The California Judicial Council Reports on Self-Help Centers During the Pandemic
Posted Apr 21, 2021
Self-Help Centers in California courts have remained accessible during the last year despite shutdowns and have continued to expand services since Fiscal Year 2018-2019. A recent Judicial Council report to the Legislature analyzed the impact of self-help centers and critical legal services for Californians. Even with Governor Newsom’s emergency authority and many courts shutting down, 33 centers were able to stay open or offer modified services within one week of the shutdown and by June 2020 all courts offered modified services. These services have remained accessible due in large part to the $19.1 million allocated to the Self-Help Centers in the Budget Act of 2018 and advancements in remote technology made prior to March 2020. The report also shows that even at the current levels of funding, the public expressed a need for additional staffing, bilingual services, extended hours, and shorter wait times for appointments and services. See California Courts Newsroom.