What Court Staff Can and Cannot Do for You

Court staff is ready to help you in whatever way they can.  Their role is to provide you with information, not legal advice.  They have been instructed not to answer questions if they do not know the answer and may refer you to other resources to assist you in getting the information you need.

  • They can give you information on a court case, unless it is not available by law.
  • They can give you general information on court rules, procedures and practices.
  • They cannot tell you what to say in court.
  • They cannot tell you what a judge might do.
  • They can give you court-approved forms (forms might not be available for all legal problems.)
  • They can explain how to fill out forms for Conciliation Court, domestic abuse, and harassment cases. NOTE: Some courts offer self-help services and have staff who can explain how to fill out other types of court forms. Visit the Self-Help Centers Help Topic for more information.
  • They can give you court calendars and information on how to schedule a hearing.
  • They cannot give you advice about whether you should file a case or whether you should take any particular action in a case.
  • They cannot collect a judgment for you.
  • They cannot serve (deliver) your papers for you.

For a brief explanation of the difference between legal advice and legal information and the limitations of court staff, see the Legal Advice vs. Legal Information video from the National Center for State Courts

Remember, court staff are allowed to give you information. Court staff cannot act as your attorney. If you choose to represent yourself in court, you will have the same responsibilities as an attorney.

Read the DISCLAIMER for more details on the limitations of our services.