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Williamson County Circuit Court to Provide Assistance to Unrepresented Litigants

Thursday, May 06, 2010

On April 29, Williamson County Presiding Judge Ronald R. Eckiss and Circuit Clerk Stuart Hall announced the opening of a new internet-based legal self-help center. The new center will provide legal information to lower income unrepresented litigants in Williamson County. The online portion of the Williamson County Legal Self-Help Center can be found at http://williamson.illinoislegalaid.org. For those individuals who do not have a computer with internet access, public access computers are available at three public libraries in the county. The Marion Carnegie Library, the Crab Orchard Public Library and the Johnston City Public Library are partnering with the circuit court on this project. Librarians have been trained to show people how to use the legal self-help center.

“Every judge in Illinois sees more and more people each week who are coming to court on their own. Coming to court without an attorney can be both intimidating and frustrating. All too often these self-represented litigants have only a vague idea of their legal problem and how the court system works,” said Judge Eckiss. “Most of these people cannot afford to hire an attorney or are not able to obtain representation from a Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance attorney or a pro bono attorney,” he said. “Legal self-help centers are being set up all over Illinois and we are happy that Williamson County was selected as a site for a new center,” said Judge Eckiss. “We hope that by providing accurate legal information to self-represented litigants we can help people better present their case to the court,” he said.

“We strongly encourage everyone to have a lawyer in court, if at all possible,” said Joseph Dailing, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, “but the reality is that many people simply are unable to afford an attorney or find a legal aid attorney to help them.”
 

Read More: http://illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.dspNewsDetailsPublic&newsID=1016

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