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Illinois opens its 35th Self Help Center:Jo Daviess County Circuit Court to Provide Assistance to Unrepresented Litigants

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On November 13, Jo Daviess County Presiding Judge William Kelly, Circuit Clerk Sharon Wand, and Susi Ludwig-Ruppert, Director of the Galena Public Library, announced the opening of a new internet-based legal self-help center. The new center provides legal information to lower-income unrepresented litigants in Jo Daviess County. The center will be located at the Galena Public Library and available for use during regular library hours. The Jo Daviess County Legal Self-Help Center can also be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at

“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 Kelly. “Most of these people cannot afford to hire an attorney or are not able to obtain representation from a Prairie State Legal Services staff attorney or a pro bono attorney,” he said. “And while I strongly encourage everyone to have a lawyer in court, the number of people needing legal representation exceeds the number of attorneys available to represent these individuals,” Judge Kelly continued.


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