The Alaska Court System's Family Law Self-Help Center


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The Alaska Court System's Family Law Self-Help Center

  1. 1. The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center Presented by Katherine Alteneder FLSHC Director
  2. 2. The Family Law Self-Help Center <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of the center is to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve access to the courts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help people better understand court procedures and legal requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate timely participation in cases by parties </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why was the center was created? <ul><li>Increasing numbers of self-represented litigants and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No access to clear and simple legal information (no practice books & only limited forms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No lawyers exist in 37 of the 58 communities with court locations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ACS responded to the need by creating the FLSHC to provide information, education and referrals in domestic relations cases. </li></ul><ul><li>Director hired August 2001. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Current FLSHC service areas <ul><li>Comprehensive legal information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Divorce • Paternity • Child Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Dissolution • Custody • Domestic Violence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Referral information only </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Adoption • Guardianship • Emancipation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Change of Name • Powers of Attorney </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Current Staffing Pattern <ul><li>4 Facilitators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 general domestic relations (1 Spanish speaker) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 DV specialist (VAWA pilot) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer service court clerks trained into para – paralegals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1 Attorney </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The program director </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Upcoming Expansion <ul><li>Expand web based information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landlord Tenant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small Claims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appellate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General Civil </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. FLSHC Services <ul><li>Website </li></ul><ul><li>Toll-Free Statewide Telephonic Helpline </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops (Anchorage & Fairbanks) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Help Workstations (Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Juneau, and Ketchikan) </li></ul><ul><li>Piloting specially tailored DV Facilitator (Anchorage) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Website <ul><li>www.state. ak .us/courts/ selfhelp . htm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms & Instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing for divorce or custody </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculating Child Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referral Information </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Telephonic Helpline <ul><li>Staff give a caution and conduct a mini-intake to identify what the caller needs to do procedurally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiating action (such as complaint or motion) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive action (such as answer or opposition) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial preparation (such as witness list or trial brief) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-judgment action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child support calculation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify court and any local practices </li></ul><ul><li>Identify forms, instructions and follow-up assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By web, e-mail, fax, mail or over the telephone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide legal and non-legal referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Make plan for follow-up assistance </li></ul>
  10. 10. Workshops <ul><li>Anchorage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mandatory Family Law Education Class for every self-represented party in a divorce or custody case </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fairbanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9-11 a.m. and Noon-3 p.m. walk-in assistance one Friday per month at the Fairbanks courthouse </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Self-Help Work Stations <ul><li>Statewide project of ALSC and FLSHC </li></ul><ul><li>Located in Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Juneau </li></ul><ul><li>Free public computer, printer and telephone </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited internet access to allow public to access web based services, including the ability to e-mail saved legal documents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted homepage designed to guide people to FLSHC, CSED, AlaskaLawHelp and other key sites </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Loaded with Microsoft Word and Excel for public to create and edit documents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to the “A:” drive to save to own floppy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Connected to laser printer to print up to 20 pages per day </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. DV Facilitator – VAWA funded <ul><li>Facilitate development of visitation plan in protective order proceedings in Anchorage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact with both the petitioner and respondent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop protocols in protective order cases to facilitate the regular issuance of CS orders by masters </li></ul><ul><li>Provide legal and non-legal referrals </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Questions & Wrap-Up <ul><li>Thanks! </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Katherine Alteneder </li></ul><ul><li>Family Law Self-Help Center </li></ul><ul><li>825 W. 4 th Ave. </li></ul><ul><li>Anchorage, AK 99524 </li></ul><ul><li>907-264-0484 </li></ul><ul><li>907-264-0865(fax) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>