota county may use this legal advice clinic.
 

10th Judicial District

Select Counties in the 10th District

Family Law Advice by Phone
Low-income people who have a court case in Anoka, Chisago, Isanti or Washington County can get a free 20-minute legal advice consult on family law matters from the Volunteer Lawyers Network. To schedule an appointment, please call the VLN Intake Line (612) 752-6677 at 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Anoka County

Anoka County Law Library and Central Minnesota Legal Services provide the following legal advice clinics:

Family Law Clinic (flyer): One Thursday each month (see Clinic Calendar), people can meet with an attorney on divorce, custody, child support, Orders for Protection, and other family law matters. Please call (763) 422-7487 for an appointment. The law library is on the 1st floor of the Anoka County courthouse.

Housing Law Clinic: On certain Mondays each month (see Clinic Calendar), people can meet with an attorney on eviction, lock-outs, lease violations, and other housing law matters. This is a walk-in service located in the Anoka County Courthouse.

Central Minnesota Legal Services offers a free legal advice clinic with a volunteer attorney on family law, probate, and real property matters the fourth Tuesday of the month (except legal holidays), from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud Public Library. Call (320) 257-4872 to pre-register and for more details.

Central Minnesota Legal Services offers a free Criminal Expungement Clinic once a month at the Anoka County Public Library - Rum River locationNo pre-registration is necessary. Call (612) 332-8151 for more information.


Kanabec County

Volunteer Attorney Program offers general legal advice and help completing court forms the second Monday of each month at 12:00 noon in the Kanabec County courthouse. This is a first-come, first-served program. No appointments are scheduled. NOTE: Residents from ANY Minnesota county may use this legal advice clinic.
 

Pine County

Volunteer Attorney Program offers general legal advice and help completing court forms the first Thursday of each month at 12:00 noon at the Pine County courthouse. For more details, contact the Volunteer Attorney Program.
 

Sherburne County

The Sherburne County Law Library and Central Minnesota Legal Services offers a free legal advice clinic with a volunteer attorney the first and third Wednesday of the month (except legal holidays), from 12:00p - 1:00p. Call (763)765-4800 for more details.


Washington County

Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program
People charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony in Washington County may get some brief legal help from a private attorney in this program free of charge. Call (651) 748-9373 for details.

Washington County Legal Advice Clinic
Volunteer attorneys from the Washington County Bar Association offer free 30-minute consults at the Washington County Law Library on civil, criminal and family law issues. To use this clinic, you must live in or have a court case in Washington County, and your income must be at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Please call (651) 430-6330 for an appointment. You may also email lawlibrary@co.washington.mn.us questions about the advice clinic or law library services.
CLINIC HOURS: 
Civil law: every other Monday, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Fill out the clinic intake form
Family law: Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Fill out the clinic intake form
Criminal law: Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Wright County

The Wright County Law Library and Central Minnesota Legal Services offer a free legal advice clinic with a volunteer attorney every Thursday (except legal holidays), from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Law Library. Please call (763) 682-7592 for more details.