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Access commission video helps pro se parties with the details

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Access commission video helps pro se parties with the details

Judge PerkinsA self-help video to assist pro se litigants with the non-legal aspects of representing themselves in civil cases has been released by the Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice.

Posted on the court system’s Florida Courts Help website and on YouTube, the video provides information and advice, ranging from informing pro se parties that clerks and court personnel cannot offer legal advice to arriving early on the day of their court appearance so they have time to pass through courthouse security. It’s called “Preparing for Your Day in Civil Court.”

The commission got a preview of the animated video at its recent meeting from Seventh Circuit Judge Terence Perkins, chair of its Process Simplification Committee, and it went live in mid-June.

“It briefly addresses, even though it’s just four minutes in length, how to prepare yourself for court. It shares some important tips on going to court and it points the litigants — most importantly — to some helpful resources they can use,” Perkins told the commission.

With the launching of the Florida Court Helps website, the commission’s own website, and the Florida Courts Help App, “We actually have an infrastructure where we can feature and use this to house videos and make them available to our self-represented litigants,” he said.

The video advises those handling their own cases to make sure they file required forms and documents, pay filing fees, follow rules of procedure, and if possible seek the help of an attorney. It cautions that while clerks and court staff can provide information, they cannot give legal advice.

Perkins praised the commission’s Council of Business Partners and the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division for helping put the video together.

It can be viewed at www.help.flcourts.org/helpful-videos/ and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV7m2k_tvBg&t=7s.