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The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center Presented by Katherine Alteneder FLSHC Director.

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Presentation on theme: "The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center Presented by Katherine Alteneder FLSHC Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center Presented by Katherine Alteneder FLSHC Director

2 The Family Law Self-Help Center The Family Law Self-Help Center (FLSHC) is a free public service provided by the Alaska Court System(ACS) to self-represented people in family law cases. The goal of the center is to: Improve access to the courts Help people better understand court procedures and legal requirements Facilitate timely participation in cases by parties

3 Why was the center was created? Increasing numbers of self-represented litigants and No access to clear and simple legal information (no practice books & only limited forms) No lawyers exist in 37 of the 58 communities with court locations ACS responded to the need by creating the FLSHC to provide information, education and referrals in domestic relations cases. Director hired August 2001.

4 Current FLSHC service areas Comprehensive legal information DivorcePaternityChild Support DissolutionCustody Domestic Violence Referral information only Adoption Guardianship Emancipation Change of NamePowers of Attorney

5 Current Staffing Pattern 4 Facilitators 3 general domestic relations (1 Spanish speaker) 1 DV specialist (VAWA pilot) Customer service court clerks trained into para – paralegals 1 Attorney The program director

6 Upcoming Expansion Expand web based information Probate Landlord Tenant Small Claims Appellate General Civil

7 FLSHC Services Website Toll-Free Statewide Telephonic Helpline Workshops (Anchorage & Fairbanks) Self-Help Workstations (Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Juneau, and Ketchikan) Piloting specially tailored DV Facilitator (Anchorage)

8 Website Forms & Instructions Filing for divorce or custody Child Support FAQs Calculating Child Support Glossary Referral Information

9 Telephonic Helpline Staff give a caution and conduct a mini-intake to identify what the caller needs to do procedurally Initiating action (such as complaint or motion) Responsive action (such as answer or opposition) Trial preparation (such as witness list or trial brief) Post-judgment action Child support calculation Identify court and any local practices Identify forms, instructions and follow-up assistance By web, e-mail, fax, mail or over the telephone Provide legal and non-legal referrals Make plan for follow-up assistance

10 Workshops Anchorage Mandatory Family Law Education Class for every self-represented party in a divorce or custody case Fairbanks 9-11 a.m. and Noon-3 p.m. walk-in assistance one Friday per month at the Fairbanks courthouse

11 Self-Help Work Stations Statewide project of ALSC and FLSHC Located in Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Juneau Free public computer, printer and telephone Unlimited internet access to allow public to access web based services, including the ability to e-mail saved legal documents Targeted homepage designed to guide people to FLSHC, CSED, AlaskaLawHelp and other key sites Loaded with Microsoft Word and Excel for public to create and edit documents Access to the “A:” drive to save to own floppy Connected to laser printer to print up to 20 pages per day

12 DV Facilitator – VAWA funded Facilitate development of visitation plan in protective order proceedings in Anchorage Contact with both the petitioner and respondent Develop protocols in protective order cases to facilitate the regular issuance of CS orders by masters Provide legal and non-legal referrals Assist customers in understanding the distinctions and interrelations between a protective order case and superior court case to help them move to the proper forum

13 Questions & Wrap-Up Thanks! Questions? Katherine Alteneder Family Law Self-Help Center 825 W. 4 th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99524 907-264-0484 907-264-0865(fax)

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