In civil, family law, and probate matters, people may represent themselves. In small claims matters, individuals must represent themselves; attorneys are not allowed to represent anyone in a small claims matter except on appeal.
What Do I Need to Know to Represent Myself?
If you represent yourself in Court, you are expected to understand the law, rules and procedures that apply to your case. The judge cannot give you legal advice about your case nor make decisions based on your lack of legal knowledge or understanding. Each type of case has special rules and procedures that apply. To access the Court's Local Rules, click here.
Some Basic Information You Should Know
Below are links to some of the basic information you will need if you are representing yourself in Court. Click on the topic you want for more information.
- Court Divisions
- Judicial Council Forms
- Local Forms
- Local Rules
- California Rules of Court
- Alameda County Law Library
Instructions for appearing remotely for your Court hearing on ZoomGov.
- ZoomGov Instructions for TRO/Family Law
- ZoomGov Instructions for Small Claims
- Instrucciones de ZoomGov para Orden de Restriccion/Derecho de Familia
- Instrucciones de ZoomGov para Reclamos Menores/Orden de Restriccion
E-Filing Information and Guide
Instructions for filing documents with the Court electronically.
Finding Legal Assistance
The Resource Center provides a variety of legal resources that may be helpful as you work to resolve your legal matter.
Further, the California Courts Online Self-Help Center is a valuable resource that contains a large amount of information on a variety of common legal topics and processes. For example, the Online Self-Help Center contains information about small claims cases, custody and visitation, separations and divorces, name changes, and many other issues.
Self-Help/Family Law Facilitator Services
If you do not have an attorney, the Self-Help Center and Family Law Facilitator staff and volunteers can assist you with procedural information and instruction on completing forms depending on your matter. For information on their locations, hours, basic services and workshops, click here. Para informacion sobre horas, locaciones, y talleres, oprima aqui.