Information for Filers Without Lawyers
Do you need to file with the Court but don’t have a lawyer to represent you? If you are representing yourself, you are called a self-represented litigant, or sometimes called a pro se or pro per party.
You must complete TWO STEPS to file documents with the Court:
- Find and prepare the right documents.
- File your documents online using an electronic filing service provider (EFSP).
STEP 1: Prepare Your Documents
Visit the California Guide & File site to see if there is a guided interview for the type of case you need to file. You can e-file directly at the end of some of the interviews. (If you can't e-file at the end, save your documents and follow the instructions in the next section to e-file.) Below are links to some of the most popular case types.
- Divorce, Legal Separation, or Nullity
- Small Claims
- Restraining Orders
- Request for Order (family cases)
- Parentage or Custody and Support
- Eviction/Unlawful Detainer Response
If you don't find what you need on the California Guide & File site, visit the California Courts Self-Help Center (in English and Spanish) to find the right forms. Below are links to some of the most popular case types. After you prepare your documents, follow the instructions in the next section.
- Divorce and Other Family Issues
- Small Claims
- Eviction & Housing
- Name Change
- Debt Collection & Bankruptcy
- Wills, Estate, and Probate
- Request to Waive Court Fees
STEP 2: File Your Documents Online
When your documents are ready, select an EFSP to file your documents online with the Court. Each EFSP offers a variety of additional services to help you. CLICK HERE for the full list of EFSPs.
Where to Find More Help
Click the links below for more information.
- Information (in English and Spanish) about Court Basics and Preparing for Court
- Law Libraries and other resources, and information about doing legal research
- Court Self-Help Centers and other onsite resources
- Free legal answers (if you qualify)
- Search for legal aid providers (you must qualify for help based on your income)
- Find a lawyer through the State Bar of California Lawyer Referral Services