Michigan Legal Help Self-Help Center of Marquette County to Open on November 1st

October 31, 2013

MARQUETTE, MI – Residents of Marquette County who are unable to afford an attorney have anew place to go for assistance, the Michigan Legal Help Self-Help Center of Marquette County. Located on the 2nd floor of the Peter White Public Library, the Self-Help Center assists visitors in using the Michigan Legal Help website. The Center is an internet-based self-help center that makes use of the free legal information website www.MichiganLegalHelp.org.  People can access information about how to represent themselves in simple civil legal matters. The Self-Help Center is open during regular library hours.  There will be an Open House on Friday, November 1 from noon to 1:00p.m.

The Michigan Legal Help website was created to make legal information easier to understand and to show people how to navigate the court system properly and efficiently. The website contains articles explaining specific areas of law, toolkits, forms and instructional checklists to help prepare people who represent themselves in court. Many court forms can be filled out online using a simple question and answer interview format.

The website can also help users look for a lawyer in their area if they need more assistance. The website includes information about local community services and details about the court where a website visitor’s legal issue may be handled.

Current website topics include family law matters, protection from abuse, housing issues, consumer law problems, public benefits, income tax, and expungement.  Family law matters include divorce, custody, and child support. Consumer legal issues covered are suits regarding debts, small claims, installment payment plans and garnishment. The housing section deals with leases, security deposits, landlord/tenant issues, mobile homes, eviction and subsidized housing. Public benefits materials include articles and common questions about state and federal  public benefits such as food stamps, cash assistance, and Social Security benefits. The Income Tax materials focus on the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits, and opportunities for free tax preparation for low-income individuals.  Expungement provides information about setting aside an adult criminal conviction or a juvenile adjudication. Although it does not cover all areas of law, new content will be added frequently.

The Michigan Legal Help website and affiliated local self-help centers are part of the Michigan Legal Help Program. The Program works with judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, nonprofit legal aid agencies, legal self-help centers, libraries and many others to promote coordinated and quality assistance for persons representing themselves in civil legal matters in Michigan.

Michigan Legal Help is funded by the Michigan State Bar Foundation, The Legal Services Corporation, and Legal Services of South Central Michigan.

For more information, call the library’s Reference Department at
906-226-4312.

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